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Government officials spend $3.95 billion on estacodes in 2019—-CBN

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele


—- as CBN uses N538.59m to destroy dirty naira notes worth N698.59bn in 2020
 Eyewitness reporter

The Federal government spent a whopping sum of $3.95 billion as estacodes and Personal Travel Allowances to ministries, departments as well as to fund Bureaux De Change operations in 2019.

The CBN, in the 2020 annual report of its Currency Operations Department released on Thursday, said the forex procured for the payment of estacodes and PTA to the MDAs as well as the funding of BDC operations dropped to $2.12bn last year.

“The receipt and authentication of foreign currency deposits by Deposit Money Banks reduced significantly due to the downturn in global trade in 2020,” it said.

The apex bank said it recorded a significant reduction in the volume and cost of forex procurement last year.

It said, “A total of $1,830.00m was procured over the course of 2020. This value represents a decrease of $2,120.00m or 53.67 percent relative to the $3,950.00m procured in 2019.

“This was used to fund Bureaux De Change operations, payment of estacode and Personal Travel Allowances to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.”

The CBN said it used N538.59m to destroy unfit naira notes worth N698.59bn last year.

The report said, “The bank sustained banknotes disposal operations in 2020 to ensure the circulation of clean banknotes

” In furtherance of this objective, it deployed 11 banknote destruction systems and three currency disintegrating systems for currency disposal activities in the period under review.

“At end-December 2020, a total of 1,514.66 million pieces (151,427 boxes) valued at N698.59bn was disposed, compared with 1,572.17 million pieces (157,217 boxes) valued at N814.44bn in 2019.

“The boxes and value of unfit notes disposed of in 2020 decreased by 5,790 boxes and N1.12bn, respectively, below 157,217 boxes, valued at N814.44bn in 2019.

“The decrease was attributed to the suspension of disposal activities due to COVID-19 restrictions.”

“The sum of N538.59m was incurred on currency disposal activities in 2020, compared with N647.82m in 2019. This was N109.23m or 16.86 percent lower than the cost in 2019,” it added.

The report said a total of 79,993 pieces of mutilated banknotes of various denominations valued at N52.82m was audited, disposed and replaced in 2020, compared with 865,775 pieces valued at N45.99m.

The CBN said to maintain the integrity of the banknotes in circulation, it sustained efforts at combating counterfeiting activities in 2020, in collaboration with security agencies.

It said a total of 67,265 pieces of counterfeit notes with a nominal value of N56.83m was recorded in 2020, compared to 84,934 pieces valued at N64.71m in 2019.

It said the N1,000 and N500 denominations constituted the bulk of counterfeited banknotes, accounting for 69.06 percent and 30.79 percent, respectively, of the total counterfeit notes.

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Nigerians to groan under fresh fuel scarcity for another two weeks- Independent Petroleum Marketers

The Eyewitness Reporter 
The current fuel crisis in the country may not go anytime soon as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has warned that the situation may likely persist for the next two weeks.
Speaking against the fresh fuel scarcity in the country, the IPMAN’s Public Relations Officer, Chinedu Ukadike disclosed that there is no petrol product available for supply in the country.
Ukadike, in a statement, said there is a breach in the international supply chain, adding that fuel is not available even for Nigeria’s sole supplier, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NPCL).
This follows an ongoing turnaround maintenance of refineries in Europe.Ukadike explained that once there is a breach in the international supply chain, it will have an impact on domestic supply because they depend on imports.

“The situation is that there is no product. Once there is a lack of supply or inadequate supply, what you will see is scarcity and queues will emerge at filling stations.

“On the part of NNPCL, which is the sole supplier of petroleum products in Nigeria, they have attributed the challenge to logistics and vessel problems.

“Once there is a breach in the international supply chain, it will have an impact on domestic supply because we depend on imports.

” I also have it on good authority that most of the refineries in Europe are undergoing turnaround maintenance, so sourcing petroleum products has become a bit difficult.” IPMAN spokesman said.
According to him, “NNPC Group CEO has assured us that there will be improvement in the supply chain because their vessels are arriving”.“Once that is done, normalcy will return. This is because once the 30-day supply sufficiency is disrupted, it takes two to three months to restore it.

“We expect that by next week or so, NNPC should be able to restore supply and with another week, normalcy should return,” he said.

Ukadike further stated that “NNPC has said the marketers who have not been able to renew their licences will not be allowed to remain on their portal which has been shut for some time now.

” Because of this, we have not been able to request new products”.

 “At this nascent period of deregulation, you will discover that this leads to scarcity, even when the product arrives.

“As it is now, even by their data, out of 15,000 marketers that are on the portal with licences, only 1,050 renewed their licences.

“The requirement for renewal by NMDPRA is so much. Marketers are facing a hostile environment. NNPC placed a deadline of April 15, 2024, for marketers to renew their licences.

“We are, therefore, appealing to NNPC to extend this deadline and also to NMDPRA to hasten the release of licences of marketers who have completed their processes, and also reduce bottlenecks around licence renewals.”

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CBN sells $15.830m at N1.021 per dollar to 1,583 BDCs

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso
The Eyewitness Reporter 
In its ongoing effort to ensure liquidity in the foreign exchange market which is expected to ease the pressure on the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday disbursed the sum of $15,830,000m to 1,583 licensed Bureau De Change Operators at $10, 000 each.
In a letter dated April 22nd, 2024 and addressed to the President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria and signed by Dr Hassan Mahmud, the Director, Trade and Exchange Department of the CBN, the beneficiaries are mandated to sell allocated forex to eligible end users ” at a spread of not more than 1.5 percent above the purchase price.
The CBN said the sale of forex to the BDCs will meet market demand (retail-end) for invisible transactions.
The apex bank however advised all the BDCs to continue to abide by the rules and conditions as stipulated in the operational guidelines.
The beneficiary BDCs have trading locations at Lagos, Abuja, Akwa and Kano.
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News Alert! CBN revokes operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators for breach of regulatory guidelines

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

The Eyewitness Reporter

In its continuous efforts to sanitize the foreign exchange market and halt the frightening slide of the naira in exchange for the dollars, the Central Bank of Nigeria has revoked the operational licenses of 1,173 Bureau De Change operators.

In a press release issued Friday, March 1st, 2024 and signed by Mrs. Sidi Ali Hakama, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, the apex bank said the axed BDCs failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions which include payment of all necessary fees, including license renewal within the stipulated period in line with the Guidelines, rendition of returns in line with the Guidelines, compliance with guideline, directives and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering(AML), countering the Financing of Terrorism(CFT)and Counter-Proliferation Financing(CPF) regulations.

The apex bank said it relied on the powers conferred on it under the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act(BOFIA)2020, Act n0.5 and Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureaux De Change 2015(the Guidelines).

“The CBN is revising the regulatory and supervisory guidelines for Bureau de Change operations in Nigeria. Compliance with the new requirements will be mandatory for all stakeholders in the sector when the revised guidelines become effective.

‘Members of the Public are hereby advised to take note and be guided accordingly”, the statement concluded.

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