President Muhammadu Buhari has stepped down as the Chairman of Niger Basin Authority.
While declaring open the virtual 12th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Niger Basin Authority, Buhari also called for international support to help the development efforts in the Niger Basin area.
This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
The President said the Niger River offered enormous development opportunities in fish farming, animal husbandry, agriculture, fishing, hydropower, hydraulics and navigation.
‘‘It is, therefore, necessary to continue to promote its enormous potential for the benefit of our people, and to improve the socio-economic development of the region.’’
He thanked the Technical and Financial Partners, including the African Development Bank, the Global Environment Fund, the German Financial Cooperation, for identifying with the vision and projects of the authority.
He also urged them to keep supporting efforts at developing the Niger Basin in the fight against pollution and the degradation of ecosystems.
As outgoing Chairman of the NBA Leaders’ Summit, Buhari gave account of his five-year term leading the organisation.
He said ‘‘Excellencies, it has been a privilege to lead this Summit of Heads of State and Government for the past five years, since you all unanimously endorsed me as the Chairman at the 11th Summit held in Cotonou, Benin Republic on 8th January 2016 to lead our common Institution.
‘‘Of the several decisions taken at the Summit, only the decision on funding of the NBA 2016-2024 Operational Plan is yet to be fully implemented.
‘‘It is pertinent to note that there are some ongoing programmes like support to Ground Water Management in Niger Basin, project II to strengthen NBA and its Member Countries’ technical capacity and human resources for improving transboundary groundwater resource management in the Niger Basin.”
The President also thanked the outgoing Executive Secretary, Abderahim Hamid, for serving the Authority, adding that the 12th Summit is expected to appoint a new Executive Secretary and a Chairman.
“At this Summit, my tenure as the Chairman Summit of Heads of State and Government of our common institution comes to an end as I will hand over to a new Chairman.
“I urge you to extend maximum cooperation to the new Chairman for the continued smooth running of our Institution.”
CBN warns banks over foreign exchange malpractices
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has insisted that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found guilty of ongoing investigations in foreign exchange malpractices would be suspended for at least a year.
The circular signed today by the Director Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, Ozoemena Nnaji stated: “In line with the continuing close surveillance of our financial markets in general and the FX market in particular, the CBN wishes to remind all banks that it is their responsibility to not only Know their Customers (KYC requirements) but also Know their customers’ business (KYCB requirements).
“Given these responsibilities and in view of recent occurrences in the market, the CBN would like to remind banks to desist from all and any forms of FX malpractices.
“We wish to reiterate that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found culpable with ongoing investigations would be suspended for at least one year. Please note and ensure compliance.”
Naira hits historic low of 543 against dollar
The naira has continued to depreciate on the parallel market, selling for N543 to the dollar on Thursday.
The bureau de change operators in Abuja bought dollar at N540, then it was sold for N543.
The British Pound was also sold for £1/N740.
This comes 44 days after the Central Bank of Nigeria barred sale of Forex to all bureau de change operators across the country.
On June 27, 2021, the CBN ended the sales of Forex to BDCs saying the parallel market had become a conduit for illicit Forex flows and graft.
The CBN said it would also no longer process applications for BDC licences in the country.