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Reasons North is experiencing serious economic crises, by Audu Ogbe

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Reasons North is experiencing serious economic crises, by Audu Ogbe

Former minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbe who is also the chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has traced the problem of the North to the fact that the only industry since the 70s is either politics, the arms services, or the civil service.Ogbe was reacting to the formation of the new North Central Peoples Forum (NCPF) which was percieved as the breakaway of the North Central from the ACF which he chairs said there are fundamental issues which ACF has been unable to tackle as they were not its own making.
He said “The most tragic thing that happened to the North which nobody mentions when they complain about marginalisation is the fact that under Obasanjo the so-called Banking reform took away every Bank in the North.”Bank of the North, Lion Bank, Inland Bank, Habib Bank were all sold. How do you want to develop a region when there are no banks there?”He said there was no need pretending, that Nigeria is heavily ethnic, and regional in action.”Many of these other banks are not willing to finance anything around here no matter how hard you try. As at today there is no Northern Bank.””Even when Yaradua launched the N200b commercial Agriculture credit program and put the money in the hands of two big banks, everyone of us from the North who applied was denied.”The argument was that we were politically exposed, but I know friends of mine, active politicians who got the loans in other parts.”This was for Agriculture, how do you build a farm worthy of mention? How do you expand Agriculture industry which was our strong point before if you can’t access credit from the bank.”So before our very eyes, Kano lost a 126 industries.”Hence he said every person in the North as at the moment has one ambition, which is politics and once they are not named as part of the political machine they feel upset that they are being left out and marginalised.”Tragically and unfortunately our being named into Government at one time or the other as one person or another, play one role or the other that has never really solved our problem.”He said he welcome the formation of the North Central Forum even as he said the problem of the North was not that of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).He said his being the leader of ACF was not something he bargained for,”When I was made chairman I wasn’t even there. They met in Kaduna decided it I didn’t even know, and sent to me. On the other hand there were people within ACF who wanted to be chairman but were not picked, it took me about one month even to accept.”After leaving office I have been concentrating on my Agriculture. I say fine, I accepted. Having said that, I had no issues with the emergence of the North Central Forum people saying it is not an issue with us in ACF.
“I mean this is a democracy and people should be free to associate as convenient and expedient to their needs in particular area.”He said the idea of ACF which is 20 years old now came when they saw the decline in the North happeningHe said it came to get the North together to speak with one voice to pressurise Government and get things done.He said the other reason was to keep the North unified so as to minimise the conflicts of religion and ethnicity as there are close 300 ethnic groups in the North.”In the first Republic Sarduana was here he was not biased man in line of religion or politics.”I can tell you a story about Cardinal John Onayekan. We were school makes at St. Michael Aliade, when school set results came out in 1962, we were in form one, he was in form five, he had the best result in West Africa, 9 distinctions.”Guess who wanted to see him quickly, Sarduana sent for him and asked him whether he wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge. John said he wanted to be a priest, he said that was okay but if you change your mind you have the scholarship.”John said no he wanted to be a priest. Then Ahmadu Bello visited my school in 1963 on his way to the Sarduana Province then. He gave us a gift of two cows and praised our school for having put Northern Nigeria on the educational map of Nigeria.”He said when those good men died and the region splitted into states and Military rule came in the sensitivity of region and religion began to climb, the economy began to decline, Agriculture was dying.He indicated that the native authorities which played a major role then in developing the places started declining and started dying when the civilian came on board.”The native authorities became totally irrelevant. As at today hardship sets in, we were not growing and we were not paying tax anymore.”In those days once you are of a voting age you have to pay tax, if you don’t pay they would make you miserable in front of your wife and children. “Suddenly the economy started dying, the religious and ethnic sensitivity started growing and you kept hearing of marginalisation.”He admitted that there were instances where a Government comes on board and the major appointments come from one ethnic area, which irritates people especially sensitive positions.He said if the Northeast elites gather tomorrow and say their region has been bastardised by Bokoharam that they like as a group to do something about it, how can we quarrel about that? That is our position we are not quarrelling.
He said the North is a very large area hopelessly under developed and facing very severe crises, crises against which he said he warned in 2005 at a lecture I gave in Kaduna to the same ACF when late Chief Awoniyi, late Abubakar Rimi, Adamu Ciroma invited him to give a talk.”The topic was the North and the future of Nigeria. I warned that there was going to be violence and chaos on a scale that has never been seen. “Looking at the economic and Social Development of the North. There were those who did not agree with me and there were others who said, well the North is not like that, we don’t behave that way.”But I saw it because my worry is that for a very long time now since the end of the 70s the only industry in the North is either politics, the arms services, or the civil service.””Gone are the days when we had the industrialists in Kano and even in places like Benue, the Tilly Ghados of this world, in Jos the Danboyi Zangiel, Bakko Kantagora in Niger State to mention but a few.”

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Economy

Emefiele insists, Cryptocuerrency is inimical to the economy

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Emefiele insists Cryptocuerrency is inimical to the economy


***Cryptocurrency Used To Fund EndSARS Protest- ICPC

***It failed critical tests of vulnerability -NFIU

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor Godwin Emefiele has maintained his stance that Cryptocurrency is highly inimical to the Nigerian economy and could further weaken an already weak currency, the Naira.

According to Emefiele, Cryptocurrency is “money created out of thin air”, with the players untraceable and unknown.

In the same vein, Chairman of ICPC Professor Bolaji and the Nigerian Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) unanimously agreed that cryptocurrency is being used as channel for funding violence and terrorism in Nigeria.

They all spoke before the Senate joint committee on Banking and insurance, Capital market and Cybercrime.
The central Bank Governor Godwin Emeifele had been formerly invited to meet with the senate’s joint committee on Banking and insurance, Capital market and Cybercrime to give further explanation of the threats posed by cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Senate last week directed the joint committee to schedule a meeting with the CBN Governor for further briefing on the controversy generated by the ban on cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria.
In the letter to the CBN Governor, the chairman of the joint committee, senator Uba Sani directed that Emeifele bring not less than 40 hard copies of his deference to the joint committee.
Worried that the ban on use of Cryptocurrencies in Nigeria might hurt the economy, the Senate had summoned Emefiele to defend the Apex bank’s  action.
According to the CBN Governor, “We know enough at this stage to decide that the opaque nature significantly threatens our transaction and as you know the CBN has the primary responsibility to protect the investment of every player in the space”, Emefiele said.

He said Cryptocurrency is used to describe the activities of players in the dark world where the transactions are opaque.

Explaining further he said, Cryptocurrency is used to facilitate scam and money laundering; adding that Nigeria has become the second in the use of Cryptocurrencies used in financing terrorism in the world.

“Our business is not a popularity contest but to protect uninformed players. The decision we have taken is in the best interest of every Nigerian who has nothing to hide.

“Transactions are extremely opaque, they are dark, they are not visible and they are not transparent.
“In another parlance, this are people who do not want a trail but indeed by its nature cannot be trailed.

“These definition alone are scary enough to create anxiety on any regulator or SEC or Central Banking any part of the world.
“That is the reason virtually all regulators in the World are weary to recognize it. Since Nigerians delved into it’s usage, we have been studying it’s development and paying close attention to currencies n that space.

“Now, we know enough at this stage to decide that the continuation of these opaque activities significantly threatens the safety and soundness of our financial independence and like you know.
“The CBN has as it’s nature all responsibility as the primary regulator to protect the activities all actors and stakeholders and particularly the uninformed actors in that space.

“For the financial system, all actors who may want to take advantage of their knowledge otherwise to reap where others of the uninformed loss.

“That is the reason we have asked all banks to resist, desist, and, indeed desist from operating account of cryptocurrency dealers in Nigeria.

“For avoidance of  doubt we have asked our banking supervision, our payment system and our IT department to carryout a thorough investigation through the activities of current exchanges and their major players.

“The result of their investigation will lead to better understanding of their activities and maybe unveiled to all in due course.

However, he said they know that Cryptocurrency has been used to facilitate scams which are popularly called 419 transactions that have been known to facilitate money laundering.
“It has been known to facilitate an avenue through which kidnappers receive ransoms and they have been known to be instruments that have been used to finance terrorism, not just in Nigeria but in different parts of the world where these have thrived.

“That is why sometimes we wonder from Data available that Nigeria comes second in the world.
“Most of us are prodding the fact that Nigeria comes second in the world with the use of a tools that facilitates scam and 419: We come second in the world with the use of tool that are used to finance terrorism.
“Let me state that this decision is in the best interest of every well meaning Nigeria who have nothing to hide and is happy to have traceable and transparent dealings in our financial system

“I do not know how many of you may have heard that the international monetary Funds, the US the United Kingdom, Europe agree with us and highlighted that a vast majority of Central Bank around the World have taken the same position as we have done in Nigeria
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye said EndSARS protest was largely financed by cryptocurrency; and an  indication that it could be used to fund Insurgency.

This was as the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit(NFIU), said his agency averted a $3million fraud linked to twenty bank accounts.

The ICPC boss backed the position of the Central Bank; stressing that Cryptocurrency lends itself to money laundering and terrorism financing.

He further disclosed that the anti-graft agency currently has a number of cases linked to Cryptocurrency but is unable to track the suspects.

In kicking against Cryptocurrency, he reminded the Senate how in 2018 a number of globally rated financial institutions had their financial statements hacked with the perpetrators asking to be paid in Cryptocurrencies.

The ICPC Chairman said while the CBN as regulator has responsibility to ensure sound financial stability; it will be difficult to achieve in the case of Cryptocurrencies where the role players are unknown.

To drive home his point, he left the lawmakers with a warning to urgently take decisive action against Cryptocurrencies sharing with them the experience of the Indian Supreme Court and how it ruled and admitted that it “does not know what it is”.

In his own presentation, the Director/CEO, NFIU, Tukur Moddido kicked strongly against Cryptocurrencies; pointing out that it failed the critical tests of vulnerability and attendant risks.

According to Modibbo, the NFIU  through its Cyber Intelligence stopped a scam of roughly $3 million.

Earlier, the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Lamido Yuguda seems to have a more liberal stance toward the use of Cryptocurrencies when he said it should and can be regulated.

Without dismissing the fears expressed by the CBN, NFIU and ICPC, the SEC boss said his agency can develop an appropriate regulatory framework to protect investments in Cryptocurrencies and ensure the operators are duly registered.

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Economy

North-Central Gold Processing Plant ‘ll stimulate economic growth – Hajiya Suleiman

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North-Central Gold Processing Plant ‘ll stimulate economic growth – Hajiya Suleiman

Chairman of Kogi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Hajiya Hassiat Ozavize Suleiman has projected that Kogi State will soon witness geometric economic growth as a result of establishment of North-Central Gold Processing plant in the state.

Hajiya Suleiman made this known today in Mopa/Muro Local Government Area of the state where the ground breaking ceremony for the establishment of the gold processing plant was performed by Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

The MIREMCO boss in an interactive session with newsmen also said that the inter state relationship created by the coming of this project will open up Kogi to the entire country and the world at large thereby making the Confluence State an investment hub of the nation.

Governor Yahaya Bello who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Hon. Kingsley Fanwo described the event as epoch-making in the history of the Confluence State.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade and her team who were warmly received by His Royal Highness Oba Julius Joledo, the Elulu of Mopa, met and interfacd with other royal fathers of the host community and local government stakeholders with a view to preparing their minds for establishment of the North-Central Gold Processing Plant in their locality.

In his contribution, Kogi State Commissioner for Solid Minerals appreciated the royal fathers for providing the land and the Permanent Secretary for being instrumental for establishment of the legacy project in the state. The Commissioner equally lauded Governor Yahaya Bello for his efforts and continuous support for solid minerals development in Kogi State.

The safety of the project was assured when the host Mopamuro Local Government Area chairman informed the Permanent Secretary of his readiness to provide security and enabling environment for prospectors and the entire populace.

The ground breaking event was witnessed by dignitaries including Kogi State ALGON Chairman and Executive Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area, Hon Isa Taofiq, experts in mining sector and top government functionaries.

Consequently, a reception was held in honour of the Permanent Secretary, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade who was described as a daughter of the soil by youths and women of the community.

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Economy

Solidaridad West Africa pledges support for divestment of Nigerian Economy

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Solidaridad West Africa pledges support for divestment of Nigerian Economy

By Friday Idachaba

Solidaridad West Africa, a solution-oriented international Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has said it is ready to support Nigeria in divesting its economy from oil to Agriculture.

The organization said it will bring to bare its over 50-year experience in global Agricultural transformation to achieve the all important diversification of the nation’s economy.

Senior Climate Specialist, Africa and County Technical Lead, Nigeria for Solidaridad Network, West Africa, disclosed this at a two-day workshop on Thursday in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop is on National Initiative for Sustainable and Climate Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS) of Solidaridad West Africa in Nigeria (CSOs) and Media practitioners.

Ogallah said that there was need to divest from crude oil as the major foreign exchange earner for the country and focus on agriculture.

“We have a lot of youths. How do we feed the 200 million plus mouths in the country without Agriculture? So, the way to go is to leapfrog on what we are already doing in Solidaridad.

“We have over 50 years of experience. So, we can bring that to bear in the Agriculture sector in Nigeria on all the commodities like Cashew, Cocoa, Sesame and a lot more.

“In solidaridad, we are working on 13 commodities. Our intervention in Nigeria is also beyond the oil palm sector.

“Currently, we are implementing a horticulture project in Nigeria, fruits and vegetables in Kano and Kaduna, we are going into aquaculture in Ogun State and cocoa in Cross River.

“We did livestock intervention in Kano in 2019. So, you can imagine that of all these commodities our interventions are cross-cutting and Nigeria, the way forward is Agriculture,” Ogallah said.

On the workshop, he said that the event that drew stakeholders from Akwa-Ibom, Cross-Rivers, Enugu and Kogi States would enable experience sharing and stock taking of activities of the year 2020 and plan for the year 2021.

Also speaking, Mr Kene Onukwube, Programme Manager of NISCOPS Solidaridad Nigeria, said there was need for involvement of smallholder farmers, especially through Social Inclusion.

“In terms of social inclusion we are looking at women participation, youth participation and other vulnerable groups such as Persons Living With Disabilities and persons that are in the elderly class.

“We realised from our studies in 2019 that the population of oil palm farmers is highly skewed among the aged persons and youth participation has been very low.

“So, we increased sensitisation and awareness on the need for youths and women engagement in the oil palm sector”, he said. (NAN)

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