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Its national disgrace Nigeria is receiving food assistance from Ukraine – Obi

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Labour Party Presidential flag bearer in the last general election, Peter Obi has expressed disappointment saying, it is “disheartening” and a national disgrace that war-torn Ukraine is donating food to Nigeria.

Obi, who made the comment on his official twitter handle on Monday on X, commended the Ukrainian government for supporting Nigeria.

“It is disheartening that our once economically confident nation, blessed with vast arable land and abundant natural resources, now relies on a war-torn Ukraine for food assistance,” Mr Obi said. “This national disgrace stems from years of leadership failure, necessitating urgent reflection and a reordering of our national priorities and resource management and allocation.”

Last week, Ukraine donated 25,000 tonnes of wheat as emergency food assistance to 1.3 million vulnerable, crisis-affected people in northeast Nigeria amidst rising inflation and food price spikes.

Obi added Nigeria “must aggressively reorder our priorities by investing resources in productive sectors like agriculture.”

The former Anambra governor said, “Addressing insecurity is crucial for farmers to return to their fields, enabling a productive manufacturing sector and supporting small businesses.”

As a result of inflation, food prices have spiked to an unbearable level, forcing Nigerians to protest in Niger, Kano, Osun, Ibadan and Lagos, calling on the government to alleviate their sufferings.

On Sunday, some Abuja residents raided a government-owned warehouse, looting food and other items. Similarly, a truck conveying foodstuff had been stopped and looted in Suleja, Niger and Zaria in Kaduna before the Sunday incident.

The rising cost of living predated the government of President BolaTinubu. It took a frightening dimension after he assumed office last year, announcing fuel subsidy removal and floating of the naira, which has seen petrol prices jump from N145 to N630, with food prices shooting up astronomically.

Mr Tinubu, in response to public outcry on the rising cost of food driven by skyrocketing inflation in the country, had directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to release about 42,000 metric tonnes of grain, including maize, millet and garri.

He also charged National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, the State Security Service and Nigerian police with going after food hoarders.

The Nigeria Customs Service had also commenced the distribution of confiscated food items to Nigerians to ease hunger in the country until a stampede during the process killed six in Lagos, causing them to stop the distribution.

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Peter Obi explains why Nigeria should shift from presidential system of governance to parliamentary system

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has explained why Nigeria needs to return to the parliamentary system of government.

According to Obi, Nigeria needs a parliamentary system of government, where the president can communicate with citizens at least once a month.

He said; “What happens is, because of the presidential system that has no president in Nigeria today, we have a bad leader and he stays there for four years. When we have a parliamentary system, we can move a motion of no confidence within two or three years” Obi said at a lecture at Harvard Law School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on Tuesday, April 16.

“If we are in a parliamentary system, a president will be a member of parliament.

“Today, if you elect me as president of Nigeria or governor, I can remove myself entirely from being answerable to the people, just hire a gang of lunatics, talking rubbish every day.

“While, if it is a parliamentary system, during the president’s question time, he has to answer. He doesn’t have to hire anybody to speak for him.

“A president in Nigeria can decide not to talk to anybody for one year and nobody cares because he has hired all these people who do the talking. If you say anything, they call you names, they do this.

“So, we need a parliamentary system where the president will be a member of parliament and will at least, even if it is once a month, answer the people who elected him; because we didn’t elect all these gangsters. We elected somebody and we want the person to talk to us.”

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CBN Gives New Directive On Lending In Real Estate

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has released a new regulatory directive to enhance lending to the real sector of the Nigerian economy.

The directive, issued on April 17, 2024, with reference number BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/005 and signed by the Acting Director of Banking Supervision, Adetona Adedeji, signifies a notable shift in the bank’s policy towards a more contractionary approach.

In line with the new measures, the CBN has reduced the loan-to-deposit ratio by 15 percentage points, down to 50 per cent.

This move aligns with the CBN’s current monetary tightening policies and reflects the increase in the Cash Reserve ratio rate for banks.

The LDR is a metric used to evaluate a bank’s liquidity by comparing its total loans to its total deposits over the same period, expressed as a percentage.

An excessively high ratio may indicate insufficient liquidity to meet unexpected fund requirements.

All Deposit Money Banks are now mandated to adhere to this revised LDR.

The CBN has stated that average daily figures will be utilised to gauge compliance with this directive.

Furthermore, while DMBs are encouraged to maintain robust risk management practices in their lending activities, the CBN has committed to continuous monitoring of adherence and will adjust the LDR as necessary based on market developments.

Adedeji has called on all banks to acknowledge these modifications and adjust their operations accordingly. He emphasised that this regulatory adjustment is anticipated to significantly influence the banking sector and the wider Nigerian economy.

The circular read in part, “Following a shift in the Bank’s policy stance towards a more contractionary approach, it is crucial to revise the loan-to-deposit ratio policy to conform with the CBN’s ongoing monetary tightening.

“Consequently, the CBN has decided to decrease the LDR by 15 percentage points to 50 per cent, proportionate to the rise in the CRR rate for banks.

“All DMBs must maintain this level, and it is advised that average daily figures will still be applied for compliance assessment.

“While DMBs are urged to sustain strong risk management practices concerning their lending operations, the CBN will persist in monitoring compliance, reviewing market developments, and making necessary adjustments to the LDR. Please be guided accordingly.”

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GWR: Nigerians in New York rally Behind Onakoya as 58-Hour Chess Marathon Begins

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Nigerians living overseas are rallying behind the celebrated chess master, Tunde Onakoya, as he sets out to break the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

Onakoya announced the commencement of the marathon via his X account with the caption, “Game time.”

“We haven’t even started yet and Nigerians are already trooping into camp out with me.”

Among those cheering Onakoya is Nigerian singer, Adekunle Kosoko, popularly known as Adekunle Gold.

The event, currently happening at the iconic Times Square in New York City, commenced at 10 am on Wednesday, April 17, and is slated to conclude at 8 pm on April 19.

Onakoya is set to defeat the Guinness World Record holder, Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad of Norway on November 11, 2018, stands at 56 hours, 9 minutes, and 37seconds.

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