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The Acting Manager of Niger Delta Development Commission Prof Nelson Brambaifa has disclosed that the Federal government have started the payment of over N1.3 trillion its owing the commission.
Professor Brambaifa revealed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt by NDDC’s director of Corporate Affairs Mr Ibitoye Abosede.
Brambaifa spoke during his inaugural meeting of the new management of the commission, noting that President Muhammadu Buhari loves the Niger Delta region.
He said that “The new management team in response to the growing unhappiness in the region over government’s commitment to developing the region and improving the living conditions of the people.
“The Federal Government has indeed begun refunding over N1.3 trillion owed by the commission since inception.
“The Niger Delta had suffered enough and President Buhari recognised this and has taken prompt action to redress the situation and reassure the people on government’s commitment to their welfare’’.
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Brambaifa, whose appointment was announced by Buhari on Friday, said the present administration had ensured the commission’s statutory financial obligations were paid in full.
“President Buhari also ensured that all other statutory contributors to the funding of NDDC met their obligations.
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CBN signals end to official rate regime for naira
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may soon allow the naira to freely find its value, with a possible depreciation on the official rate, usually pegged at about N305/$, an update on its website has indicated.
The development is signaling an end to the most criticised foreign exchange rate window, which has been used mostly for government’s critical businesses that affect the public, particularly the importation of petroleum products.
If the move sees light of day, it will mean that the value of the naira at the official window is depreciated with its concomitant closure of the peg.
Yesterday, the apex bank, as opposed to the usual publication of the fixed exchange rate, opted to publish that “the rate will be market-determined.”
According to a report, the President of Shippers Association of Lagos State, Jonathan Nicol, said the Nigeria Customs Service had allegedly directed importers to pay for duties at the rate of N326 per dollar against the official rate of N306, citing an order from the CBN.
Also yesterday, the interbank rate depreciated by 0.2 per cent to N360.43 per dollar at the close of trading, while the parallel market remained steady at N360 per dollar.
A move toward a market-determined exchange rate would be welcomed by investors, who have long accused government of some level of capital controls and bemoaned multiple exchange rates.
The Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Yewande Sadiku, was quoted as saying the apex bank was in talks with other agencies to move to a single rate for the nation’s currency.
For an economic analyst at Ecobank, Kunle Ezun, “putting that on the website means the central bank is gradually moving towards a single exchange-rate window. It is making the exchange rate more liquid to attract more inflows.”
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