Four days before the inauguration of a new administration, naira seems to have lost its long-standing N750/$ resistance as it dipped to N760/$ yesterday.
The market may have started pricing in uncertainty risk that comes with a change of national economic managers. Some dealers told The Guardian yesterday that there has been a surge in the demand for foreign exchange (FX) since the beginning of the week, though they could not justify the sudden spike.
But further market intelligence suggests a comeback of high-ticket transactions to the black market. Sources linked the surge to next week’s inaugurations across the country.
The Guardian, however, could not independently confirm that the large volume of transactions is coming from the political circle. Previously, past governors and lawmakers had allegedly fled the country with ill-gotten wealth immediately after the end of their tenures for fear of being arrested by anti-corruption agencies.
President Muhammadu Buhari will leave office on Monday alongside 44 ministers and retinue of aides who have held on to power in the past eight years.
Across the country, 18 governors will also hand over the batons of the political leadership of their states beginning next week as their successors take the oaths of office.
Members of the National Assembly and 36 parliaments will also be inaugurated days after the executives take over the reins of office. Some of the outgoing public officials (some of who are covered by the immunity clause), The Guardian was informed, are on the watch of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A source privy to details of some of the investigations said the EFCC is reviewing dossiers of petitions, some of which may be politically motivated, and that some governors may have been under close watch.
“Whether there are petitions is not a question but how many of them are viable? If you understand the number of public officials that are leaving office soon, you will be surprised that there is so much jittery in the political space,” the source said.
Dating back to the pre-election era, the pages of newspapers are rife with accusations and counter-accusations of fraud and misappropriation of public resources. Different officials have also been involved in phony projects to have been conduits of siphoning state resources.
This is not the first time naira would lose its hold ahead of the inauguration. The 2015 foreign exchange rate crisis pre-dated the general elections but spiked weeks before the inauguration of the Buhari administration, raising concern about the correlation between dollar scarcity and the winding down of subsisting administration.
On Monday morning, naira traded around N735/$ but started loosening its hold at the close of the day. As of press time, it had lost close to four per cent week-to-date (WTD). Except for the growing demand ease, the local currency faces more downside risk
Kwara Hotel for modern reconstruction, not ever for sale: Govt
Kwara Hotel is a legacy public property that will not be sold for whatever reasons, Kwara State Government asserted in a statement on Friday, adding however that the facility is to undergo a massive reconstruction and efficient management.
The government said the bidding process began over two months ago through an advertisement published in different newspapers, including but not limited to the Herald of September 8, 2023 and Tribune of October 18, 2023.
The open bidding process has been completed and the cabinet is to consider and approve a successful company to finance, remodel, and reconstruct the hotel on behalf of the state within terms that will never include sale of the property and will ensure maximum values for the state. However, the hotel will retain its iconic outward stature, as handed to us by the illustrious founding fathers of Kwara State.
The public may recall that Kwara Hotel was last given a major facelift over two decades ago. Virtually everything in it has become spent and unusable. They needed to be taken out completely to allow for the rebuilding works. It is for that reason that the government began a few weeks ago the legal process to auction off these spent items and utilities. The process involved all relevant government agencies and registered auctioneers who are allowed under the law to partake in such. Four registered auctioneers were approved in all. The due process of valuation had also been done. The auctioneers have since begun the auctioning of these spent items and utilities to the general public after making relevant payments for same to the state coffers.
To that extent, the ongoing gorging of the spent items is to clear out the facility for the massive construction works that will begin soon. An exercise of that magnitude is best held in an open environment to avoid stampede. Even so, the police have been deployed to maintain law and order, and prevent opportunist behaviours as much as possible.
The public is assured of the government’s commitment to make Kwara Hotel the pride of the people once again.
Hon. Damilola Yusuf
Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology (BIT)
December 1, 2023
Breaking: National Statistical Association becomes Chartered Institute of Statisticians, Commissions New Secretariat
It was a day of joy for statisticians across the country as they transit from Nigeria statistical association to Chartered Institute of Statisticians, CISON.
As part of the activity laid down for the 2023 African statistics day, CISON also had its secretariat which was located at 5th floor, Jibril Aminu House, National commission for colleges of Education (NCCE), opposite ECOWAS secretariat, central Area Abuja commissioned
The National president CISON, Dr Ebuh Godday said with the latest development in the institute it will be difficult for anybody to manipulate data, stating that the Act 2022 of the national assembly, establishing the institute has empower that tribunal be set up, certificate and licensing be issued to whoever is a statistical professional in practice, ‘’ and that whoever infringes on the act will face the desired consequences.
It will also help to build capacity for members who have been crying about how they are been unjustly maltreated because of how the bill has not been signed into law.
I think now their cries are no more CISON National President said. He also expressed delight to the statistician general of the federation, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran for his support to CISON, noted that NBS has been the one housing statistician, as he urged members to appreciate the bureau.
Dr Godday said the institute has seven council members where the National Bureau of statistics NBS, will be represented in the council, the ministry of Education will be represented in the council, the National population commission will be represented at the council, the Central bank of Nigeria will also be represented
He also said the institute will elect 8 members from their conference next year, among them will be a Registrar who will automatically become Secretary to the council’’.
The CISON president added that the epoch making event is not a coincidence citing the theme for the 2023 African statistics day which is modernizing data ecosystems to accelerate the implementation of the Africa continental free trade, AfCTA: the role of official statistics and bug data in the economic transformation and sustainable development of Africa,
‘’There is nothing you can achieve via trade that does not require statistics, and I was telling somebody, for you to industrialize Africa you must leverage on statistics to know the right thing to do.
On his part, the statistician general of the federation and Chief Executive officer, national bureau of statistics, Prince Adeniran Adeyemi said it’s a dream come true for the NBS and all statistician across the country and himself as an individual. he added that it is a special day and double honour for Nigeria and statisticians by extension.
Prince Adeyemi applauded the efforts of the NSA president and members of his executives council for their relentless effort towards achieving the long term dream over the years and all those who contributed towards achieving the long term goals.
‘’I want to say that the National Bureau of statistics just like the president said have a mixed feelings for this event today, he said the CISON is like a baby to NBS, we have been hosting NSA over the years and now we see NSA forming into CISON and other profession as well, is like a lady leaving her parent, two things involve, they will be happy that she’s leaving them to a new family, so you will see some also wiping their tears that one of them is leaving them to another family, so as we see this secretariat very neat happening to take up functions of CISON, we are very happy to witnessed it and the same time we feel like we are not going to be in control, but we are not going to leave you. we will be coming around to give all the necessary support
The SG added that a vital role has been highlighted for CISON to play in the third phase of national development on statistics, he said the Commissioning of the secretariat is the beginning of good things for statisticians and others who are willing to become statisticians in future, adding that CISON will be the best in the world in few years to come.
The Chairman Chartered institute of statisticians in Nigeria, Abuja chapter, Mr Joseph Arinze stated that with the latest development among statisticians, it is the best thing that has ever happen to the chapter. adding that with the development, statisticians across the country will have speedy career progression, he said am excited to see a statistician as the Statistician General and Chief Executive officer, National Bureau of statistics.
Saudi to invest in Nigeria’s refineries, says FG
The Federal Government has said that the Government of Saudi Arabia pledged to invest in revamping the country’s refineries to get them working and reforming the Central Bank of Nigeria.
This was made known in a press statement by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, on Friday.
Idris said the pledges were made by the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at a bilateral meeting with President Bola Tinubu on the sidelines of the Saudi-Africa Summit in Riyadh.
The statement read, “The Crown Prince hinted that the refinery investments in Nigeria will be led by the Saudi state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, with the revamp to be completed within a two- to three-year timeframe.
“The Crown Prince also expressed appreciation to Nigeria for its active participation in and support for OPEC+.
“To support the Central Bank’s ongoing reforms of Nigeria’s foreign exchange regime, the Saudi Government will make available a substantial deposit of foreign exchange to boost Nigeria’s forex liquidity.
“Prince bin Salman commended the economic reforms being implemented by President Tinubu and expressed the commitment of the Saudi Government to supporting these reforms and enabling Nigeria to reap the full benefits.
“According to him, Saudi Arabia is very eager to see Nigeria thrive under President Bola Tinubu and realise its full potential as the economic giant of Africa.”
Meanwhile, Tinubu thanked the Saudi leader for the proposed investments and pledged that Nigeria would ensure judicious management and oversight, adding, “We will work together over the next six months to develop a comprehensive road map and blueprint to deliver on the agreed investments and outcomes.
The statement further read, “Also, President Tinubu and Crown Prince bin Salman spoke on the need to strengthen security cooperation to mitigate terrorism, illegal migration, and other crises, not just in Nigeria but across West Africa and the Sahel region.
“The two leaders further discussed existing economic and socio-cultural cooperation between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia and agreed to open new vistas in bilateral relations.
“In addition to these, Prince bin Salman also highlighted Agriculture and Renewable Energy as areas of investment interest for Saudi Arabia in Nigeria to help the country attain food and energy security, respectively.
“The bilateral meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Yahaya Lawal, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Adekunle Adeleke.”
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