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Blossom City Estate Launched in Enugu as ADF urges Ndigbo to invest in Southeast

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A socio-cultural organization, the Ala-Igbo Development Foundation (ADF), has advised all Igbo in the Diaspora to henceforth bring home their investments to fast-track the development of southeast zone and reduce the ongoing migration of Igbo youths who are chasing greener pasture outside their homeland.

NewsBits recalls that the ADF, which was founded by author and former university don, Professor Timothy Uzodinma Nwala, has among others, as its key objectives; the protection and ensuring the survival of Ndigbo, their culture and civilization as well as strong advocacy for Ndigbo to invest in, and develop Igboland rather than waiting for the federal government .
A one-time Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to the late former Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Bishop Obi Onubuogu, and a former commissioner for information in Ebonyi State, Chief Abia Onyike, both of whom are top officials of ADF gave the advice during the pre-launch of Blossom City Estate in Enugu by a Lagos-based real estate firm, Pinto Realty Limited .
The Blossom City Estate, which is located at the boundary between Nike in Enugu East Local Government Area and Udi in Udi Local Government Area, has 77.4 hectres and 1000 plots , with a small river at its back which, hopefully , could be turned to a lake at the appropriate time, NewsBits was informed.
Addressing the gathering, Bishop Onubuogu, who is the Chairman of ADF Board, said that the he was excited about the Blossom City Estate because its ownership shared the same vision and philosophy of Aku Ruo Ulo with the ADF, stressing that ADF had been campaigning since 2014 on the urgent need for Ndigbo in Diaspora to develop Igboland by investing massively in the southeast zone.
He appealed to the five governors of the southeast states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo to introduce policies that would not drive investors away rather ones that would create a business-friendly environment for business to thrive, urging them to key into the Aku Ruo Ulo campaign to fast-track development and industrialization of the southeast .
Onubuogu recalled that the Igbo had witnessed a lot of injustices in Nigeria since the 1960s culminating in the Nigeria/Biafra war, and more recently during the 2023 general elections, such that they must learn some useful lessons from those ugly incidents, to the point of returning parts of their investments to develop Igboland.
He said: “Right now, the whole trend is, and it has dawned on us – Ndigbo – that Aku ruo Ulo is what should be our song these days. We have to drum this song into our ears and those of our children. The Igbo people have seen a lot in Nigeria. The Igbo man has witnessed so much that he must learn his lessons from. The symptoms manifested even before the civil war. Then after the Nigeria-Biafra war, the authorities in Nigeria seized everything we had outside Igboland before the war. Have you forgotten that all the houses belonging to the Igbos in Port Harcourt were seized from them as abandoned property?
“My own mother showed me her land in Port Harcourt, but I couldn’t approach it after the war; people have seized it. So, we have to caution ourselves.”
Bishop Onubuogu, who is also the founder of the Rock Family Church, Ogui, Enugu, however, lauded Lolo Nneka Chimezie, the owner of Pinto Realty Limited, the initiator and promoter of Blossom City Estate that is anchored on the vision of Aku Ruo Ulo (Invest in Igboland).
In his contribution, the one-time information commissioner in Ebonyi State, who is also the acting General Secretary of ADF, Chief Abia Onyike, recalled that Lolo Chimezie had been into real estate business for a very long time, adding that she muted the idea of Blossom City way back in 2021 during the administration of former Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who welcomed the idea of Ndigbo developing their homeland.
Onyike said : “Our idea is that even though the Igbo are known to be very great migrants, that the time has come for us to get back to our own place to lay the foundation for internal process of development and industrialization.
“Because of our historical experiences over time, the civil war and all that, we travel but we should also travel and try to come back home by remembering that we cannot leave our home land to any other people. And as it was said in the process of this gathering, it was clear that even the activities of herdsmen, who have been creating crises in Igboland, trying to occupy the Igbo communities; once it is certain that those land resources are taken up by our people for buildings and having agro projects , it will no longer be possible for the herdsmen to occupy our land.”
He said that ADF was in the forefront of pushing for the approval of Blossom City Estate, as it made representation to the then governor since both ADF and Lolo Chimezie shared the same vision of Igbos in the Diaspora should invest in , and develop their areas, rather than waiting for the federal government to do it. “You do not reject yourself, even if others reject you,” said Onyike, who quickly added: “We are saying that the process of self-determination is important for Ndigbo and we cannot advance developmentally and industrially without taking charge of our natural resources and our environments.”
However, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos-based Pinto Realty Limited, the initiator and promoter of Blossom City Estate, Lolo Nneka Chimezie explained that the main objective of the gathering was to introduce the company , Pinto Realty Ltd, and also its products which are some of its real estate properties here in the southeast zone.
Lolo Chimezie said: “At least, we have one which is ongoing now at Udi, which is Blossom City . The Blossom City is actually at the boundary between Nike and Udi. But if you want to access Blossom City, you access it faster through Nike because it’s much closer to Nike than Udi. Another product we have is our new product which is coming up, the Onuiyi Haven Estate, Awka in Anambra State.”
Lolo Chimezie, who is also the President of Igbo Women Assembly , further recalled that her company had previously partnered with other like-minded firms to develop a lot of estates particularly in the southwest zone of Nigeria.
 “It might interest you to know that I’m the Director of Admin and Finance for NIPASON Real Limited which is the promoters of Maranatha Garden City . Most of our estates are littered all over southwest from Ogun state to Lagos; we have about four estates that we have been able to develop in that partnership,” she said.
On the price and process of getting the necessary documents for the plots, the MD/CEO of Pinto Realty Ltd explained that her company had gotten all the relevant documents especially the Certificates –Of-Occupancy (C-Of-O), Customary Certificates-Of-Occupancy (CC-Of-O), among others, insisting that all a prospective buyer needed was to buy and build.
According to her, “The price right now is affordable. We call it Vision 2030 because we believe in the next six years, development will start in earnest. We are saying before the next six years, we will have life in Blossom City Estate.
“Right now, we are selling a plot N3m that is if you want to pay outright; that is for this year. But if you want to pay on installment, it’s N4m a plot. We have the 500sqr mtre which is high density, and then the 750Sqm which is the low density which goes for N6m if you are paying on installment for now and N5m if you are paying outright. “And then for the commercial and industrial, we have 2000 sqm which we are selling N10,000 per sqm. That’s for now. I can assure you that in the next six months, the price will go up. It might interest you to know that from January till March 2023, this land was sold for N1m per plot. You can see the speed in the rate of appreciation.
“We want you to buy and come and start development. We are not here to speculate. Yes you can buy and keep for it to appreciate but bear it in mind that we have a vision behind the Blossom City which we want to actualize.
“So any Igbo son and daughter can come and buy and build so that we join hands and save our youths from this sudden jappa or migration to other countries, thereby depopulating our land. We need to bring population to develop our home in Igbo land.”
The event witnessed the training of large number of Igbo youths on the nitty-gritty of marketing the Blossom City Estate to prospective buyers. The training was done by a real estate consultant, Peace Ukamaka.
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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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