Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to play the role of a statesman at this crucial moment by halting the implementation of the currency swap policy.
The governor, in an open letter to the president, noted that the implementation of the policy has failed and must be reversed to save the country from more crises.
Akeredolu added that there is no shame in rescinding a decision adjudged not only unpopular and counter-productive but also bears the insidious seeds of potential conflagration in the land.
The full letter from the governor below:
The crises engendered by the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign some currency notes, threaten to disrupt, not only the forthcoming general elections. The events of the past days, culminating in the intervention of the apex court in the land, and the increasing gale of violence sweeping through the country, portend serious danger to the current democratic governance. Consequently, this period invites all patriots to speak out with a view to proffering practicable solutions and not project cheap partisan interests.
I seize this opportunity to appeal to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to play the role of a Statesman at this crucial moment. It is apparent that the crises, which the current policy on currency swap has created, continue to spiral menacingly.
There is incontrovertible evidence bordering on miscalculation, error of judgement and/or disinformation on the part of the policy makers, especially the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, on the failed implementation of the policy, the effect of which compels the whole country to groan, immeasurably, at present.
There is hardly anyone who contends with either the statutory functions of the Central Bank of Nigeria or the occupier of the office of its Governor, one of which is the monetary policy. It is also not debatable that the President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is empowered, under our law, to exercise certain executive power. It can, however, not be the original intendment of the drafters of the relevant statutes that the implementation of any policy should occasion widespread hardship and pervasive agony in the land.
The safety of the people is the supreme law. Any measure, purportedly designed to ameliorate their conditions, must not reduce the entire populace to a beggarly existence. There is pervasive discontent in the land. A policy, presented as currency swap, must not be construed by both the reasonable members and people of average intelligence in the society to convey the deplorable impression of contrived subterfuge manifest in the official confiscation of legitimate deposits of the people in banks, as a counter measure against electoral malfeasance, terrorism and banditry.
Desirable as the policy appears to be, its implementation excites curiosity as regards the real motive of its drivers, especially at this time when the conduct of general elections is almost here. The mere knowledge that the N1000 and N500 notes represented 82% of the currency in circulation and that the N200 note, whose validity has been extended, by fiat, for another 60 days, represented 7%, expose the mendacious slant in the advice given to Mr President. This counsel clearly misrepresented, deliberately, the facts as they existed before the commencement of the implementation of the policy.
The implementation of this policy has been woeful despite claims to the contrary. The suffering of the masses, occasioned by the non-availability of new notes to replace the old ones, equally decreed out of existence by presidential fiat in contravention of the CBN Act, 2007, could have been averted if the strategy of a gradual and systematic withdrawal of the old currency notes had been adopted. I make bold to assert that the unfolding events across the country show that the policy has failed significantly. It is, therefore, expected that the President will halt this needless drift into the abyss of chaos, more so, when the ruling of highest court still subsists.
I call on the President to allow both the old and new notes co-exist until such a time when normalcy returns to the country. It will be a fitting parting gift for the people of this country, especially the downtrodden, who feel the negative impact of the poorly implemented policy. While the reasons adduced for the policy appear legitimate, there can be no justification for the confiscation of the lawful earnings of Nigerians. The negative impact which the mediocre and, I dare say, mischievous implementation of the policy by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria is having on the poor people and small business owners defeats all the good programmes of the Federal Government designed to elevate as many people as possible out of the morass of poverty.
There is no shame in rescinding a decision adjudged not only unpopular and counter-productive but which also bears the insidious seeds of potential conflagration in the land, one of the ostensible reasons for this ill-conceived policy.
President is not a magician, says Remi Tinubu
The first lady, Oluremi Tinubu, says her husband, President Bola Tinubu, would not wave a magic wand and solve all of the country’s problems in a flash.
The first lady said this on Sunday during an inter-denominational church service to commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Day.
She said her husband inherited the current challenges in the country, adding that the president is determined to fix them rather than blame past leaders.
“All we inherited are things that had happened many years ago. We are not here to put blame on any administration but to fix what has been damaged,” she said.
“My husband is not a magician. He is going to work and I believe and hope that we will have peace in this country. The best is yet to come to us.
“Good governance can only be impactful if the people follow the example of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who embodied the fruit of the spirit, including love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance and forgiveness.
“A Nigeria of abundance has begun, and to be part of the greatness that God has started in the nation, Nigerians must look beyond their current realities and embrace hope anew.”
Also speaking at the event, George Akume, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), urged Nigerians to remain patient, adding that measures are being put in place to provide solutions to the problems bedevilling the country.
“Solutions to Nigeria’s complex problems can never be as instant as expected. It will take some time, but measures are already being put in place to address them,” Akume said.
Lagos to clampdown on illegal dredging operation, reads riot act
Determined to end illegal dredging activities in the state, the Lagos State government has vowed to stop all illegal dredging operations and flush out those operating without a government’s permit in the dredging sector from the state.
The Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Dayo Bush-Alebiosu disclosed this during a meeting with the members of the executive council of the Dredgers’ Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter.
The meeting was called to seek the cooperation of the association in enforcing guidelines regulating dredging activities and to declare Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration’s zero tolerance for illegal dredging operations in the state.
According to the Commissioner, though the meeting is a familiarization forum to interact with members of the association and get first-hand information on how dredging activities could be improved upon with the view to maintaining the state’s waterfronts and prevent environmental degradation.
While soliciting their support in sanitizing dredging activities in the state, Bush-Alebiosu disclosed that the state would not condone the spate of illegal dredging activities being carried out in every nooks and crannies of the state.
Bush-Alebiosu also expressed the readiness of government officials to begin enforcement activities soon and that anybody caught violating dredging laws and regulations of the state would be prosecuted.
He therefore urged them to obtain all necessary permits and regularize their operations immediately.
He assured them of the government’s readiness to stand by the association in carrying out their lawful activities and also support them in all they do to ensure good waterfronts in Lagos State.
UN appeals to Lagos to allocate certain percentage of contracts to women-owned businesses
In his remarks, Mr Kehinde Gbajumo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry expressed his delight that the state executive members of the association were present at the meeting, saying this would go a long way in conveying the views of the state government to their members.
Gbajumo noted that dredging activities in the state are “no longer business as usual,” adding that the ministry is now all out to enforce the laws regulating dredging activities, he also enjoined them to comply with the guidelines.
In his response, the President of the Dredgers Association of Nigeria, Mr Bature Akpomejero pledged their support and cooperation to the state government in getting rid of illegal dredgers in the state.
He solicited the support of the ministry for proper regularization of dredging activities to curb the activities of illegal dredgers and their impact on the environment.
Akpomejero also urged the ministry to look into the issue of overloading of trucks by dredgers and those moving wet sand on the roads, which cause a lot of damage to our roads.
The secretary general of the association, Richard Ntan, also lent his voice; assuring the ministry of maximum cooperation and collaboration of the association, noting that they are ready to cooperate with the government.
Ntan called for more such meetings with the ministry to be able to iron out grey areas affecting their operations while fashioning out areas of mutual benefit between dredgers and the state government.
The dredging operation terms and conditions were later distributed to the members of the association to further enlighten them on their obligations to the state.
Nigeria@63: God will heal our land – Pastor Adeboye
Pastor Enoch Adeboye has prayed to God to heal Nigeria, asking citizens to also pray for the betterment of the nation.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) said this on Sunday during the church’s October Thanksgiving Service and Nigeria’s 63rd Independent Day celebration.
Pastor Adeboye spoke on the topic ‘Freedom Indeed’ during the service.
“I pray in the name that is above every other name that God will heal our nation,” the preacher said.
“Independence is talking about freedom, that is why we would be talking about freedom indeed. You may be enjoying independence from the colonial master and still be a slave to sickness, poverty, terror, and forces of darkness,” he added.
“I am wishing you a very good celebration but more than anything else, I wish all of you who are in Christ freedom and freedom indeed.”
In many churches across the nation, the Christians marked Independence Day with praises and prayers for the country.
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