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CBN Opposes Suit To Remove Arabic Inscriptions From Banknotes



CBN Opposes Suit To Remove Arabic Inscriptions From Banknotes

CBN, Abuja

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has opposed a suit before the federal high court in Lagos seeking to remove Arabic inscriptions on the naira notes.

CBN informed the court that it will cost a lot of money to discard existing notes and print new ones without the inscriptions.

Also Read: #EndSARS promoter, Rinuola reacts as CBN secures court order to freeze her account

The apex court also argued that Ajami is not a symbol or mark of Islam, but an inscription to help non-English speakers who are Ajami literate.

The apex bank made the submission in a counter-affidavit to a suit filed by Malcolm Omirhobo, a Lagos-based lawyer, before Mohammed Liman, presiding judge over the case.

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Nigeria: List Of Small Scale Businesses You Can Start With N10,000 (Video)



Having a sustainable income is very essential for you to survive in Nigeria. With unemployment rate on the rise in the country, you might want to look for alternatives to make ends meet. Setting up a business venture might be the next step. With a minimum of N10,000, you can find something worth doing. All you need is the right information from the right source then you are good to go.

I guess you’re wondering what type of small scale business you can start up with such a small budget. This is where Information Nigeria comes in. Stay with us as we bring to you five business ideas you can start with a capital of N10,000.

1. Snacks making business:

This is a lucrative business in the country and it is one of the fastest ways to get returns on your money. A snack is a small service of food which is usually eaten between meals. In Nigeria, we have snacks like puff puff, akara, doughnut, chin-chin, meat pie, fish rolls and so on. I know you might have your reservations but people have shared their testimonies about how they were able to become successful from engaging in this type of small scale business. There are people who were even brought up by hard-working mothers, who fried Akara balls and puff puff by the roadside. You require very little capital to start the business but you need to find a good location to attract more customers. Learning how to make these snacks is also important and you need to be consistent.

2. Starting up an Indomie joint:

Food is a necessity because people need it to survive. Also, keep in mind that you can’t cater to the needs of everyone but you can make your mark. You need to buy a stove, pots, serving plates, spoons and forks, a carton of noodles and so on. Your culinary skills might also come in handy because you need to come up with different recipes.  You also need to set up your business at a populated location and ensure that the place is neat.

3. Okrika or bend down select:

This is a thriving business in the country due to the tough economy, You can set up the business of selling recycled clothes to people. Just like food, clothes are also a basic need because we wear them every day to cover our nakedness and we are always in need of new ones. Some people prefer okrika because they are durable and cheaper. A low-income earner wouldn’t be caught at a boutique as they would rather opt for clothes that are not very expensive. You could make use of social media to advertise your business and you also need to be creative. You don’t need to own a shop before you start selling and it is a business that will last. You could put in additional effort when you get the clothes by washing and ironing them to make them presentable.

4. Selling of recharge cards:

We consider this business idea as one of the best cause it doesn’t require much energy to set up. You can buy a certain amount of card, sell and promote your business online and also in your neighbourhood, place of worship, among others.

5. Running errands for people:

If you love shopping then this is your best option. Running errands for people is a great way to earn cool cash because not many people enjoy doing this and they would rather let someone else run them. Just like the name implies, you run errands for people and you get paid to do them. Some errand runners offer packages to their customers, which come with a fixed rate.

 Offering packages help you get money in advance and it lets you know well ahead of time how much work you can expect. If your errands involve lots of driving then you can consider charging for mileage as well.

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Kogi Introduces Levy On Every Loaf Of Bread



Kogi Introduces Levy On Every Loaf Of Bread

Loaves of bread

According to reports, the Kogi State government will introduce a new tax on every baked bread in the state.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry says the tax will help increase domestic revenue.

However, the state bakery association said they do not support the tax.

The Kogi State Government reportedly hired a consultant to levy bakers and caterers for every single loaf of bread and confectionery they produce in the state.

Also Read: #EndSARS Protests Politically Motivated – Kogi Governor

The state’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry appointed Musag Enterprises as the consultant.

The ministry made the introduction on November 9, through a memo signed by the Commissioner’s Permanent Secretary, Usman Ibrahim.

The memo was addressed to the chairperson, Association of Master bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Kogi State branch.

The collection of the levy will reportedly start from November 16, 2020.


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Subsidizing The Naira Blocks Nigeria’s Economic Takeoff



By Kingsley Moghalu

The naira should be floated to find its exchange rate value on the market if Nigeria’s economy is to become productive, instead of relying on oil revenues, a dependency that has plunged our country and our citizens deeper and deeper into fiscal bankruptcy and individual poverty. Ending the elusive quest for a “strong” currency when the economic fundamentals do not support it will be painful in the short run (we have already undergone several years of devaluations forced by these fundamentals, so what’s new?) but will be beneficial in the longer term.

The notion of an artificially strong currency remains attractive for three fundamental reasons:

1. We are fundamentally an import economy, and imports are priced in dollars and other “reserve” currencies in international trade.

2. There is a lack of economic knowledge both in policy-making governance circles and in the wider population.

3. Based on the two factors earlier cited, politicians want to remain “popular” and lack the political will to do what is required to set the economy on a truly productive path. Some “technocrats”, for self-serving reasons, sing and clap along instead of providing the necessary advice and guidance.

In taking this approach, as well as others such as subsidies on consumption instead of on production, structural poverty has been entrenched in Nigeria and the Nigerian economy has remained uncompetitive in a global context, for far too long.

To measure the naira only relative to the dollar and other foreign currencies is to miss a fine point – that it matters as well to differentiate what the naira equivalent of one dollar can buy in Nigeria from what one dollar can buy in America-what economists call “purchasing power parity” – what your currency can purchase for you in your national market as a way to measure GDP and GDP per capita. This approach to measuring economies arose because sometimes currencies are manipulated, and so measuring against such currencies may not yield a fully accurate picture. As someone so brilliantly put it on a WHatsapp post I read, “in the US, a dollar may not buy you more than a bottle of water, while N500 will buy you a pack of 12 of the same bottles of water in Nigeria!”

Because we are an import economy, we want to maintain an artificially strong naira/dollar exchange rate, to subsidize the import habit of our elite, or our ability to pay school fees of our wards abroad – understandable, given the decline of education in Nigeria, but not the solution to a problem that needs to be fixed.

We produce and export nothing that is value-added. Over 90% of our forex comes from oil. When an economy lacks “complexity” (value-added manufacturing as a ratio of GDP) but depends on exports of natural commodities or minerals, the exchange rate value of its currency is determined almost exclusively by the level of its foreign reserves, which accrues mainly from income from such commodity or resource exports. These reserves determine how many months of imports such a country can pay for.

So when oil prices are high for a long period, the reserves swell, and the (say) naira value relative to foreign currencies rises. When the oil price crashes, our reserves are depleted. When reserve levels indicate that a country’s ability to pay for up to six imports is threatened, market forces weaken the strength of the currency (naira in this instance). The value of the currency crashes, because that value is not underpinned by diversified exports that earn revenues as is the case with mature economies. If oil were $100 per barrel for a long period, for example, and our reserves rose to $80 billion, the naira value relative to the dollar will go up. But we have little control over the vagaries of the oil price.

Commodity dependence therefore exposes a country to currency instability except the country builds up huge reserves (eg Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries which long ago invested heavily in oil refining AND have huge sovereign wealth funds (we arrived at the sovereign wealth party about 40 years late!) in addition to exporting crude. It is OBVIOUS in such cases that there is backing for that legal tender in terms that are relevant internationally. The naira is not so fortunate because our economy is “naked” and globally uncompetitive.

What all this means is that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s efforts to “defend” the naira are like Sisyphus rolling the proverbial huge boulder up the hill, only for it to surely come rolling back down, economically speaking. It weakens the very value of the naira it is defending because the dollar supplies come from the external reserves, but is politically “expedient” because it creates an impression of patriotic nationalism. By the end of the first quarter of 2020, for example, the Bank is reported to have spent approximately $4 billion on naira Defence in the forex market by supplying the market with dollars.

But it’s all just populism. Foreign investors have exited, and forex is not coming in as investments aren’t at a level that can create confidence.

So the only way to reposition our economy is to shift it from an import-oriented one to one that is export-oriented. For as long as CBN continues to subsidize the value of the naira this will not happen, because they are creating incentives for an import orientation.

Forex “ban” makes the matter worse. Local productivity often is not enough to meet the gap in demand for the previously imported products. Smuggling booms. Meanwhile, in a frontier economy, “cabals” have reportedly had access to the naira at CBN rates, so they obtain huge amounts of subsidized dollars, and turn around to sell the dollars at the street market rates with huge profits. Arbitrage reigns. The black market booms.

But if CBN devalues the naira decisively rather than tentatively, or allows it find its value in the market, this will create an incentive to manufacture locally and EXPORT in order to earn forex. Because imports become more expensive.

But other policies must accompany this approach. The absence of those policies is why series of devaluations have not solved the problems, but only import inflation. This is death by a thousand cuts.

The necessary accompanying policy thrust is trade policy. Instead of forex bans, anyone should be able to import (yes, they will need forex to do so)but slap high tariffs (revenues for the government!) on imports deemed luxury items. Policy support should be provided to enable local production of such goods to be cheaper than foreign imports. That way, rich people can buy expensive imported goods, poorer people can buy cheaper “local-made”. More exports, more forex, and eventually the value of the naira stabilizes. The “cheap” exchange rate of the naira (from the perspective of foreign trade partners) will lead to greater orders of Nigerian manufactures, which = more forex earnings. Foreign investors seeking profit will also flood the country that is seen as a large and profitable market with dollars because the market is “open” and trade transparent. This will also help stabilize the naira.

But this is difficult when Nigeria is being mortgaged to a country like China. If our government treats China as a financial lifeline, can we slap the appropriate tariffs on imports from China which are so cheaply produced that it makes production in Nigeria uncompetitive? This is part of a broader problem of the absence of a worldview that includes a strategy to rise in the world, including economically.

Ideally, citizens should be well prepared, communicated to and educated about these kinds of necessary reforms. And we know that vested interests will often seek to short-circuit such reforms to still game the system. It’s like highway robbery on an unsafe road. You may be OK in the early part of the journey, but could (God forbid) run into robbers in the last mile. The role of vested-interest rent-seeking in Nigeria’s economy has been a dominant one for far too long. The phenomenon is not unique to Nigeria, but that’s no excuse. Our concern is about our country and our people and creating an enabling environment for real development. Getting right the balance betweeen the role of the state and that of markets is one of the most important factors in development. I hope that, as President Muhammadu Buhari pursues the Vision 2050, we can get these fundamentals right.

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