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How naira can return to below N1,000 per dollar mark – BDCs President

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The National President of the Association of Bureaux De Change of Nigeria, ABCON, Dr Aminu Gwadabe, in an interview with

The National President of the Association of Bureaux De Change of Nigeria, ABCON, Dr Aminu Gwadabe, in an interview with DAILY POST, speaks on the reason for recent Naira depreciation and solutions to attaining foreign exchange stability in Nigeria. Excerpts:

In the past two weeks, Naira depreciation resumed, almost undoing the currency gains at the foreign exchange market in the last two months. How would you assess the situation? What is fundamentally wrong?

The Naira’s recent negative downward trend is worrisome and has come with many surprises.

Our interrogations revealed the following perspectives.

First, we discovered after the Naira achieved considerable strength to an all-high at below N1000/$, precisely N969/$ around April 8th 2024, some rational behaviour, not fundamental, erupted where people were buying dollars from the open market and selling at the interbank window and thus, there was significant demand pressure on the Naira and it turned its positive strides to weakness.

In the same vein, the activities of the online platforms come with serious debacles, where traders put pressure on the open market and dump the inline platforms where the Naira is badly traded.

As long as the platforms remain profitable, the Naira must continue depreciating.

Thirdly, the continuous attacks of speculators to reap their lost gains on naira depreciation is another issue. They have continued to speculate and hold their position.

Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria released another intervention of $10,000 to legible BDCs at 1,021 per Dollar, although the Naira failed to fall below N1,300 per Dollar in the parallel market section. Does this not defeat the essence of the intervention?

The tumultuous challenge we all face is the acute liquidity shortage in the retail end market, where volatility is most pervasive.

The BDC sub-sector is the most potent tool in the central bank’s transmission mechanism of their foreign exchange policies.

We have seen the renewed collaborations of the central bank with the BDCs, which have achieved true exchange rate unification and naira appreciation.

The BDCs are the third leg of the market, and the hitherto suspension of their operations in July 2021 marked the beginning of a wild volatility in the market.

Before their suspension in July 2021, the open market rate was trading at N495/$, but with their immediate suspension, the rates continued to move southward against the Naira to the Dollar.

The CBN is working to achieve stability; it is leveraging on the BDCs to achieve stability and meet the invisible demand of the critical retail end of the market for the provision of school fees, medical fees, personal and Business Travelling allowance and has helped to achieve the convergence of both the open market rate and the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange, NAFEM, rates.

On Friday, both markets were trading at above N1300/$ respectively.

I think enhancing the collaboration will continue to confront speculation, hoarding and illegal currency substitutions.

Are your members part of the currency speculators contributing to the recent rise in the Dollar at the FX market as the EFCC recently arrested 34 persons in Abuja? What is your reaction to the disadvantages of currency speculators, Binance and other Cryptocurrency platforms?

It is a misnomer that most blame is attributed to the BDCs for naira woes.

We frowned at it as a generalisation of stigmatisation to blame only a minute subset of the market that controls less than 10 per cent of the market.

The question of changing the convention is where the significant percentages are, too.

We can not forget so quickly that a large portion of our diaspora remittances is said to be over 90 per cent, leaving us with only 10 per cent coming into the economy.

I also want to underscore the Apex Bank’s new draft of BDCs guidelines that provided a BDCs agency for international money transfer service operators and IMTSOs to attract huge diaspora remittances.

The volatility of a local country’s currency is like runoff water (erosion). If you don’t direct it, it will direct itself.

It is also worth noting that the recent CBN policies and guidelines have helped discourage illegal economic behaviours and put foundations for diversifying the sources of foreign exchange inflows.

On the government’s fiscal side, they are attracting investments in our oil field to increase capacity, efficiency and effectiveness.

The takeoff of the Dangote refinery will also help reduce our heavy dependence on the import of finished crude oil products, thereby increasing our foreign reserves to be hedged against speculators.

On the Monetary side, the Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced varying policies like the use of treasury bills to attract foreign investors, banks opening net positions to discourage holding positions of financial institutions, and willing buyers willing seller quotes for price discovery and transparency.

Also, the non-eligibility policy of using dollar deposits in non-export precedes Dom’s account for naira loan collateral.

Recently, ABCON unveiled plans to harmonise the retail section of the FX market; how would this be achieved, and how will the move tackle Naira depreciation?

In line with our vision to democratise, centralise and digitalize the retail end market, ABCON, as a proactive organisation and a strategic partner in the retail end FX market, has identified the trust we build with our clients and embraced innovation as part of our journey to automate our business process from manual to digital and develop a unified retail end forex market for stakeholders engagements and trading to confront the menace of undocumented and unregistered platforms like Binance, Bybit, etc.

The unified platform helps with price discovery, autonomy, reporting, market intelligence reports, and ease of monitoring and supervision of regulatory and security agencies.

We have inaugurated our state chapter chairmen to support our zonal chairpersons nationwide in repositioning data on market participants in their respective zones.

We also expect to unveil our upgraded SAAZ MASTERS for our members’ efficiency and effectiveness with their extant regulatory obligations.

These unified digital trading platforms will enable price discovery, our member’s visibility, and effective AML/CFT compliance.

How would you access Olayemi Cardoso’s administration as Central Bank of Nigeria governor and his impact on the country’s currency market?

The Olayemi Cardoso-led team at the apex Bank has brought professionalism, stakeholder engagement, and leadership qualities.

For the first time, a draft policy guideline was released before its final implementation in our sub-sector for inputs and observations.

They inherited turbulent waters and worked out of the box to institute fundamental market reforms.

I urge them to always be deliberate, decisive, agile, and act fast.

They are introducing a lot of orientations into the financial sector architecture and wish them well.

What is the short-term and long-term solution to Naira’s stability against the Dollar in the FX market?

In the immediate term, fiscal and monetary authorities should continue to deepen effective linkages and harmonisation and act fast in confronting volatility.

I also recommend amnesty for citizens who want to bring their home holdings into the Dom accounts with less cumbersome documentation requirements.

Also, there is the need for Diaspora remittance bonds to attract the huge, constant and cheap diaspora remittance proceeds.

There should be continued conversation on our oil production capacity through foreign investments to boost capacity and outputs in the medium to long term.

It is also germane to diversify our foreign earnings and incentivize the non-oil exports, which contribute less than 5 per cent to our GDP through risk and standards and efficient port processing systems.

Finally, we should continue to empower our youth through innovations, skills, and job creation to tame the failure of Japa syndrome.

Your last word for Nigerians amid the recent depreciation and soaring inflation?

Let’s all change our mindset as citizens to make the naira sovereign in West Africa.

Let us avoid currency substitution, hoarding, speculation and round-tripping.

It is also necessary to be cautious as the Government and the CBN work to inject liquidity and strengthen the Naira.

Culled from DailyPost

 

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‘Nobody is above the law’ — deposed Kano Emir calls for justice

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Aminu Ado Bayero, the 15th Emir of Kano, has called on the “authorities” to ensure justice is served in the emirship tussle in the state.

Bayero was dethroned as the Emir on Thursday after the Kano state assembly repealed a 2019 emirate law that was used to oust Muhammadu Sanusi in 2020.

Subsequently, Sanusi was reinstated by Abba Yusuf, governor of Kano, while Bayero was in Ogun state on an official visit.

Upon his return, Bayero moved to the Kano emirate mini palace in Nassarawa LGA of the state, where his supporters thronged to welcome him.

The governor also ordered Bayero’s arrest “for creating tension in the state”.

Speaking when he hosted some security agents, Bayero said he would accept the position of the law, noting that no one is above it.

He called for calm, stressing the need for peace in Kano.

“I call on the people to remain law-abiding while awaiting the outcome of the legal process in this tussle,” Bayero said in Hausa.

“We call on the authority to do justice in this matter. Kano is a very influential state in Nigeria. Whatever affects Kano affects Nigeria.

“May peace reign in Kano. We pray for Allah to bless Kano with responsible and just leaders.

“Justice is the way to go on every issue. There will be justice. Nobody is above the law. We will accept whatever the law says. I appreciate all the people who have shown concern.

“As I said, justice will take its course. We will keep on praying for peace in Kano State. May Allah the Almighty protect us.”

On May 23, a federal high court in Kano ordered the state government not to enforce the Emirate Council Repeal Law 2024.

On Saturday, the Kano state police command said law enforcement agencies would obey the court order that ruled against Sanusi’s reinstatement.

 

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PHOTOS: Soldiers guard deposed Emir Bayero as tension mounts in Kano

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Armed military personnel have taken up positions around the Nasarawa Palace, where the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero,

Armed military personnel have taken up positions around the Nasarawa Palace, where the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, has taken up refuge on Saturday following his deposition on Thursday.

The development comes apparently to preempt possible arrest of the embattled Bayero as ordered by Kano State governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, on Saturday morning.

In the early hours of Saturday, Bayero returned to Kano to a rapturous welcome from his supporters. Following his arrival, he moved into the mini palace on Nasarawa Road, escalating tensions in the state, a development the state government said was a security risk.

Deputy Governor Aminu Abdulsalam Gwarzo, speaking at a press briefing, alleged that former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje was behind Bayero’s defiant reappearance in Kano to cause chaos.

“We know Ganduje is using the office of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, to provide the deposed Emir with military personnel in order to intimidate and subjugate the people of Kano into accepting what they are not in favour of, and we refuse to tolerate it,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Gwarzo, alongside reinstated Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II and other state government functionaries have remained at the Kano Emir’s Palace in a show of solidarity with the reinstated Emir against what they perceived as undue interference from powers-that-be in Abuja.

Gwarzo expressed disappointment over actions he believed were intended to destabilise the state, adding: “It’s disappointing that they will do such a thing that will cause tension and disrupt the peace in the state.”

The situation in Kano remains uncertainty as the standoff continues. Governor Yusuf administration appeared determined to assert its authority, while supporters of deposed Emir Bayero also remained defiant. The involvement of military personnel has added a complex layer to the already volatile situation.

 

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Nigerian-born woman becomes first African Lord Mayor of Leeds 

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A woman of Nigerian descent, Abigail Katung, has been inaugurated as the 130th Lord Mayor of Leeds City, England, marking the first time a person

A woman of Nigerian descent, Abigail Katung, has been inaugurated as the 130th Lord Mayor of Leeds City, England, marking the first time a person of African descent has occupied this prestigious position.

The formal announcement came during the Leeds City Council’s annual general meeting on Thursday night.

Abigail Marshall Katung, taking over from the previous Lord Mayor, Al Garthwaite, will be supported throughout her tenure by her husband, Nigerian Senator Sunday Marshall Katung, who will serve as the Lord Mayor Consort.

Born in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria, Katung moved to the UK in 2000 to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Leeds.

Before her election as Lord Mayor, Katung made significant contributions to the Leeds community.

She was the first African to become a ward member of the Leeds City Council in 2019, representing the culturally rich Little London and Woodhouse ward. Her re-election in 2023 underscored her commitment and popularity within the community.

Throughout her career, Katung has held various roles, including chairing several scrutiny boards, leading initiatives on hate crime, education, and public health, and advocating for faith and belief communities.

Speaking on her new role, Katung expressed her gratitude and commitment to inclusivity, stating, “It is with great appreciation and humility that I embrace the privilege of becoming this great city’s 130th Lord Mayor. Leeds became my cherished second home, and it’s where I chose to become a public servant.”

Her appointment has been celebrated as a significant milestone, particularly within Leeds’s African community.

Former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar congratulated Katung and acknowledged her achievement as a testament to Nigerians’ global prowess and talent.

 

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Ayo Banjo, ex-VC of UI, dies at 90

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Ladipo Ayodeji Banjo, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan (UI), is dead. Sources close to his family confirmed to TheCable that the academic passed away on Friday morning.

He was born on May 2, 1934, in Oyo state. He attended Igbobi College in Lagos between 1947 and 1952.

Banjo began his career as a lecturer at UI’s English department in 1966. The same year, he won the American State Department scholarship award for an MA in linguistics at the University of California in the US.

The academic later obtained a doctorate degree from UI in 1969.

He was appointed associate professor in 1973 and became a full professor in 1975.

The academic was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan in 1984, a position he held till 1991.

During this period, he was the chairman of the committee of vice-chancellors for Nigerian universities.

Banjo was a visiting professor for one year at the University of West Indies at Cave Hill, Northern Ireland.

He was also a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge, England, between 1993 and 1994.

The professor was appointed the pro-chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt between 2000 and 2004.

After his tenure, he was appointed pro-chancellor of the University of Ilorin for two years (2005 to 2007).

He also served as the incumbent pro-chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University.

Source: The cable

 

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Why I reinstated Sanusi as Emir of Kano -Gov Yusuf

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Governor Abba Yusuf on Friday explained why he reinstated the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Lamido Sanusi, as the

Governor Abba Yusuf on Friday explained why he reinstated the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Lamido Sanusi, as the emir of Kano.

He spoke before presenting the letter of appointment to Sanusi at Africa House of Government House, Kano.

Yusuf said Sanusi was “victimised in 2019” by the Ganduje administration that dethroned and banished him.

“We repealed the former law, the appointment of former emirs as well as all the appointments that were done by the previous administration. We did that out of our conviction and believe that this gentleman (Sanusi) was victimised in 2019.

“So, we had a feeling that we have to bring back what is due to the good people of the state. And by doing that, the bill was signed around after 5pm and there was no problem. We signed the bill into law and it has become our law; nobody will change it,” the governor said.

Yusuf further articulated that the return of Sanusi, also Muhammadu Sanusi II back on throne will propel peace and prosperity adding that the repeal of the council law was in realisation of his campaign commitments to restore the lost glory of the state and its rich cultural heritage.

He noted that the reappointment of Sanusi to the probated throne of Malam Ibrahim Dabo was guided by collective and careful judgment about his confidence, credibility and proven intellect that he will, by the grace of Allah, at this trying period of the emirate, deploy his wealth of experience to provide the required visionary and purposeful leadership to reunite and rebuild the traditional institution.

Presenting the appointment letter, Yusuf said: “I am standing before you today the 24th of May, 2024, to present a letter of reinstatement to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Aminu Sanusi.

“Yesterday (Thursday) we gathered here in Government House and had series of meetings with the kingmakers. We also had extensive discussions with the Speaker and members of the State House of Assembly. We also had time to sit with the heads of security agencies in the state.

“At the end of the day, we all sat down at that chamber, where I received the bill that repealed the former law and I signed the bill into law.

“By the powers conferred on me by the Kano state emirates council of chiefs, given the Kano state appointment and disposition law of 1984, in consonant with the Kano state emirate council repealed law 2024 and supported by the recommendation of the Kano state emirates council kingmakers who are here with us, I, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano state, have the singular pleasure to confirm the appointment of Sanusi Lamido Aminu Sanusi as the 16th emir of Kano and the head of Kano emirates council.”

He congratulated Sanusi, also known as Muhammadu Sanusi II on the appointment and thanked the Speaker and State Assembly members for their “doggedness, commitment and respect for the rule of law,” saying what the lawmakers had done was a testament of their interest in the welfare of the people of the state.

While praying God to protect and guide Sanusi, he reminded that as the former CBN governor ascends the throne for the second time, the rising expectation has broadened.

The governor said he signed the proposed law at exactly 5:14pm after which came the orders.

“It means they were already armed with the motion ex-parte even before he gave assent to the bill passed by the State House of Assembly or at what time had they approached the court to obtain the order?,” he asked.

Justice Mohammed Liman gave the order following an application by a kingmaker, Alhaji Aminu Babba Dan Agundi.

Kano State Government, Kano Assembly, the Speaker, the Attorney-General, Commissioner of Police, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the State Security Service (SSS) are respondents.

“The judge is in America, how could he sit in America and give order in Nigeria to stop a legitimate process,” he queried.

Yusuf said Sanusi’s reinstatement was delayed because due process was being followed.

“The Assembly members did their legislative duty and passed the bill into law. We met with law enforcement agencies and the kingmakers before I signed the law,” he said and added the law has come to stay and no one can stop it.

He said the Kano State Emirate Council Repeal Law 2024 happened to affect the five (dethroned) emirs, while favouring Sanusi.

The new law says: “All traditional office holders and title holders elevated or appointed to office created under the repealed Principal law, dated 5th December, 2019 shall revert to their position where such positions previously existed under recognized custom and traditions prior to the enactment of the repealed Principal Law dated 5th December, 2019.”

Yusuf said: “It is not a new stool, neither Sanusi is a new emir. The king has only returned home to his throne, after it was balkanised. It has all along been his throne.”

The governor said Kano is peaceful and calm, as he appealed to the people to go about their businesses freely.

Sanusi leads Juma’at prayer at Kano State House:
Reinstated Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi on Friday led the Juma’at prayer for Muslims at Government House, Kano.

This was done after Governor Abba Yusuf presented the letter of appointment as the 16th emir of Kano to him at Africa House.

The governor said after the Juma’at prayer, Sanusi would return to his lodge with members of his emirate council to continue with the business of the emirate council.
“A announcement shall be made later as to when he will move to the palace,” the governor said.

He charged the emir, an Islamic scholar, to use his wisdom to unite all the Islamic sects in the state.

As soon as he received his appointment letter and confirmation as emir of Kano, all the district heads and senior council chiefs bowed and paid allegiance to him at the Africa House.

 

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Sanusi can’t be Emir of Kano again, court declares

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In what could be described as a dented hope, Federal High Court in Kano has stopped the installation of anticipated former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, currently called Khalifa Muhammad Sanusi 11, as the Emir of Kano.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, on Thursday, signed the Kano Emirate bill (2024) into law and announced the former CBN Governor as the one and only Emir of Kano, after ordering the deposed Emirs of Kano, Bichi, Karaye, Rano and Gaya to vacate their Palace hand over their instruments of power to the Deputy Governor, Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam Gwarzo, who doubles as the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

But the Court has suddenly faulted the implementation of the new Kano Emirate law, which crushed the five Emirates and returned Kano to its former status as one of the largest Emirates in sub-Saharan Africa.

In a suit brought before the Presiding Judge, Justice A.M Liman by Alhaji Aminu Bappa Dan Agundi ( Sarkin Dawaki Babba), on Thursday the Court averred that the implementation and the operation of the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law, 2024 (1445 A.H) be suspended.

Justice Liman ordered that “ An order of Interim Injunction of this honourable Court suspending not giving effect to, not implementing the Operation of the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law 2024 (1445 A.H), as they affect all offices and institutions of all the Emirate Councils created under the provision of Kano State Emirate Council Law, 2019, (1441 A.H).

“An order of Interim Injunction of this Honourable Court restraining the 5th – 8th Respondents from enforcing, executing, implementing and operationalizing the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law 2024.

“ In the alternative to relief 3 above, an Order of Interim Injunction of this Honourable court for the maintenance and preservation of the subject matter and or the preservation of the status quo by all parties to this suit, pending the hearing and determination of the plaintiff/applicant’s Originating motion before this Honourable Court as well as AN ORDER of accelerated hearing on this matter.”

Our Correspondent reports that Muhammad Sanusi 11 was reappointed as the new Emir of Kano as Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf signed the new Kano Emirate bill (2024) into law, on Thursday.

He performed the signing at Ante-chamber, Government House before the Speaker of Kano state House of Assembly, Hon. Ismaila Falgore and other Principal Officers of the House.

Speaking shortly after signing the law, Governor Yusuf described the event as historic and thanked the state of Assembly for performing their constitutional duties.

He said the Kano State Emirate law 2019 that divided the over 1000 years of Kano Emirate into five has been repealed.

Governor Yusuf announced the reappointment of Muhammad Sanusi 11 as the Emir of Kano and gave the five Emirs appointed by former Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to vacate their official residence and over their instruments of power to the Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam Gwarzo who doubles as the state Deputy Governor.

Earlier on Thursday, the Kano State House of Assembly passed the Kano Emirates Council Bill 2024, abolishing the five Emirates created by Ganduje.

Ganduje had carved out Bichi Gaya, Karaye, Rano and Kano Emirates, before dethroning the former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11

With the passage of the bill into law, the five Emirs in Kano have been dethroned.

However, all offices created under the repealed law have been dissolved, and district heads appointed or elevated under the previous legislation are to revert to their former positions.

The bill, titled the Kano State Emirates Council (Amendment No. 2) Law, 2024, was sponsored by Lawan Hussaini Chediyar Yan Gurasa, the Majority Leader and representative of the Dala Constituency.

The original law, enacted under former Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on December 5, 2019, was amended twice: first on October 14, 2020, and again on April 11, 2023. Section 3(1) of the law established the five distinct emirates, distributing jurisdiction over the 44 local government areas in the state.

Following the deposition of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi on March 9, 2020, the law was amended to designate the Emir of Kano as the chairman of the council.

Section 12 of the law allowed the Governor to grade emir offices as first, second, or third class with the Assembly’s approval.

Muhammad Sanusi 11 was expected to return to Kano on Friday, before the waiting hands of the king-makers who are billed to perform the installation rituals.

As at the time of filling this report, no other Court order has countered Justice Liman’s own.

Though apprehension hovers in the air, the ancient commercial city of Kano remains calm and peaceful as both the low and mighty discuss the latest development in the historic Kano’s traditional institution in hush tunes.

 

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