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Why Okada Riders in Kubwa Reject New Naira Notes




Some commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada riders, in Kubwa area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are rejecting the new Naira notes on grounds of alleged counterfeits in circulation.

A number of the riders told the press on Sunday that they do not want to fall victims of fraudsters in their quest of getting their daily income.

Salisu Umar, an Okada rider, who was seen refusing to accept a N500 new note from a passenger, said that the money looked fake.

Umar, who brought out an old N500 note from his inner pocket compared the very squeezed old N500 note to the fairly used new N500 note he was being paid by the passenger.

He said he preferred the old Naira notes and since it was back in circulation he has decided to refuse collecting the new notes, especially the new N500 and N1000 new notes.

Another okada rider, Audu Ezekiel, said he hardly accept the new Naira note from passengers because the notes got old on time.

“When I put the new Naira notes in my pocket for hours, before you know it, it would look very old once it’s squeezed small.

“ Because of the way our job is I can not be arranging money in my pocket whenever I want to give a customer change,” he said.

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Another okada rider, who identified himself as Ibro, said he was not totally rejecting the new Naira notes but he did when the note presented to him looked suspicious.

He, however, said that it was difficult identifying a real note from the fake one with the Naira redesign, adding that most of the new notes looked fake to him.

He said that because the new and old notes were acceptable with more of the old notes in circulation, he preferred to be in possession of the old notes which is the one he is familiar with.

Ibro said that another reason most of his colleagues felt the new notes in circulation were fake, was because Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale (PoS) were no longer dispensing new Naira notes.

“ So when we see a new note, we suspect its production and this is because we don’t want to lose money that might be identified as fake when we go to buy something,” he said.

A passenger and resident in Kubwa, Mrs Ngozi Ibeh, frowned at the attitude of okada riders who had severally rejected new Naira notes from her.

“I was going to work on Thursday and took okada from my house to Federal Housing Junction where I usually enter car to secretariat.

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“ When I got to the junction and gave the man N500 new note to collect N350 change, he refused it and said I should give him the old N100 note he saw with me rather than the N150 he was meant to collect.

“ I was happy he collected the N100 though because I had limited cash on me but for how long will the rejection continue,” she said.

Ibeh said that there was need for okada riders to be sensitised on the Naira swap and its redesign even though there had been reports of counterfeit notes production in some states.

“Unfortunately, we have also heard reports of fake old Naira notes so I don’t know why they are acting this way towards the acceptance of the new Naira notes,” she said.

Since the CBN released the redesigned Naira notes in the denominations of N200, N500 and N1,000, fake notes, especially of the new N1,000 notes have reportedly been in circulation.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured that the banknotes were protected by some security features to enable easy recognition of genuine notes.

According to a statement by the Currency Operations Department of the apex bank, one of the distinguishing features between the fake and the real notes can be recognised by touch and visibility.

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“If the texture of the Naira note is soft and the image in it appears dull, it is likely to be fake.

“This means that you should be sensitive to the touch of the money you are given when involved in any transaction.

“The N1,000 note has a gold foil on the right side, just near the CBN Governor’s signature.

“If you scratch the gold foil of a fake note it will peel off instantly, but the gold foil on the original note does not peel,” the CBN explained.(NAN)


Oil Spillage: NOSDRA, Stakeholders Move to Tackle Menace 




The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, (NOSDRA), has called on stakeholders in the petroleum industry, to take measures that would prevent oil spill in Nigeria.

The Chairman, Governing Board of NOSDRA, and Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Yamusa (III), made the call on Thursday in Abuja, at a stakeholders meeting with oil companies operating in Nigeria.

Yamusa said that operators in the petroleum sector shared a common goal of ensuring the effective response to oil spill and sustainable management of the Nigerian environment for national development.

He said oil spillage could be prevented through compliance with extant laws, regulations and guidelines, on environmental management in the petroleum industry.

The Royal Father was represented by Mr Idris Musa, the Director-General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

He said that stakeholders would discuss action plans on the management of oil spills in 2023, with emphasis on reviewing regulatory procedures with regards to reportage.

Others he said, included, the conduct of Joint Investigation Visits (JIV), Clean-Up and remediation of oil spill impacted sites. as well as the conduct of Post Spill Impact Assessment (PSIA), among others.

“The transparent conduct of these processes is very important, not just for the integrity and credibility of the regulatory agency (NOSDRA), but also for sustainable environment management, fair, just and amicable resolution of disputes that may arise therefrom.

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“The vision statement of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency is to create, nurture and sustain a zero tolerance for oil spill incidents.

“This can only be achieved if players in the industry take measures to ensure prevention of oil spill occurrence through compliance with extant laws, regulations and guidelines on environmental management in the petroleum industry,” Yamusa said.

In his remarks, Musa said that oil spill management was of paramount importance to the agency and other stakeholders in the oil sector.

“We are actually aware of the devastating impacts that oil spills have on ecosystems, wildlife, local economies, the well- being and livelihoods of host communities.

“It is a collective responsibility that we must shoulder together as stakeholders representing various sectors, to tackle this pressing issue head-on, and work towards effective and efficient solutions,” the D-G said.

Also addressing journalists on the sidelines of the event, Musa said the agency had made impact in cleaning oil spills in the oil producing areas through the Clean-Up and remediation of oil spill impacted sites.

“As of today, I can tell you that NOSDRA as an agency, has certified about 40 cleaned-up impacted sites in Ogoni land and there are almost about the same number in the process at different levels of operations.

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“None is less than 50 per cent, in another few months, we will be recording about 70 to 80 per cent clean-up sites in Ogoni land,” the D-G said. (NAN)

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Tinubu Directs NEC to Work on Subsidy Removal Palliatives




By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Bola Tinubu, yesterday directed the National Economic Council (NEC) led by Vice President Kashim Shettima to device an approach and begin the process of working on interventions to mitigate the impact of subsidy removal on the Nigerians.

Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, stated this after leading some major oil marketers on a courtesy visit to the President at the State House in Abuja.

Addressing correspondents after the meeting, Abiodun, who was a former chairman of the oil marketers association, stated that the marketers expressed solidarity with the President for removing the N4trn subsidy burden, a move that can enhance the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocation to states.

The group of marketers subsequently announced their intention to donate to 50 to 100, fifty-seater mass transit buses that would run on CNG, costing N100m each and N10bn cumulatively, to cushion the effect of the removal within the next 30 days.

They are hoping other corporate bodies can emulate their action.

The President’s meeting with the oil marketers comes amid the controversy and protests trailing the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit known as petrol.

President Tinubu, during his inaugural speech on May 29 at the Eagle Square in Abuja had announced the removal of subsidy payment on petrol. The President said that the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari did not make provisions for subsidy in the 2023 budget beyond June.

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Many Nigerians had expected that the new price regime would come into effect by July 1 but almost immediately after the presidential pronouncement, queues resurfaced at filling stations across the country even as retail outlets hoard the product and increase prices.

Already, a litre of petrol is being sold at over N500 across the country following NNPC price adjustment and the presidential pronouncement on subsidy removal.

Fuel queues have since surged for the vital commodity, compounding the traffic situation in parts of the country, even as transportation cost skyrocket to more than 100% increment.

The Organised Labour had resolved to embark on a nationwide strike beginning Wednesday but was restrained by a court order of Monday, June 5, 2023. The Organised Labour subsequently shelved its planned strike after a meeting with the Federal Government late Monday.

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ICAN Tasks New Accountant General on Nigeria’s Financial Stability




By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called on the new Accountant-General of the Federation, Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, FCA to ensure financial stability, transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s financial sector.

The President of ICAN, Dr. Innocent Okwuosa, gave the charge when he paid a visit to the AGF in her office in Abuja.

In a statement from ICAN, Okwuosa noted that the position of the Accountant-General of Nigeria carries immense responsibilities, especially now that Nigeria stands at a pivotal juncture, facing a rapidly evolving economic landscape, changing regulatory frameworks coupled with endemic corruption.

He said, “As the Accountant-General, you have the responsibility for maintaining the financial stability, transparency and accountability of the nation as a whole.”

He however, assured her of ICAN’s continued support to her office to ensure effective management of government finances, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the country’s budget and other fiscal management obligations.

‘’We understand the enormity of your responsibilities and we will continue to encourage you and all our members in the public service and private sectors to adhere to the profession’s ethics to succeed” he added.

Okwuosa also used the opportunity to inform the AGF of the ICAN Accountability Index (ICAN-AI), one of the Institute’s innovations to contribute to the promotion of accountability and transparency in the Federation.

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It is a novel and first-of-its-kind Index developed to assist the adoption of best practices in Public Financial Management (PFM) in all tiers of government.

He added that the ICAN-AI has been ratified by several national and international organizations (such as, the World Bank, the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA), the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), among others) as an equitable and professional way of monitoring Public Financial Management practices.

The Accountant- General in her response expressed her appreciation to the ICAN team for the honor.

She said, “I acknowledge the enormity of the task and I am aware that the expectation is very high especially in relation to accountability and transparency which I believe the Institute has a lot of resources in stock to give all its members and non members to follow, the ethics of the profession is there, beckoning on us on how to handle our activities, so as not to be caught in the web. 

“Thank you for bringing this to the fore, we cherish them and it will continue to be our watchword in the office of the Accountant- General”.

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