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Obaseki Faults CBN’s New Monetary Policy

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The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has faulted the Central Bank of Nigeria for raising the Monetary Policy Rate by 22.75 per cent.

Obaseki contended that the decision is not the answer to the ongoing economic challenges in the country.

He supported boosting local production to meet the demand for goods and services.

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The governor gave this opinion in a speech as a guest speaker during the Annual Dinner of Edo Zone Bankers Committee in Benin City, the Edo State capital, as shared in a video posted on his official Twitter account on Monday.

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He said, “I understand that the monetary rational for increasing MPR but fundamentally and fiscally, it is not going to lead to growth in our economy.

“We must focus on the fundamentals which is increasing production, making sure our citizens produce the goods and services we consume and depend less on import.

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“Our economic policy and monetary policy cannot be determined by exchange rate alone. So, this whole issue of increasing the cash reserves in a bid to tighten liquidity is going to be detrimental to our economy. I understand the challenge the monetary authorities face but unfortunately you cannot plan with one hand.

READ ALSO: Obaseki Takes Steps To Tackle Price Hike In Edo, Meets, Trade Unions, Other Stakeholders

“The economy is about the fiscal and monetary policies, both must work hand in hand and when they don’t, as they don’t in Nigeria, we will have crises. So, we should focus on fiscal issues so that we can grow our economy out of the challenges we have.”

Last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to 22.75%.

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The CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, revealed this during the announcement of the first MPC meeting of the year in Abuja on Tuesday.

Cardoso said the committee voted to adjust the asymmetric corridor around the MPR to +100 to -700 from plus 100 to -300 basis points and raised the cash reserve ratio from 32.5 per cent to 45 per cent.

READ ALSO: Obaseki Looks To Lithium Mining, EV Battery Production As New FOREX Earner

The MPR has been 18.75 per cent since the last MPC meeting between July 24 and 25, 2023.

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With inflation at 29.90 per cent, Cardoso mentioned that the latest MPR adjustment is aimed at addressing the country’s inflation rate.

Obaseki added, “We should not panic too much because of foreign exchange, we must focus on how we can do things within our economy, how we can grow our economy to earn more foreign exchange. Foreign exchange is our problem, but I believe that creating jobs for young people should be more of a priority for us a people at this time.”

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CAC To Cancel Certificates Of BDCs With Revoked Licences

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said it would cancel the certificates of incorporation of Bureaux De Change(BCDs) whose licences have been revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN).

The Nation reported in February the CBN revoked the licences of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators over their failure to meet regulatory guidelines.

In a statement by its acting Director, Corporate Communications, Sidi Hakama, CBN explained that the regulatory provisions flouted include nonpayment of all necessary fees within the stipulated period.

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CBN said: “The affected institutions failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions: Payment of all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with the guidelines.

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“Rendition of returns in line with the guidelines; compliance with guidelines, directives, and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Counter-Proliferation Financing regulations.”

However, in line with the above directive by the CBN, the CAC in a notice on its website on Wednesday, said the certificates would be cancelled within three months if the affected companies do not change the names and objects of such companies.

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The general public is hereby informed that following the revocation of the operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change companies by the Central Bank of Nigeria vide a Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette (Vol. 111) No. 37 of February 27, 2024 for noncompliance with Regulatory Standards, the Corporate Affairs Commission in the exercise of its powers under section 8(1)(e) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 advises these companies to within three months from the date of this publication, change the names and objects of such companies.

“Failure to change the names and objects within the stipulated time frame shall result in cancellation of certificate of incorporation and dissolution. It is to be noted that it is unlawful for a company whose certificate has been deemed dissolved to carry on business,” the CAC notice reads.

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FG Suspends Taxes On Maize, Wheat, Rice, Others

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The Federal Government has suspended duties, tariffs and taxes on some essential food items imported through land and sea borders.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, announced this at the National Press Centre, Abuja.

Kyari also said the Federal Government has also inaugurated the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee to develop and implement policies that prioritize livestock development and align with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

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He stated that the listed food items, which include maize, wheat, husked brown rice and cowpeas, will enjoy a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window.

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He added that the move is part of the Presidential Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan, which is aimed at achieving food security and economic stability in the country.

According to him: “The Federal Government has announced a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities, suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders). These commodities include maize, husked brown rice, wheat and cowpeas.

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“Under this arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

“I am glad to reiterate that the Government’s position exemplifies standards that would not compromise the safety of the various food items for consumption.

“In addition to the importation by the private sector, the Federal Government will import 250,000MT of wheat and 250,000MT of maize. The imported food commodities in their semi-processed state will target supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.”

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CAC Extends PoS Registration Deadline 

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The Corporate Affairs Commission has announced the approval to extend the mandatory Point of Sales agents, super agents and sole agents registration to September 5th, 2024.

The commission made the announcement in a statement signed by its management and posted on its Facebook page on Saturday, giving a 60-day extension.

It said the extension is to give sufficient time to operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.

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The statement read, “The Corporate Affairs Commission wishes to notify Fintech Operators also known as Point of Sales Operators that the initial deadline of 7th July 2024 given for the registration of sole Agents, Super Agents and Agents has been extended for sixty days beginning from 7th July 2024 to the 5th September 2024.

“This is to give sufficient time to Operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.”

It added operators who continue to disobey after the new deadline will risk losing their businesses and facing prosecution for assisting criminal activities.

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“Operators who fail or refuse to register at the end of the extended deadline run the risk of losing such businesses and prosecution for aiding and abetting criminal activities,” it said.

 

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