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CBN Disburses N30b To Oil Palm Sector In One Year, Edo Gulps N25bn, Says Emefiele

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The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the Apex bank disbursed over N30b to entrepreneurs in the oil palm sector in the last one year, saying almost N25b has been channeled to support companies the sector in Edo State.

Emefiele who disclosed this on Tuesday in Benin City at the formal launching of Edo Oil Palm Programme, noted that Edo State, being the largest host to number of oil palm plantation and companies in the country was given that prominent.

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The CBN Governor said in the Apex bank bid to revamping oil palm sector, it decided to focus on Edo State, adding that the state government willingness to partner makes it easier.

He said, “It is no surprise because Edo State has the largest number of oil palm plantation in the country. It therefore stands to reason that if we say we want to revive the oil palm industry in Nigeria, then Edo State naturally will be the first place to start. I say this because out of about N30bn so far disbursed to entrepreneurs in this sector in the last one year, almost N25bn has been channeled to support companies that are into oil palm plantation in Edo State.

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“It is imperative to categorically state that we are poised to do all in our powers to revamp this sector including not just suspending but closing and directing all the banks in Nigeria to close the accounts of any company or any person, it staff, owners, top management including their cronies and supply chain enablers involved in smuggling and dumping palm oil into Nigeria.”

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele (2nd left), Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (3rd left) and Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shiabu (Right) at the launching of Edo Oil Palm Programme in Benin City on Tuesday

Emefiele noted that, the CBN, as a major stakeholder in the financial sector and indeed the economic development of the country, is set to render its unflinching support to development of oil palm, saying this would be achieved by producing affordable long term finance to growers in the sector.

He implored other stakeholders in the sector to borrow a leaf from the commitment of the CBN and play their respective roles, stressing that this will enable the bank achieve its common goals and objectives in the sector.

The CBN Governor, while warning those using and hiding under ECOWAS states liberisation scheme to sabotage the efforts of the Federal Government to desist from such act, stated that ‘the days of smuggling are over.

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READ ALSO:Oshiomole Lacks Capacity, Temperament To Lead APC – Ojezua

We continue to appeal to those who are involved in smuggling or involved in dumping; that the days of smuggling or dumping are over, let them come and join us in this vanguard to develop oil palm and other agricultural products value chain in Nigeria. I want to appeal to other state governors to make land available speedily”, he said.

His his speech, Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, said the oil palm, a sub-sector in the agriculture has the tendency of driving and growing the economic of the state as it has done for countries such as Indonesia and Malysia.

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The governor opined that enomous business opportunities for investors in millions of nairas for both local and exportation are imbedded in the sector, adding that more than 600, 000 jobs would created by the sector come 2030.

He noted that the programme was part of the state government’s commitment to the Federal Government’s agenda of diversifying the economy and improving the lives of the people of Edo State.

According to the governor, main purpose of the Edo Oil Palm is to laverage on what, accroding to him, the Centrak Bank of Nigeria has initiated, stressing that it is mainly to taking a critical risk in the oil palm sector, by solving the biggest challenge of plantation.

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He noted that to make the programme successful, principle of Social inclusion and forestation policy have been put in place, stressing that success of the programme will largely depend on cooperation of host communities hence they must be carried along.

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Under this programme, development of all sectors of the economy is a key. The programme is intended to have measurable socio-economic impact and development on our people and our communities. Socio inclusion programme will be strictly implemented and enforced.

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“Success of the programme will largely depend on support and cooperation of the local community and that is why including them is very important”, he added.

Obeseki said to make the programme a success, the state government has allocated over 1,200 hectres of land, adding that the state government is allocating land to investors in multiple.

He also disclosed that an implementation committee of stakeholders and professionals to make sure all guidlines are strictly adhere to has been set up, adding that the committee is under is office for proper supervision.

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He said, “Under this programme, Edo State government has meticulously legislated and created access to about 1,200 hectres of land which we have made available strictly for oil palm production and we are doing this by a programme guided by four principles.”

Obaseki noted that the Government was giving out land free while the CBN is committed in providing the funds, saying large percent of such investment should be invested in the oil palm sector.

The programme is a key part of our program that in every 500 hectres we give to you, at least 80% should be reserved for the small holders agroagric of whom you will offtake from so that some of this money remains in the community and help secure more investment in the community.

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“The programme is a key part of our program that in every 500 hectres we give to you, at least 80% should be reserved for the small holders agroagric of whom you will offtake from so that some of this money remains in the communities and help secure more investment in the communities.

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“We will give you the land, you are not paying for it. For expect that in hectres of land that will be given to you, you at least commit one hectre so that we can begin to go back to our forestry”, he noted.

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They’ve Hidden Plans – Mixed Reactions Trail CBN’s New Naira Notes

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Nigerians have shared divergent opinions on the recently released new banknotes by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Wednesday announced the entry of the new notes into the country’s financial space.

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The CBN boss, while explaining the features of the redesigned notes, told State House Correspondents that it was in line with global best practices, noting that it was mandatory for the naira to be redesigned and re-issued every five to eight years.

The last time the bank redesigned the naira was in 2014 when it changed the design of just the 100 naira note to commemorate Nigeria’s centenary.

According to him, it is regrettable that the naira has not been redesigned for the past 19 years owing to lack of political will from previous administrations.

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“In the past, I have to confess that attempts by the CBN to redesign and re-issue the naira notes have been resisted. It is only President Muhammadu Buhari that has exhibited the courage to do so,” he stated.

Emefiele said it was the mandate of the CBN to redesign and re-issue the notes, stressing that the exercise would become a regular trend after five to eight years.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has in recent years undertaken the redesigning of her currency for various reasons.

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READ ALSO: Why I Approved Redesign Of Naira Notes – Buhari

For instance, in response to the expansion in economic activities and to facilitate an efficient payments system, the ₦100, ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1000 banknotes were introduced in December 1999, November 2000, April 2001 and October 2005 respectively.

On 28th February, 2007, as part of the economic reforms, ₦20 was issued for the first time in a polymer substrate, while the ₦50, ₦10 and ₦5 banknotes, as well as ₦1 and 50K coins were reissued in new designs, and the ₦2 coin was introduced.

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On 30th September, 2009, the redesigned ₦50, ₦10 and ₦5 banknotes were converted to polymer substrate following the successful performance of the ₦20 (polymer) banknote. Thus, all lower denomination banknotes were now printed in the polymer substrate.

Speaking on the development, Godwin Emefiele, added that the move to introduce newly designed notes became imperative following the abnormalities bedevilling Nigerian financial, monetary and security systems.

The circulation of the new designs will begin on December 15, 2022.

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But the introduction of the new naira banknotes has received a lot of reactions from Nigerians .

Some economic experts have pointed out that apart from the change in colour of the redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 naira notes, its security features have been enhanced.

But the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore knocked President Buhari and Emefiele, accusing them of playing Nigerians by redesigning the banknotes.

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Sowore slammed Buhari, saying that no significant change occurred to the naira, and it seems Nigerians have been deceived again.

For Shehu Sani, a former Nigerian lawmaker, it was only a colour change that was introduced in the new notes, saying, “If it’s Naira colour, the CBN should have just engaged Snapchat.”

A senior lecturer of the Department of Economics, Kaduna State University, Professor Abdulmalik Abdulkadir, said with the current redesign of banknotes, embezzlement of public money by those in position of power, would be minimised

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Speaking to Journalists in Kaduna on Wednesday, Prof Abdulmalik noted that since the new notes are yet to be in circulation, what everyone is after is how to change the old currency which may soon fade away.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: CBN Gov, Emefiele Explains Features Of New Naira Notes

According to him, some public servants in positions of authority are also scared of stealing public funds as they would be caught anytime, anywhere.

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Few Nigerians, who spoke to our correspondent on the streets of Abuja, also shared their thoughts. While some of them believe that it is a good way to stop politicians from money laundering ahead of the 2023 general elections, some others feel it is a waste of time.

Jennifer Adimso said, “I’m surprised that people still believe in this government and their policies. You’re talking about preventing politicians from laundering money but that’s a lie. Who is Emefiele working for? He is working for the APC. In fact, he is a member of the APC. He was contesting for the APC presidential primary if not for the pressure from Nigerians.

“In fact he went to court to challenge Nigerians against him. He is working for his party and if anybody is planning to launder money, it is APC. You’ll see bullion vans parked in the compound of some individuals and no one will question them. I believe they have some politicians they’re targeting. They’ve concluded their plans. These people think way ahead of us. Changing the colours of the N200, N500 and N1000 notes is just another way to distract Nigerians. Nothing more.”

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David Sam Ade said, “All I can say is that the colour of those banknotes have changed. I’m not an expert to know the security features but all I can tell you is that the change won’t contribute anything. Now tell me, will it change the prices of garri, rice, yam, onions and other food items in the market? Buhari and his team are bent on deceiving Nigerians. We can’t wait for their tenure to end. People are suffering and all you can do is change the colour of money. It makes no sense to me. The reason why Emefiele is still there as the CBN governor is because he’s as clueless as the President himself.”

Pastor Jewel Abianso said, “Nigerians should be prayerful. Nigeria is drifting under the current government. See, the redesigning of the naira note may be good to many of us but we may not know the idea behind it. The question is why is it happening now? They said it is to stop money laundering against the election but how do we know the other underlying reasons? When a government has established itself on deceit, it becomes difficult to know when it is taking a good measure that would be beneficial to its people. I believe Nigeria has more significant problems than changing the colour of some currency denominations. Once again, I’ll encourage Nigerians to pray hard ahead of the forthcoming elections. Let’s pray for change and to have a government we can trust.”

Meanwhile, Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had described the development as apt and commendable.

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He said it was “a well-considered and timely response” to the challenges of currency management.

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Naira Redesign: Buhari, Emefiele Played Nigerians, Only Changed Dye Of Currency – Sowore

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The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore on Wednesday, knocked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, over the newly-redesigned naira notes.

Sowore accused Buhari and Emefiele of playing Nigerians by redesigning the naira.

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In a tweet, the AAC presidential candidate described the president and the CBN governor as crooks.

He stressed that no significant change occurred to the naira, and it seems Nigerians have been deceived again.

Buhari had unveiled the redesigned N200, N500 and N1000 notes at the commencement of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

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The new Naira notes will become legal tender commencing from December 15, while the old ones will cease to be legal tender effective February 1, 2023.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: CBN Gov, Emefiele Explains Features Of New Naira Notes

This is the first time in 19 years that Nigeria will be redesigning some of her currency notes.

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Sharing a photograph on Twitter, Sowore expressed disappointment at the development.

He wrote: “@GodwinIEmefiele of the @cenbank, and @MBuhari just played Nigerians over the fraudulent so-called redesign of the Naira. Nothing was “redesigned” just a change of dye. Crooks! #WeCantContinueLikeThis.”

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JUST IN: CBN Gov, Emefiele Explains Features Of New Naira Notes

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The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele has explained the features of the redesigned notes.

Emefiele told State House Correspondents that it was in line with global best practices, noting that it was mandatory for the naira to be redesigned and re-issued every five to eight years.

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According to him, it is regrettable that the naira has not been redesigned for the past 19 years owing to lack of political will from previous administrations.

“In the past, I have to confess that attempts by the CBN to redesign and re-issue the naira notes have been resisted. It is only President Muhammadu Buhari that has exhibited the courage to do so,” he stated.

Emefiele said it was the mandate of the CBN, to redesign and re-issue the notes, stressing that the exercise would become a regular trend after five to eight years.

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His words,”After today, the CBN will begin to redesign and reissue the naira for every five to eight years”

The CBN governor said that Nigeria has gone cashless and that security agencies would monitor people making withdrawal at the counter to know how much withdrawn and also monitor the usage of the money.

He debunked insinuations that the policy was targeted at anyone, especially the political class.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: FG Unveils Redesigned Naira Notes To General Public [PHOTOS]

He said that the CBN was determined in ensuring that the provision of the law on volume of money one should carry is followed.

“The world has moved to cashless economy and the CBN has moved to cashless economy. We will restrain the volume of cash someone will withdraw over the counter. We will follow up with the person’s data to know the reason for such withdrawal,” he said.

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Commenting on calls for extension of time for the usage of old notes, the CBN boss said, “we will not go with people that want extension of time. From today, this currency that was reissued will become a legal tender.”

Emefiele also said there is no local government area in the country where there is no bank agent, insisting that there is over one million points across the country that people should go and deposit the old notes.

The CBN boss also boasted that the new naira notes cannot be counterfeited because of the features in them.

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