Banks update ATMs, new naira goes into circulation today; Tinubu won’t attend debate designed to embarrass him – APC | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Banks update ATMs, new naira goes into circulation today
  • Tinubu won’t attend debate designed to embarrass him – APC
  • LP postpones Ekiti, Ondo campaign due to “unusual circumstances”
  • FG approves new whistleblower bill, cancels tax holiday
  • Adeleke inaugurates Committee on Transportation to tackle thuggery, unwholesome acts in motor parks

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

Banks update ATMs, new naira goes into circulation today

On Thursday (today), Deposit Money Banks will begin issuing the newly redesigned naira notes to its clients through over-the-counter payments.

This occurs approximately three weeks after President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) announced the new legislation at a weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council at Aso Rock Villa.

The President presented the newly designed N200, N500, and N1,000 notes to the public.

In October, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said that new naira banknotes with a new design will be issued before the end of the year.

Additionally, he mentioned that the old notes will be devalued as of January 31st, 2023.

Emefiele said the redesign of the naira notes will help minimize ransom payments to terrorists and kidnappers and reduce the circulation of counterfeit notes.

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria expressed concern about the fact that eighty-five percent of the cash in circulation was being hoarded by Nigerians.

According to him, out of the total N3.3tn in circulation, close to N2.75tn are in circulation in areas unrelated to the banking system, therefore the redesign of the national currency will assist to clean up this excess cash.

On the other hand, commercial bank executives have said that they have received the new notes from the CBN in recent days and that they would begin distributing the updated currency to consumers on Thursday (today).

Tinubu won’t attend debate designed to embarrass him – APC

Bola Tinubu has been barred from attending the Arise Television-hosted town hall discussion by the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council’s Bayo Onanuga and Dele Alake.

The two released a statement on Wednesday in which they said that the APC’s flag-bearer, Bola Tinubu, would be “embarrassed” by the town hall discussion.

Over the past days, Onanuga and Alake have traded words with Nduka Obaigbena, the publisher of THISDAY newspaper and founder of Arise Television, and editors of the news organisations.

In a piece published on Monday, editors from THISDAY/Arise urged Tinubu to explain the facts behind the loss of monies to the US government.

According to the news outlets, journalists should investigate thoroughly any contender with ties to alleged drug trafficking.

They further claimed that the APC campaign council was trying to “silence free expression” because of unfavorable media coverage.

The ruling party’s campaign council, however, called the claims “baseless” and alleged that THISDAY’s creator owed taxes abroad.

Obaigbena responded on Wednesday through his chief of staff, Fauziya Mohammed, stating that, contrary to what Onanuga and Alake have said, THISDAY does not owe tax in South Africa.

Obaigbena also demanded that the APC campaign council produce Tinubu for debates instead of using “blackmail to intimate the media,” and he urged them to provide proof supporting their assertions.

Responding to Obaigbena’s comment in a statement, Onanuga and Alake alleged that the Arise TV’s town hall meetings are sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“In his first statement attacking us, Obaigbena craftily attempted to mis-characterise as an attack on free speech, our principled stand against his blackmail to have Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu appear on Arise TV and its PDP sponsored Town Hall meetings,” the statement reads.

“In the second statement, he was still adamant that our candidate must attend his town hall debate, despite our stance that our candidate is already executing another communications strategy to reach the most important target: the Nigerian voters.

“We, repeat again: We will not make our candidate available to validate a scheme which, in the light of unassailable information at our disposal, is nothing but a racket by the Arise TV owner, designed to embarrass our candidate.”

LP postpones Ekiti, Ondo campaign due to “unusual circumstances”

The Labour Party (LP) says it has postponed its presidential campaign rallies for Ekiti and Ondo states.

The party announced the postponement of the presidential campaign rallies in a post on its official Twitter handle.

According to the post, the rallies were suspended due to “unavoidable and unusual circumstances”.

The campaign rallies were initially fixed for December 15 and 16 in Ekiti and Ondo states, respectively.

The LP apologised to its supporters over the development and said new dates for the campaign rallies would be announced.

“Due to some unavoidable and unusual circumstances beyond control, our earlier scheduled Presidential Campaign Rally in Ekiti & Ondo for 15th and 16th December 2023 are hereby POSTPONED. The new date will be announced. We regret the inconveniences caused by this,” the post reads.

FG approves new whistleblower bill, cancels tax holiday

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, approved a new whistleblower draft bill.

Moreover, it expressed regret that the existing whistleblowing policy that had been implemented on December 21, 2016, was losing steam.

This information was shared with State House Correspondents by Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Dr. Zainab Ahmed during the Council meeting this week at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, which was led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

With the help of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Whistleblower Protection Act was introduced by the Buhari administration in December 2016. It protects those who come forward voluntarily to report instances of fraud, bribery, stolen government property or funds, financial misdeeds, or other forms of corruption.

According to the regulation, anyone who reports financial mismanagement or offers a tip regarding stolen assets through the ministry’s webpage would get 2.5–5% of the cash recovered by the Nigerian government.

Speaking after this week’s FEC meeting, Ahmed said the Council approved the draft bill to strengthen the fight against corruption and protect whistleblowers that provide helpful information to the FG.

She said, “The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning presented several memos today. The first is the draft whistleblower bill for 2022. This memo has been reviewed by the Council and approved with a provision to ensure alignment with the Evidence Act.

“The purpose of operationalising and putting in place a whistleblower bill is to strengthen the fight against corruption and to enable protection for whistleblowers that provide information for use by the government.

“As you know, since 2016, the Council has approved the setting up the Presidential Initiative of Continuous Audit. PICA has been working in partnership with EFCC, ICPC, DSS, and NFIU and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

“We noticed that the whistleblower policy response has lost momentum. We embarked on engagement in the six geo-political zones, and one of the main outcomes we found is that people are concerned about their safety due to providing information. So, this bill is critical to ensure the effectiveness of the retention of the whistle policy.”

Adeleke inaugurates Committee on Transportation to tackle thuggery, unwholesome acts in motor parks

Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has set up and inaugurated a Committee on Transportation to rid all motor parks in the state of thugs and other unwholesome acts to ensure that parks are safe, productive, and enjoyable for all and sundry.

While speaking, Adeleke said his administration is determined to sanitize motor parks across the state, noting that, he can no longer allow parks in Osun State to be breeding grounds for thuggery and lawlessness.

He further stated that his goal is to develop modern transport terminals, urging the committee to study and review the current park system, propose a new park management model and develop an implementation plan for all parks across the State.

Governor Adeleke, therefore, charged the committee to take the assignment with all seriousness.

In his acceptance remarks on behalf of the newly-inaugurated members, the Chairman of the Committee, Barr. Jola Akintola appreciated the Governor for giving them the opportunity to serve in such a committee geared towards the revitalization of all motor parks in Osun.

He pledged that the committee will do the job to the best of its ability, adding that those on the assignment will not let the governor down in the discharge of their responsibilities to the state by also working to ensure that the internally generated revenue of the state is increased.

Mr Akanni Tunji is the Secretary of the committee with other members as Mr. Apesin Lanre Kolade; Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa; Hon. Fadipe Ibukun, Alhaji Duduyemi Azeez, Mr Akin Titiloye, and Hon. Sunday Akanfe Atidade as members of the Committee.

Others on the committee are Hon. Tajudeen Adisa, Mr Kola Faesan, Mr Ayobami Folorunsho and Alhaji Fatai Alade.

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