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North suffered more under Buhari — Ango Abdullahi

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Pan-Arewa socio-political organisation, Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has chided President Muhammadu Buhari over his negligence and lack of political will to fix the problems of Nigeria, especially that of the North.

The group berated the Buhari-led administration, saying that the North suffered more under his administration, in terms of terrorism, banditry and negligence of the North.

Convener of the Northern Elders Forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi, stated this at the 10th anniversary of the Northern General Assembly, of NEF, held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja on Wednesday.

The NEF convener warned against any attempt to scuttle the conduct of a free, fair and credible election, adding that the North will stand by any presidential candidate that emerges as the winner.

He further cautioned against those saying that the North had no business in contesting for the presidential seat, explaining that the North had a 4-year deficit. Abdullahi emphasised that the North had “rubbed more backs,” of leaders from other regions of the country.

According to him “When we believed that General Muhammadu Buhari was a better candidate than President Jonathan, we campaigned for him and went to great lengths to have him elected in 2015. When it became obvious that President Buhari lacked the political will and competence to fix the problems of Nigeria and the worsening circumstances under which Northerners lived, we publicly campaigned against his administration’s ineptitude and lack of commitment to accountability.

“In 2019, we vigorously campaigned against his re-election, believing that our insecurity, crumbling economy and social problems would worsen. He won re-election, and our projections were sadly proved right.

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“Yet we consistently demanded safety and continued welcome for other Nigerians who had made the North their home, and we will continue to do so. We followed national discourses and sentiments and noted how the Northerner was being held responsible and vilified for the shortcomings and failures of President Buhari.

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“Yet, no region had ever suffered under any leader than the North did under the current leadership; and no region benefitted from more undeserved advantages than the South did under him. Our governors and legislators abandoned us.

“We have followed candidates through their campaigns, remaining neutral until we are satisfied that we can justifiably advise fellow Northerners on the directions that best suit our interests as Northerners. We have a healthy respect for the rights of all Northerners to make their own choices, and we are sensitive to the huge trust of our fellow Northerners to advise them in making the right choices.

“We have been saddened by the deterioration of the campaigns to levels where region, ethnicity and faith have been made defining characters of many of our leading candidates. We have resisted the pressure to follow suit, choosing instead to give every candidate a fair chance to show their character and potential.

“We have been worried over the alarming and inciting campaigns by supporters of some candidates, some of them explicitly threatening the continued existence of Nigeria if their candidates lose in a democratic contest.

“We have advised Northerners to remain calm and prepare to vote in a peaceful atmosphere. Nonetheless, we must remind fellow Nigerians of the position of the North: these elections must hold and a credible result must emerge from them. Leaders who win fairly will be accepted by Northerners, and we do not expect anything less from other Nigerians.

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“Our response to threats that certain parts of the country will be locked down and out of the elections is that this is a threat to all Nigerians. We demand that the government of President Buhari and all other leaders and elders must call out this dangerous bluff. Those who say they will not accept credible results from the elections unless their candidates win represent threats to national security, and should be treated as such.

“We appeal to all persons with responsibility and influence to lend their weight behind the conduct of credible elections and a peaceful transition. We should also assure all communities that they will be safe before, during and after the elections. We hear of conspiracy theories and other fanciful contraptions being peddled by people in place of credible elections. Let our voices be heard now: the North will not accept any arrangement produced through the violation of our constitution, and we have faith that millions of other Nigerians share the same opinion.”

On his part, Director-General, NEF, Prof. Doknan Sheni, emphasized that the North will accept any candidate who emerges fairly as the next President to lead Nigeria.

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He said, “Since 1999, the South has ruled the country for 14 years and the North for 10 years. There would therefore be a deficit of 4 years in favour of the North. Constitutionally, any Nigerian is free to contest elections. The north will continue to accept any candidate that wins the elections fairly, on the terms of one man one vote.

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“We do not intend to be intimidated by improper or uncivil utterances or threats of violence. Nor will we be coerced to supporting a candidate based on non-democratic principles. Nigerians and particularly the people who love democracy will not accept any contraption of governance that is non-constitutional. If this happens it will create an unnecessary fault line that will challenge our management skills. Thankfully there are Nigerians with similar stances and perspectives from other parts of the country.”

Dignitaries who graced the event were, the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed, and a representative of the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the All-Progressives Congress, Senator Kashim Shettima, as well as a representative of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

Vanguard

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More pressures on pockets as food inflation rises to 40%

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More pressures on pockets as food inflation rises to 40%
•High electricity tariff to drive further rise — Analysts

•It’s bad for businesses – NACCIMA •Small businesses to lose capital base— ASBON

At the backdrop of sustained rise in prices of staple food items in the market, Nigeria has recorded an unprecedented food inflation rate of 40 percent in March 2024.

Economists and financial analysts explained that the development would put more pressure on the purchasing power of average Nigerian and they also predict that the trend will continue for some months before stabilising.

The food inflation drove the headline inflation rate to 33.2 percent, up from 31.7 percent recorded in the month of February.

The figures released yesterday by National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in its Consumer Price Index, CPI, report for March 2024, represented a 2.09 and 1.5 percentage percentage points increases month-on-month.

But the analysts see a wider headline inflationary rise in this month to 34.6 percent, representing a 2.4 percentage month-on-month rise resulting from the recent hike in electricity tariff.

Electricity tariff hike to drive further inflation – CardinalStone

Analysts at CardinalStone Finance Limited, a Lagos based investment house, indicated that further inflationary upswing should be expected following the recent drastic hike in electricity tariff.

They stated: ‘’The inflation outlook is biased to the upside, a consequence of the recent implementation of a new electricity tariff. For context, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) have hiked price for Band A customer from N68 to N225 per kilowatt hour.

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‘’Nevertheless, we see some downside risk from the recent currency sustainability. ‘’Overall, we project inflation to print 34.6% in April 2024.’’

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Further rise will be slower – Alpha Morgan

In the meantime, analysts at Alpha Morgan Capital said: “From our analysis, we project that inflation will further increase but at a continuously slower rate. We tie this prediction primarily to the recent monetary interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria in mopping up excess liquidity, curbing volatile exchange rate movement through various aggressive currency interventions, government fiscal policies, such as agricultural interventions, among others.”

Devpt is bad for businesses – NACCIMA

Meanwhile, OPS said that the persistent rising inflation could sound the death knell for small businesses in the country, with consequential loss of jobs and worsened insecurity.

Commenting, Director General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Sola Obadimu, said: “Persistent rising inflation is bad for business as well as for individuals.

“It erodes income in value terms and purchasing power becomes weaker for both individuals and businesses. Inventories will continue to grow.

“It is bad for planning purposes and breeds growing uncertainty. Cost of doing business continues to grow leading to higher cost of goods. It’s cyclical.

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“Even when businesses or individuals tend to earn higher income, the value (in real terms) becomes lower.”

In his reaction, President of Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON), Dr Femi Egbesola, said the development will worsen survival of small businesses.

He stated: “The new and rising inflation rate, affecting largely food, essential commodities, raw materials, electricity and alternative power generation, transportation among others, will continue to worsen the survival and growth of SMEs.

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It will, no doubt, squeeze out the meager working capital of SMEs and make us more vulnerable to extinction.

“Not all costs can be passed to the consumers but even at that, certain costs will be passed onto them, and since they also have had their disposable income eroded by inflation, sales of goods and services of SMEs will drastically drop. For an average citizen, their standard of living and welfare will significantly drop too.

“More Nigerians will suffer from hunger, and lack of access to basic necessities and amenities, worse of it is health and medical needs.

“Overall, the implications of this on SMEs is that many more businesses will die off and become ailing, job losses will increase as many more businesses will lay off workers.

“There will be an increase in bad loans as more SMEs will be unable to fulfill their loan obligations leading to decreased access to funding from banks that will be more averse to lending to SMEs particularly with the increased interest rate, now coupled with inflation.

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“More insecurity will prevail in the land for many will look for alternative illegal ways of survival. More will migrate in the name of Japa.

“The extinction of more businesses will open doors for imported products to take their space which eventually will also stress the Naira exchange rate.”

In its CPI report NBS stated: “In March 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.2 percent relative to the February 2024  headline inflation rate which was 31.7 percent .

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“On a YoY basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.16 percentage points higher compared to  the rate recorded in March 2023, which was 22.04 percent.

On food inflation the bureau said: “The food inflation rate in March 2024 was 40.01 percent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.56 percentage points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2023 (24.45 percent).

“The rise in Food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of the following items garri, millet, akpu uncooked fermented (which are under the bread and cereals class), yam tuber, water yam (under potatoes, yam, and other tubers class), dried fish sadine, mudfish dried (under Fish class), palm oil, vegetable oil (under Oil and Fat), beef feet, beef head, liver (under Meat class), coconut, water melon (under Fruit Class), Lipton tea, Bournvita, Milo (under coffee, tea and cocoa class).” (Vanguard)

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N20, N10, N5 rendered ‘irrelevant’ as inflation bites harder

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N20, N10, N5 rendered ‘irrelevant’ as inflation bites harder
Naira

Across major markets, prices of goods are moving away from the lower denomination of the Naira currencies as inflation bites harder.

Not too long ago, a sachet of pure water cost N5.

However, in the past couple of years, these notes have struggled to get items they could be attached to.

A market survey by DAILY POST showed that more than half of Nigeria’s legal tenders cannot make purchases.

Despite this, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, recognizes the following denominations; 50 kobo, N1 and N2 which are coins, and N5, N10, N20 and N50 which are printed on polymer materials.

A sachet of pure water now sells for N30. Retailed sugar no longer sells for N10, while candies like Tom Tom are retailed at two pieces for N50. To further compound the woes of these notes, goods are now rounded up to 50 or 100, which further makes these currencies irrelevant.

In the past six months, the Naira has depreciated considerably. At one point, it was about N1,900 to a single dollar until the intervention by the CBN with the naira now trading at about N1050 to a dollar.

The implication of it is that N1000, which is Nigeria’s highest denomination, is less than a single dollar.

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Anyone with $1000 is a millionaire in naira based on the current exchange rate, and anyone with $1 has more than N1,000.

Despite the recent surge in the value of naira, prices of commodities have not shown any significant signs of climbing down.

Experts believe that Nigeria’s inflation is a product of many factors, with FX being one of the numerous factors.

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But despite this, the Nigerian government is still printing some of the lower denomination currencies at a huge cost.

According to reports, in 2016, CBN had to temporarily halt the printing of N5, 10, N20 and N50 due to the cost of production.

The report said it costs N1000 to print each lower denomination because Nigeria Security Printing and Minting plc (NSPM) is unable to print on polymer.

Now experts are calling on the CBN to discontinue the printing of the lower denominations and review the currencies in line with realities.

Abiodun Ayangbemi, an economist, emphasised that the CBN must discontinue the printing of the lower denomination because the majority of those currencies have failed the basic principles of money— means of exchange and store of value.

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“The monetary authorities cannot continue to print those denominations when there is basically nothing to use them for,” he said.

Lekan Olaleye, a monetary policy expert, asked the federal government to take a copy of the re-denomination policy adopted by Ghana some years back.

He argued that the CBN should remove two zeros from the existing notes.

It would be recalled that Ghana had in 2007, re-denominated the Cedis by striking out four zeros from their currency and producing the new Ghana Cedis.

A former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido had in 2012 announced a plan to introduce N5000 notes. In the same vein, there was also a plan to coin the lower bank notes of N5, N10 and N20.

However, the policy was met with a strong outcry from the public, who condemned the plan. Thus, the government shelved the plan.

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Years after the botched plan, prices of goods and services have spiked beyond the 2012 level. (Daily Post)

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We’re not aware of Ganduje’s suspension – Kano APC Chairman

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Ganduje, wife, son to be arraigned before Kano court April 17
APC National Chairman and former Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje

The Ganduje ward executives of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kano State, have denied the reported suspension of APC National Chairman, Dr Abdullahi-Umar Ganduje.

The ward executives made the denial while briefing journalist at the APC State Secretariat, on Monday in Kano.

According to the ward Chairman, Malam Ahmad Ganduje, those purported to have announced the suspension were not members of the party.

He said they were solemnly behind the APC national chairman and have confidence in his style of leadership.

The ward chairman added that they had passed a vote of confidence on Ganduje, and urged all party members in the ward and across the state to remain calm and law abiding.

In his remarks, the APC Chairman, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area, Alhaji Inusa Dawanau, said the party will take legal action against those the “impersonators”, who announced Ganduje’s suspension.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that, Malam Haladu Gwanjo, who claimed to be the Legal Adviser of APC in Ganduje Ward, had earlier announced the purported suspension of party’s national chairman.
Gwanjo, who cited alleged corruption and other vices as reasons for the suspension, said that the decision was taken by nine executive members of party in Ganduje ward.(NAN)

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SEE ALSO:  Ex-Kogi gov's son dies after Eid prayers in his Abuja residence
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