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Sowore:Ex-Presidential Candidate Crossed Red Lines-DSS



Minimum wage: FG inaugurates committee to adjust workers’ salaries

The Department of Security Services (DSS) has disclosed that Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the Publisher of Sahara Reporters and founder of the African Action Congress (AAC), was arrested by security operatives and is in their custody for now.

The DSS Spokesperson Peter Afunaya claimed that Sowore crossed the red line after he called for a revolution over alleged bad governance, insecurity and corruption, among other national issues.

Meanwhile, PRNigeria gathered that the security agencies in Nigeria were concerned about foreign interest in the agitation for the planned Revolution Now Protest.

The DSS at a media briefing in Abuaj maintained that the proposed revolution march instigated by former Presidential Candidate of AAC will threaten public safety, peaceful co-existence and social harmony.

Hence, the DSS, as a responsible security agency, will not just sit idly and watch any individual, group and their cohorts rise and threaten the peace, unity, and constitutionalism of the country.

Afunaya who described revolution as insurgency, revolt, insurrection and forceful takeover of government, added that Nigeria is not a Banana Republic and cannot be made one by the likes of Mr. Sowore.

He emphasized that DSS will not allow self-centered and violence-inclined persons to take law into their own hands.

“Though there is apprehension and anxiety among citizens already, we wish to assure friends of Nigeria, and other law-abiding citizens, that there will be no revolution of any kind come Monday, August 5, 2019.

“A democratically elected government is in charge, and we cannot allow any person or group to foment chaos or fan the ember of revolution,” he said.


Recapitalization: Pressure Mounts as Eight Banks Fail CBN Stress Test




By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The proposed recapitalisation of the deposit money banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is beginning to take a toll as eight of the commercial banks have fallen short of the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) required for international authorisation.

In a stress test conducted by the CBN, eight of them failed.

Consequently, the affected banks have been put under pressure to raise their capital base to bridge the gap, which was brought about by the depreciation of the naira against the dollar and other foreign currencies.

Last Friday, the CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso said commercial banks in the country would be directed to increase their capital base, arguing that the banks currently don’t have sufficient capital relative to the finance system needs in servicing a $1trn economy.

He said, “Considering the policy imperatives and the projected economic growth, it is crucial for us to evaluate the adequacy of our banking industry to serve the envisioned larger economy.

“It is not just about the stability of the financial system at the moment as we have already established at the current assessment to show stability.

“However, we need to ask ourselves: will Nigerian banks have sufficient capital relative to the finance system needs in servicing a $1trn economy in the near future? In my opinion, the answer is No unless we take action.

“Therefore, we must make difficult decisions regarding capital adequacy. As a first step, the Central Bank will be directing banks to increase their capital.”

The presidency has also backed plan by CBN to increase the capital base of deposit money banks in the country.

According President Bola Tinubu, “Amidst the general lull in global economy, our ambition to attain a $1 trillion economy appears daunting. But we believe it is achievable, with God on our side and our collective determination.

“To arrive at the $1 trillion economic destination, we believe that we must address the capital adequacy of our banks that will provide the fuel for the journey.”

He said, “Considering the policy imperatives and the projected economic growth, it is crucial for us to evaluate the adequacy of our banking industry to serve the envisioned larger economy.

“It is not just about the stability of the financial system at the moment as we have already established at the current assessment to show stability.”

The last time CBN increased capital base for banks was in 2005 when the current Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo was the apex bank chief. Capital base was raised from N2billion to N25billion.

The CBN through its 2021 guidelines had mandated the deposit money banks to maintain a prudential CAR of 10 percent for national and regional banks.

Those with international authorisation were instructed to uphold a 15 percent regulatory CAR.

However, the CBN report showed a decline in the banking system’s CAR, dropping to 11.2 percent, which is 3.0 percent short.

This is below the 15.0 percent threshold set for banks with international authorisation.

The decline in the banks’ CAR was attributed to a decrease in total qualifying capital relative to increased risk-weighted assets due to the naira’s depreciation following the adoption of a market-determined exchange rate policy.

This reflects the challenges faced by these institutions.

The banks were scrutinised based on their capital strength and risk profile, a crucial measure of a bank’s financial stability.

The stress test was conducted to assess the banks’ financial health and their ability to withstand adverse economic conditions and shocks.

Specifically, the test focused on the CAR, which measures the proportion of a bank’s capital to its risk-weighted assets and is used to determine the bank’s financial stability.

The CAR is a regulatory requirement set by CBN and each bank is expected to maintain a minimum level of capital to ensure their ability to absorb potential losses.

Based on the results of the stress test, it was discovered that among the affected banks with international authorisation, their capital adequacy ratio was lower than the minimum regulatory requirement set by the CBN.

This implies that these banks may have insufficient capital to meet potential losses during challenging economic conditions, which could potentially impact their overall financial stability.

The CBN’s revelation of the banks’ CAR falling below the minimum regulatory requirement emphasises the need for appropriate measures to be taken to address this issue.

It could prompt regulatory action, such as requiring the affected banks to raise additional capital or implement strategies to strengthen their financial position to mitigate any potential risks to the banking sector and the economy.

The depreciation, stemming from the CBN’s managed float of the exchange rate in June significantly impacted banks, leading to substantial foreign exchange losses.

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Economist Tasks CBN on Approach to Forex Challenge




By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Muda Yusuf has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to take a comprehensive approach in tackling the current foreign exchange challenges. 

Yusuf, an economist, spoke in Lagos against the background of the Federal Government’s plan to officially adopt a N750 to a U.

dollar exchange rate for 2024.

He acknowledged that the CBN was currently implementing a new market-based approach in managing the foreign exchange market, perceived as more efficient and transparent.

He said that this had led to a weaker Naira currency, but noted that could improve over time.

According to him, the success of this new approach will rely on its ability to attract foreign investment, promote economic growth, and effectively manage inflation.

 He, however, said that the government’s decision to officially adopt a new exchange rate of N750 per U. S. dollar for 2024 could have positive and negative consequences for the economy.

According to him, the current exchange rate is more realistic and reflects the true value of the currency, as well as the government’s efforts to eliminate foreign exchange subsidies.

The economist said the development had resulted in increased government revenue, as the conversion of dollar earnings at N750 is more favourable compared to the previous rates.

He explained that the major advantage of the new exchange rate is its positive impact on government revenue.

Yusuf said, “unlike what was used before, the current exchange rate, as its used, is more realistic and reflects the market situation; the true value of the currency of the exchange rate.

“More importantly, the attempt to eliminate the foreign exchange subsidy that has existed before has helped to increase government revenue.

“So, these are some of the major advantages that this new exchange rate will bring to the economy and the governments; there will be major revenue advantages.

 “Can you imagine when we were converting our dollar earnings at N450?  You can imagine what it was under the previous governments compared to the dollar earnings at N750 to a dollar.

“You can see that the revenue implication is huge. So, there’s a major revenue advantage,’’ he said.

He noted that challenges encountered during previous attempts to manage the exchange rate included corruption and a large difference between the official rate and the parallel market rate.

According to him, such discrepancies create incentives for round-tripping and hinder economic stability.

“The premium between the official rate and the parallel market rate was very high; getting close to almost 100 per cent. You can’t run an economy that way such that you now create incentives for people to now be round tripping.

 “So, there’s a major problem of corruption and round tripping that the previous foreign exchange regime created.

`Secondly, it lacked transparency because we didn’t know who was getting what and what the criteria for the allocation was. This eroded public trust and confidence in the financial system, among others.’’

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Power Minister Adelabu Dumps Accord, Rejoin APC




By Jude Opara, Abuja

Despite concerns by opposition political parties that the country is gradually gravitating towards a one-party state, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu has made public his intention to return to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Adelabu, a member of the Accord Party (A), before his appointment as a minister wrote the state chairman and APC leaders in Oyo State, saying he would officially announce his return on Dec 15.

He left APC during the build-up to the Oyo 2023 elections after losing to Senator Teslim Folarin at the party’s primary election.

The minister then moved to the Accord Party where he emerged as the gubernatorial candidate in the 2023 general elections in Oyo State.

In the letter, Adelabu boasted that he will install an APC-led government in Oyo State in 2027.

Meanwhile, the APC has said that it has no jitters over the alleged merger of some opposition parties ahead of the 2027 general elections.

National Publicity Secretary of APC, Felix Morka at a press conference on Thursday said it is a welcome development if the opposition parties led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decide to come together.

According to him, the APC is also a product of a merger by some political parties in 2015, adding that it is within their democratic rights to so merge.

Morka assured that the APC has the wherewithal to withstand any gang-up by opposition political parties in the country.

 “We also read the report of conversations around the intention of some political parties to come together. We are not concerned about that.

“Whatever they [opposition] do is on them. It is up to them to justify themselves before Nigerians,” Morka stated.

The proposed merger involved a coalition of opposition political parties including; the PDP, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC), the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

The movement tagged Coalition of Concerned Political Parties (CCPP) was formed in Abuja earlier in the week at a meeting attended by leaders of the seven political parties  and hosted by the SDP.

It could be recalled that the former Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar had called on opposition parties to come together to wrest power from  the APC in 2015.Recently, the APC and the PDP were locked in an argument of alleged plot by the ruling party to drag the country into a one party state following the outcome of the last general elections as well as the verdicts brought before courts.

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