The Supreme Court will today deliver judgement in the naira swap policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The court had on February 22 fixed today for judgment in a suit by 17 states challenging the policy which has for months caused naira scarcity and untold hardship to Nigerians and their business.
This was after constituting a seven-member panel to entertain the suit and directing the plaintiffs ( the 17 states) to consolidate their briefs.
The plaintiffs are Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Katsina, Lagos, Cross River, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Sokoto, Rivers, Kano, Niger, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Plateau and Abia states.
The defendants are the Federal Government, Edo and Bayelsa states.
In their separate cases that were consolidated, the plaintiffs argued that the policy was unconstitutional and should be voided.
Lawyer to Zamfara State Government, Abiodun Owonikoko, had before then prayed to the apex court to set aside President Muhammadu Buhari’s February 16 directive that only N200 old note should be in use.
Owonikoko, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN), added that the naira redesign policy was at variance with the provision of Section 17(2)(c) of the Constitution, which says the governmental actions shall be humane.
But Kanu Agabi (SAN), Tijani Gazali (SAN), Kenneth Mozia (SAN) and Audu Anuga (SAN), who represented the plaintiffs, urged the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction and for being incompetent.
Agabi,, who argued that necessary parties were not before the court, faulted the exclusion of the governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele as a party in the suit.
He noted that references were made to the CBN 32 times in the plaintiffs’ originating summons and supporting affidavit, while seven reliefs were sought against the apex bank, which was not made a party in the suit.
Agabi, who said his client filed a motion on notice seeking the dismissal of Form 48 issued on the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Emefiele, added that an affidavit to show cause why Form 48 should be set aside had also been filed.
He argued that Buhari did not flout the order of the court in his February 16 nationwide broadcast, insisting that it was a necessary intervention.
Meanwhile, there appears to be no respite for Nigerians who have turned to Point of Sale (PoS) operators as their main sources of cash.
In Abuja, the POS operators yesterday charged N300 for every N1,000; N1,500 for N5,000; N1,800 for N6,000; N2,100 for N7,000; N3,000 for N10,000, N6,000 for N20,000 and N40,000 for N100,000.
An agent, who gave her name simply as Edith, justified the charges and blamed the development on the CBN.
Lamenting that cash from the banks “is not always available,” she challenged the apex bank to release cash to banks.
Edith revealed that she deposited N1.2 million with a filling station to get N1 million cash three weeks ago.
Explaining that N1.2 million for N1 million is the going charge demanded by filling stations, desperate PoS operators do not hesitate to pay more.
She flayed the CBN for threatening to prosecute PoS agents, arguing that, “anybody who needs cash, pays for it.
“CBN does not know how much we pay to get cash. If the cash was available from CBN we won’t be in this crisis. PoS operators are not to blame, the CBN should be blamed.”
Nigeria lost N1.3trn due to waivers by Buhari’s administration – Customs
The comptroller general (CG) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi,
says waivers and concessions granted to investors by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, former president, cost the country N1.3 trillion.
Adeniyi said customs would have generated more income for Nigeria’s consolidated revenue fund in 2023 without the waivers and concessions arrangements.
The CG said this at the national assembly on Wednesday during a public hearing on the 2024–2026 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy by the senate joint committees.
Adeniyi, represented by Mba Musa, the deputy comptroller general, said “the NCS lost N1.3 trillion in 2023 due to waivers and concessions the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration granted to investors”
The revelation led Sani Musa, the chairman of the joint committee, to request the senate to probe the waivers and concessions granted by the previous administration.
“By now we shouldn’t be talking about concession for cement manufacturers, we should not even be talking about sugar importation,” Sani Musa said.
“We should not deny ourselves the revenues that we should generate to make our economy vibrant. By now, we should be consolidating on waivers given to boost revenues.
“We would review the waivers and make our recommendations. By now, you (NCS) should be meeting up on your projected target if there are no waivers.”
The senate also quizzed the NCS on its modernisation project, known as e-customs.
During the hearing, the senators asked for the details of the agreement signed by the federal government on the modernisation of Nigerian customs.
In response, Adeniyi said the service does not have access to details of the $3.2 billion modernisation project agreement.
“We are not privy to details of modernisation agreement of the Nigeria Customs modernisation project,” he said.
In April, the federal executive council approved the customs’ modernisation project.
The approval was made despite a court order restraining the federal government from going on with the initiative.
Wale Tinubu, Dangote, Wale Edun, Obaigbena others attend Nigeria-Saudi Business Forum
Serial entrepreneur and Group Chief Executive, Oando Group, Jubril Adewale Tinubu was among top dignitaries present at the first Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Forum which was part of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s effort to boost and strengthen the economic and business ties between the two countries.
Others at the forum include top Nigeria’s business magnates, ministers and many government functionaries such as president of Dangote Group; Alhaji Dangote, Group Managing Director Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Mele Kyari,
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy of Nigeria; Mr. Wale Edun, Minister for Trade and Investment, (Dr) Doris Uzoka-Anita, Chairman THISDAY Media Group and ARISE News Channel, Nduka Obaigbena, among others.
Speaking during the forum President Tinubu assured potential investors that their investments are safe in Nigeria.
President Tinubu said Nigeria is ready for business while assuring investors of some of the world’s highest returns on investment.
The President said Nigeria is desirous of enhancing collaboration with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on combating terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram, ISWAP, and other violent extremist groups which have been terrorizing the Lake Chad and Sahel regions.
“Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed a special relationship at both the bilateral and multilateral levels. Within the past six decades, our bilateral cooperation, which was initially hajj-centric, has witnessed diversification to cover a number of areas of common interest. It is delightful to note the presence in this great Kingdom of a large number of our compatriots and professionals, including highly-skilled medical practitioners and professional football players.
“As members of several international organizations including the UN, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the International Energy Forum, the G77, the Islamic Development Bank, the Digital Cooperation Organization among others, our two nations have effectively used these and other platforms to enhance close interaction and coordination. I am confident that our joint positive disposition within these platforms will continue to be demonstrated as we seek to advance our mutual interests.
“Nigeria, like the Kingdom, is diversifying her economy away from oil dependence to promote sustainable development. My administration has undertaken bold economic reforms by removing wasteful subsidies on petroleum and the merging of our foreign exchange market, among other incentives aimed at improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“I also wish to assure all potential Saudi investors of the safety of their investments based on the sanctity of the rule of law and good returns on their investments in the largest economy in Africa. In this regard, the benefit attached to the early inauguration of the Nigeria-Saudi Business Council can not be over-emphasized,” the President said.
President Tinubu thanked the Kingdom for the various humanitarian interventions in Nigeria through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.
BREAKING: Old naira notes will remain legal tender indefinitely, says CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the old naira notes will remain legal tender beyond December 31, 2023 — and no longer have a deadline.
CBN said this in a statement signed by Isa AbdulMumin, director, corporate communications, on Tuesday.
More to follow…
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