I was chased out of office, I will never be President again – Goodluck Jonathan; Withdrawal Limits: Senate Raises Concerns, To Debate New CBN Policy | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • I was chased out of office, I will never be President again – Goodluck Jonathan
  • Withdrawal Limits: Senate Raises Concerns, To Debate New CBN Policy
  • Nigeria’s external reserves fall by $1.9 billion in three months
  • Nigeria’s oil production climbs to 1.6m barrels
  • FG recovers N120bn from crime proceeds —Lai Mohammed

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

I was chased out of office, I will never be President again –  Goodluck Jonathan

Amid claims of his returning to power, former President Goodluck Jonathan has opened up on why he would not contest for the Presidency again.

Jonathan said he can’t run for the Presidency again because he was pursued out of office in 2015.

The former President said he would be diminishing himself by opting to pick a form and start lobbying people and campaigning for elections again.

He stated this in a book, ‘My Time As Chaplain In Aso Rock,” written by Nathaniel Bivan, which detailed the accounts of the Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa Chapel during Jonathan’s era, Obioma Onwuzurumba.

The book was presented to the public on Tuesday.

But, commenting on the group that purchased the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential nomination form for N100 million, Jonathan said he enjoyed the drama because he can never become President again.

A group, the Nomadic Pastoralists, and Almajirai community had purchased the N100 million APC nomination forms for Jonathan ahead of the party’s primary election.

Jonathan said, “I was enjoying the drama. At least they are not insulting me. After all, I was pursued out of the office that I was not good enough. So, if now, Nigerians are saying, ‘Oh, this man should come,’ that means they are cleaning me up. So, let me enjoy the drama.

“If you wake up tomorrow and see that I’m President again, that means there may have been circumstances beyond my control. But not to go and pick one form and go and start lobbying people and running for campaigns, be it PDP power or APC broom, and moving across Nigeria. I can’t do that again; if I do that, I will diminish myself.”

Withdrawal Limits: Senate Raises Concerns, To Debate New CBN Policy

The newest Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy on cash withdrawals has drawn criticism from the Senate.

In a motion for order on Wednesday during plenary, Senate Minority Leader Phillip Aduda raised attention to the new policy and urged care because it will have an impact on many Nigerians, particularly small business owners.

In his answer, Senate President Ahmad Lawan warned the CBN against implementing the policy all at once since it will have an impact on a large number of Nigerians.

He also noted that the CBN should be involved in discussions to learn more about the policy, and he instructed the committee on banking to bring up this issue at the screening of the CBN deputy governors, which is scheduled to take place before next week.

This new CBN policy will be discussed in the Senate next week Tuesday.

The CBN’s new withdrawal policy limits the amount of cash that can be withheld over the counter (OTC) by both individuals and corporate organizations to N100,000 and N500,000 per week, respectively.

However, the CBN announced that going forward, withdrawals above the thresholds would be subject to processing fees of 5% and 10% for both private individuals and corporate entities respectively.

Additionally, while the current clearing cheque limits of N10 million are still in effect, third-party cheques over N50,000 will not be eligible for OTC payment.

The new withdrawal regime also set a daily cap of N20,000 and a weekly cap of N100,000 for cash withdrawals made through automated teller machines (ATMs).

Nigeria’s external reserves fall by $1.9 billion in three months

The net balance of Nigeria’s gross external reserves at the end of December was $37.11 billion. Since September 2021, when reserves dropped to $36.7 billion, this balance is the lowest.

A quick review of the apex bank’s external reserves data shows that as of December 2nd, 2022, the balance was only $37.07 billion and might drop as low as $36 billion in the coming days.

Since September 2022, the external reserve has decreased by about $1.9 billion in just three months.

Why the drop: The selling of oil and gas to foreign nations generates a substantial portion of Nigeria’s export revenue, which explains why there has been a decline.

  • However, increasing instances of crude oil theft have hurt Nigeria’s ability to export and, consequently, its foreign exchange reserves.
  • Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves are also financed by Eurobond sales or multilateral loans in foreign currencies from organizations like the World Bank or IMF.
  • Nigeria, however, hasn’t purchased any Eurobonds in more than a year, forcing the central bank to rely primarily on crude oil sales.
  • It is also speculated that the central bank’s recent defense of the naira is the most likely cause of the decline in external reserves.

What this means: The central bank may find it difficult to hold onto some of the profits made versus the dollar on the black market if foreign reserves decline.

  • The chance that the central bank may consider devaluing the naira to stop the withdrawals rises as external reserves fall.
  • Given that it continues to explore other strategies for suppressing demand, the central bank is not expected to devalue before the elections. New naira notes were just introduced as a measure.

Positive development: According to the NNPC, Nigeria’s daily crude oil production output increased to above 1.59 million barrels per day.

  • Increased revenue for the nation could result from this, which might increase foreign reserves.
  • Nigeria’s currency liquidity management is heavily reliant on dollars generated by crude oil exports.

Recent developments: The Nigerian central bank has revealed plans to introduce new naira notes and set December 15, 2022 as the launch date.

  • Additionally, it recently disclosed that it would lower the over-the-counter cash withdrawal limits for both individuals and corporations to merely N100,000 and N500,000, respectively.
  • These and other initiatives aim to increase the nation’s foreign exchange reserves as it fights against currency depreciation and skyrocketing inflation.

Nigeria’s oil production climbs to 1.6m barrels

Nigeria’s crude oil output is increasing again, rising to roughly 1.6 million barrels per day.

NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services’ Chief Upstream Investment Officer, Bala Wunti, made this statement on Tuesday at the 11th Practical Nigerian Content forum in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state.

He claims that as of Tuesday, Nigeria was producing 1. 6 million barrels per day of oil, up from the recorded 937, 000 barrels per day in September.

Wunti insisted that the government’s rectangular strategy to combating crude oil theft was the cause of the increase in output.

“Crude theft affects all architecture that funds the country. When the oil theft reached its peak, everything including gas production was affected,” he said.

He said, “One, we have security agencies in which the Navy, the police, and everyone within that space was involved. The second is the regulators angle. At this stage, all regulators are made to fully be part of the efforts. Third is the operators’ angle. And, of course, all operators were involved. The fourth angle is the community angle in which all impacted communities have to be brought under the umbrella of a structured arrangement in the collective effort against crude oil theft. In all, these efforts were able to do three things; Detect, deter and respond appropriately.

“As at today, oil production is at 1.59 million barrels per day,” he said.

FG recovers N120bn from crime proceeds —Lai Mohammed

Since President Muhammadu Buhari signed the law establishing the Proceeds of Crime Recovery Management earlier this year, the Federal Government has claimed to have recovered at least N120 billion as the proceeds of criminal financial operations.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the minister of information, made the revelation yesterday in Abuja at a news conference where the environment minister gave an overview of the ministry’s performance under the Buhari administration.

Mohammed said: “I have an update on the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act (POCA), 2022. In line with the new law, all relevant agencies of government have now opened ‘Confiscated and Forfeiture Properties Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

“I can confirm that so far, the Federal Government has realised over N120 billion, among other currencies, from POCA. This money will be used to fund the completion of ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the country such as the Second Niger Bridge as well as Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kano Expressways. We will continue to update you on this,” he added.

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