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We have right to print money and lend the Government – CBN Governor Speaks Out

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The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has dismissed the claim by the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, that the bank printed and shared money to states as “unfortunate and totally inappropriate”.

Mr Emefiele said printing money is a key mandate of the central bank, and the bank must always act to support the government at times of financial difficulties.

Mr Obaseki on Monday said the country is facing a serious financial crisis and called on the federal government to act quickly.

“When we got FAAC for March, the federal government printed additional N50-N60 billion to top-up for us to share,” he said.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, dismissed the claim, insisting the FAAC allocation was revenue from different agencies of the government.

Mr Obaseki in a tweet on Thursday said the government was “playing the ostrich”, and urged the government to take urgent steps to end the current “monetary rascality”.

“Printing Money”

Mr Emefiele addressed the matter on Thursday while speaking to journalists in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area, Nasarawa State.

“If you understand the concept of printing of money. The concept printing of money, it’s about lending money.

“That’s our job – to print. It’s about lending money and so there’s no need putting the controversy about printing of money as if we are going into the factory printing the naira and start distributing on the streets,” he was quoted as saying by ThisDay.

“For us to see some people playing some games, overheating his polity talking about printing of money, I think it is unfortunate and totally inappropriate. I would like to advise that this should stop. We should all work for the growth of our country and not play politics.

“It is very inappropriate for people to just give some colouration to the word ‘printing of money’ as if it is a foreign word coming from the sky.

 

“In 2015/2016, we were in a similar [fiscal] situation, but it is far worse today. We provided budget support facility to all the states of the country and that loan remains unpaid till now. We are going to insist on the states paying the loan back since they are effectively accusing us of giving them loans.

“Most countries of the world today are confronted by not just the health crisis from the COVID pandemic but also economic crisis. I keep saying this: it would be irresponsible of the central bank of Nigeria or any central bank to stand idle and refuse to support its government at this time. Whatever we do in Nigeria is being done in any clime.

“Nigeria is unfortunately in a very bad situation and we cannot pretend about it in the sense that we are facing problems about productivity output which is gross domestic product (GDP). We are working very hard to see how we can get our heads above water. We are also concerned with issues of inflation.”


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IGP orders removal of senior police officers from EFCC.

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The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali, has ordered an immediate withdrawal of senior police officers attached to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The development signals a simmering hostility between the two law enforcement agencies with a longstanding history of collaboration that has helped the anti-graft agency to meet its personnel needs since inception.

This newspaper, late Tuesday, obtained a copy of the IGP’s letter dated April 15, 2021 asking the EFCC chair, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to release all senior officers from the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), and above, attached to the commission.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bashir Ahmad Twitter handle]

The letter, signed on behalf of the IGP by his Principal Staff Officer, Idowu Owohunwa, an acting commissioner of police, cited “the current operational requirements” as the reason for the withdrawal of the police officers.

The correspondence (with reference number, CB: 3380/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.3/547) which was said to have been received with “shock” by the commission, also directed the affected officers to report to Mr Owohunwa by 10a.m. on Wednesday “for further instructions.”

“I write to extend the warmest regards of the Inspector General of Police and to inform the Chairman that the Inspector General of Police has directed the withdrawal of all Senior Police Officers from the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and above attached to your agency.

“This decision is informed by the current operational requirements of the Force. You are accordingly requested to kindly direct the immediate release of the concerned Officers who are to collectively report to the undersigned on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 1000hrs for further instructions,” the read in part.

In addition, the IGP also requested the EFCC chair to “avail this office (IGP office) the comprehensive nominal roll of all police personnel attached to the EFCC to include their date of transfer and designations in the agency for the purpose of updating our records.”

 

Wide gap in EFCC?

PREMIUM TIMES understands that 25 CSPs performing crucial operational roles at the EFCC are affected by the IGP’s directive which is bound to have an immediate negative impact on the commission’s operations.

The development is coming barely two months after Mr Bawa assumed office as EFCC chair and less than two weeks after Mr Alkali was appointed acting IGP.

The anti-graft agency, which was said to have been shocked by the IGP’s directive, is worried that the development came at a time when it has yet to take full benefit of the resources it expended on training the officers.

“These are officers holding crucial positions at the EFCC. A lot of resources have been expended on them to train them to work for the commission, and the commission has not taken full benefit of its investment on them.

 

“They are sectional heads in the commission with many detectives under them receiving training from them. Some of them are even currently handling crucial national assignments on behalf of the commission. This is going to create a wide gap within the commission,” a top EFCC official, who asked not to be named because of lack of authority to speak to the media on the matter, told PREMIUM TIMES.

There has been a longstanding collaboration between the police and the EFCC in the area of deployment of police officers to the commission as detectives and for other operational roles.

All previous EFCC chairpersons since inception had policing background.

Mr Bawa, a pioneer cadet officer of the commission, is the first chair of the anti-graft agency without policing background.


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Policemen Attempt To Take Bribe From A Spanish Who Just Arrived In Nigeria

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A video circulating on social media shows the moment and officer of the Nigeria Police Force was demanding bribe from a Spanish bike rider.

The policeman had flagged down the biker as he approached the checkpoint. After revealing that he is coming from Spain, the officer then proceeded to ask him what he has for them.

There was a back and forth interaction as the Spanish man said he has no cash on him but the policeman insisted he must give them something.

However, the Spaniard said he only his his card on him which he intends to use to withdraw money when he reaches Lagos.

The officer has been heavily criticised and condemned by Nigerians who say he is one of those who give the nation bad image.

Nigerian Police are very crazy at times


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FG Finally Lifts Ban on Sim Registration In Nigeria

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The Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, Section 23(a), specifies the role of the Minister to include the formulation, determination and monitoring of the general policy for the communications sector.

In line with this, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM coordinated and led the development of a Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration in collaboration with all other stakeholders. An earlier policy was approved on the 4th of February 2020. while the Revised Policy was developed in early March 2021. The final amendments to the revised Policy based on the directives of Mr President to make the use of NIN mandatory for all SIM registration were completed yesterday, 14th of April, 2021.

Prior to that, the key aspects of the draft Policy were presented to the stakeholders at the 4th Review Meeting of the Ministerial Task Force (MTF) on the NIN-SIM registration which held on Friday, 26th of February, 2021. Key stakeholders and members of the MTF who joined the Honourable Minister at the meeting included the EVC/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), DG/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON). Others included the NCC Executive Commissioners for Technical Services and Stakeholder Management, MD/CEOs of MTN, Airtel, EMTS (9Mobile), NTEL. Spectranet and SMILE, as well as the COO of Glo.

Dr Pantami also presented the Revised Policy to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on Friday, 26th of March, 2021. Mr President made further improvements and endorsed it for implementation. Mr President also commended the Honourable Minister for his commitment in carrying out the responsibility of developing the digital economy sector, including championing the NIN-SIM registration process.

The Policy includes Guidelines on New SIM Acquisition and Activation, SIM Replacement, New SIM Activation for Corporates and Internet-of-Things/Machine-to-Machine (loT/M2M), amongst others. The possession of a National Identity number will be a prerequisite for each of these categories. For the Corporate registration, institutions will be required to appoint a Telecoms Master (at the minimum of an Executive Management level) to provide the operational Primary NIN representation. The Telecoms Master will also be responsible for ensuring that the users provide their NINs to serve as a Secondary NIN.

For loT/M2M activations, SIM security protocols would be implemented on the SIM profile to ensure that SIMs can only be used for point to point data services specific to the URL they are working with. All other services will be barred. In the event that a data-only service is particular to individual use (eg home car tracking, WiFi, MiFi services, etc), the standard NIN registration process will be followed. A Telecoms Master will also be required for Corporates requiring |oT/M2M activations. The full details of the requirements for each class of service will be made available in due course. Significant progress has been made in the NIN registration process across the country.

Nonetheless, the Federal Government is committed to supporting all Nigerians and legal residents to obtain a NIN. The biometric verification process has been slower than anticipated, owing largely to the non-adherence of many previous SIM biometric capture processes to the NIMC standards. The Revised Policy will ensure that operators conform to the required standards for biometric capture.

The Guidelines in the Policy have been painstakingly developed and while they are thorough. it should be noted that they have been developed that way in National interest since the SIM is essentially a national resource. Citizens and legal residents are encouraged to bear with the government as the process has been developed in the best interest of the country.

The implementation of the Policy will commence on Monday. 19th of April 2021. The issuance of New SIMs and other suspended activities will resume on the same date, as long as verification is done and the guidelines are fully adhered to. The Honourable Minister has also directed NCC and NIMC to ensure that the provisions of the Policy are strictly followed by all operators and subscribers.

Dr Pantami wishes to thank Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise. He reiterated government’s commitment to continually taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration.


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