CBN Exempts MfBs,Mortgage Banks From Cash Withdrawal Limits

Mohammed Shosanya

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed that microfinance banks and primary mortgage banks that provide banking services to the economically active poor be exempted from paying the processing fees for withdrawals above the cash withdrawal limits for direct cash withdrawals from their correspondent banks.

The bank conveyed this in a circular with number PSM/DIR/PUB/CIR/001/049
titled, Exemption of Primary Mortgage Banks and Microfinance Banks from Cash Withdrawal Limits was signed by Musa I Jimoh, Director, Payments System Management Department.

He said the circular is to enable them to continue to play their expected roles in the economy and provide specialised retail banking services to their customers.

He added:”Please, note that the microfinance and primary mortgage banks are required to
fully comply with the cash withdrawal limits in serving their customers as per the circular with reference number BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/015/073 dated December 21, 2022.”

South Africa Wrong To Blame Niger Coup On Tinubu’s Govt- Akinyemi

Mohammed Shosanya

Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, former Minister of Foreign Affairs has faulted South Africa for attributing the coup in Niger to the illegitimacy of President Bola Tinubu’s government.

In an interview on Monday,Akinyemi said that the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) which Tinubu chairs ought to be the first to react to the coup in Niger, rather the African Union was the first to react in a bid to spite Tinubu on the face, stressing that the move was instigated by South Africa.

He said:“African Union (AU) and ECOWAS seem to be on the same page, actually they are not. Under the tradition of the African unit, ECOWAS is supposed to take the lead in confronting the issue in Niger and then the AU will follow up, instead the African Union took the lead in responding to the issue in Niger. Why was it so? This was something masterminded by South Africa to spite President Tinubu in the face. It was an anti-Tinubu action by the African union.

“Why do I say that South Africa is behind it? There is a video that is going around, which shows an analysis by South Africa television station, which blamed Tinubu for the coup in Niger. That it is because President Tinubu is illegitimate, because his election is contentious, that the coup had happened

“The AU got quickly to the bridge in order to spite President Tinubu in the face. ECOWAS is now imposing a seven day limit for a reaction while the African Union gave them 15 days, creating a situation, if they like, the Niger regime can exploit by saying it will listen to AU rather than ECOWAS.

“The problem in ECOWAS is not being posed by the western country, it is being posed by the African Union instigated by South Africa. Now, we have decisions taken by ECOWAS yesterday (Sunday) while AU has already taken a decision of 15 days to have a reaction,” he said.

Tinubu:Nigeria Saved Over N1trn From Subsidy Removal Policy in Two Months-

Mohammed Shosanya

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday,said his government in the last saved over a trillion Naira that would have been squandered on the unproductive fuel subsidy.

In his presidential broadcast,Tinubu appealed to Nigerians to support the subsidy removal policy as well as other intervention programmes of his government.

Tinubu said the dubious subsidy regime benefitted only smugglers and fraudsters. “That money will now be used more directly and more beneficially for you and your families,” he vowed.

Speaking on the forex crisis plaguing the country, Tinubu said government is closely monitoring the effects of the exchange rate and inflation on gasoline prices.

He noted that if and when necessary, there will be some form of interventions.

He admitted that the Nigerian economy was going through a tough patch and the citizens are being hurt by it, stressing that the cost of fuel has gone up. Food and other prices have followed it with households and businesses struggling.

“Things seem anxious and uncertain. I understand the hardship you face. I wish there were other ways. But there is not. If there were, I would have taken that route as I came here to help not hurt the people and nation that I love,” he stated.

He said what he has to offer in the immediate is to reduce the burden our current economic situation has imposed on all of us, most especially on businesses, the working class and the most vulnerable among us.

Disclosing some of his interventions which could pass for palliatives, he said, “Already, the Federal Government is working closely with states and local governments to implement interventions that will cushion the pains of our people across socio-economic brackets.

“Earlier this month, I signed four (4) Executive Orders in keeping with my electoral promise to address unfriendly fiscal policies and multiple taxes that are stifling the business environment. These Executive Orders on suspension and deferred commencement of some taxes will provide the necessary buffers and headroom to businesses in the manufacturing sector to continue to thrive and expand.

“To strengthen the manufacturing sector, increase its capacity to expand and create good paying jobs, we are going to spend N75 billion between July 2023 and March 2024. Our objective is to fund 75 enterprises with great potential to kick-start a sustainable economic growth, accelerate structural transformation and improve productivity.

“Each of the 75 manufacturing enterprises will be able to access N1 Billion credit at 9% per annum with maximum of 60 months repayment for long term loans and 12 months for working capital.

“Our administration recognises the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the informal sector as drivers of growth. We are going to energise this very important sector with N125 billion,” Tinubu stated.

He explained that of the sum, we will spend N50 billion on Conditional Grant to 1 million nano businesses between now and March 2024, where the target is to give N50,000 each to 1,300 nano business owners in each of the 774 local governments across the country.

He expressed optimism that the programme will further drive financial inclusion by onboarding beneficiaries into the formal banking system, insisting that in like manner, they will fund 100,000 MSMEs and start-ups with N75 billion. Under this scheme, each enterprise promoter will be able to get between N500,000 to N1million at 9% interest per annum and a repayment period of 36 months.

He said:”To further ensure that prices of food items remain affordable, we have had a multi-stakeholder engagement with various farmers’ associations and operators within the agricultural value chain.

“In the short and immediate terms, we will ensure staple foods are available and affordable. To this end, I have ordered the release of 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and FCT to moderate prices. We are also providing 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings and other inputs to farmers who are committed to our food security agenda”

How NIMASA,Total Energies EP Nigeria Rescued Distressed São Tomé And Príncipe Vessel

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and officials of Total Energies EP Nigeria limited rescued occupants of a distressed fishing vessel belonging to a national of the São Tomé Príncipe, which was adrift in the ocean for 11 days.

Osagie Edward, NIMASA’s Assistant Director, Public Relations, who disclosed this in a statement,said the rescue team from Total Energies Nigeria Limited on noticing a distressed vessel at sea around Offshore Operational Field, OML 100, immediately sent signals to the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre,RMRCC, located in NIMASA informing the Agency of the situation.

Pursuant to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) protocol, the Total team promptly initiated a rescue operation and immediately handed over the occupants of the distressed vessel to NIMASA, while the boat was anchored at OSHE HONMI (OML 100),the statement said.

According to the statement,the Agency has through its Search and Rescue SARS clinic provided first aid, and later comprehensive medical attention to the distressed passenger who speaks only Portuguese and has since been handed over, to the Nigerian Immigration Service to ensure he returns to his country.

Commenting on the development, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, commended the cooperation between NIMASA and Total Energies for the swift response, noting that safety of the maritime sector is cardinal to the heart of the current leadership of the Agency, which forms part of the three-point Agenda.

“We will continue to prioritise safety of lives and property in the maritime sector, while also embracing collaboration as a tool to actualizing our mandate. Safety is everyone’s business, hence we must continue to preach safety in the day-to-day affairs of the Nigerian maritime sector”, Jamoh said.

NIMASA recently acquired five enforcement vessels to enhance its Flag, Port state and Search and Rescue operations in the Nigerian maritime domain.

There’s Hope For Nigeria -NESG

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group(NESG)has said that that there is hope for Nigeria to remain great and feeds its huge population abundantly

The group hinged its optimism on Nigeria’s vast opportunities and its abundant natural resources and population.

“These physical and human resources should be more utilised, posing significant implications for realising shared prosperity in the nation.”Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, Chief Executive Officer of the NESG, stated this on Monday in Abuja at the formal inauguration of the NES #29 Joint Planning Committee.

He emphasized that concerted efforts and strategic planning are required to harness these resources effectively, maximize national competitive advantages and create opportunities for sustainable economic development.

He said:”In the context of a new government administration, there is an undeniable need to reinvigorate our efforts to achieve sustainable economic development.”

He also advised President Bola Tinubu to understand that there is no time for business-as-usual approach to governance in view of the plethora of challenges confronting the nation.

He added that government and critical stakeholders in the economy must rise to confront the harsh realities that the nation is currently grappling with.

According to him,these harsh realities, according to him, include “weak economic growth, high poverty rates, a rising cost of living, increasing unemployment, and widening income gaps.”

He added that:”Despite being blessed with abundant oil reserves and holding the position of Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria has paradoxically become home to many of the global poor, surpassing India in 2018. Nigeria is plagued with one of the world’s poorest human capital indices concerning education and health outcomes.

“Apart from facing a substantial health infrastructure gap, the country has witnessed a significant brain drain of medical professionals, exacerbating the shortage of skilled personnel in the healthcare sector.

“This worrisome trend further compounds the challenges in addressing the nation’s healthcare needs and improving overall human development indicators.

“Nigeria has long been pursuing structural economic transformation. However, the nation’s heavy reliance on crude oil as its primary foreign exchange source has resulted in an unbalanced economy.

“The crude oil sector remains dominant despite contributing less than 10 per cent to the national output and generating limited employment opportunities.”

He lamented Nigeria’s slow pace of industrialisation, as evident in the sub-optimal manufacturing capacity utilisation, which has stagnated at approximately 50 per cent over the years.

This situation severely hampers the Industrial sector’s potential to contribute substantially to national output, economic growth, and job creation, leaving the country’s economy imbalanced and unable to capitalise on its potential for sustainable development fully,he said.

Speaking on the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit slated for October 23rd and 24th, 2023 in Abuja,Jaiyeola explained that the Summit would “follow up by demanding a transparent and well-thought-through economic agenda with specified implementation steps in purposeful response to the questions and recommendations thrown up at NES #28.”

Inaugurating the NES #29 Joint Planning Committee, Engr. Nebeolisa Anako, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, disclosed that efforts are in top gear to forward the 2022 Summit recommendations and outcomes to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in form of Council Note for their information and guidance.

According to him,the key outcomes of the annual Summits have always played important roles in shaping the policies of government, adding that the Summit had in the past contributed to entrenching the culture of development planning in the country.

He added:”Most recently the partnership helped in no small measure in the development of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021 2025 and the Nigeria Agenda 2050.

“The contributions of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group in this regard is well appreciated. I am confident that this partnership will continue to endure going forward,”

Lagos Reduces BRT Fare, Commences Distribution Of Foods

Mohammed Shosanya

Lagos State Góvernór, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a reduction in transport fare on all Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) routes by 50% beginning from Wednesday. August 2.

Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed this on Monday, also said commercial buses, popularly known as ‘Danfo,’will follow suit with a reduction of 25% in fare on all routes.

He made the announcement while addressing journalists at the State House, Ikeja, at the end of a security meeting with security agencies such as the Army, Police and the Navy.

Sanwo-Olu,who said the number of Lagos State staff buses will be increased,added that new buses have already been purchased.

The governor also said the state government will commence distribution of food such as rice, beans and garri to the poorest people in the state.

The distribution of the palliatives,he said,will be done through the Community Development Associations (CDAs), churches, mosques, and local government areas.

He added:”These measures are to cushion the effect of removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, as well as the harsh economic situation in the country.”

At the event, the state Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa,unveiled the efforts of the Police to address security situation in the state,saying there have been an increase in cultists and vehicle vandalism in the state.
He added that since Operation Flush was formed by the Command, 260 suspects have been arrested and investigated.

Owohunwa said the governor has urged the Police Command to upscale their operation, warning “that anyone planning to disrupt the peace of the state will be dealt with. “

Subsidy Protest: Tinubu Approves Provision Of Buses For Students, Stops Hike In Tuition Fees

Mohammed Shosanya

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the provision of huge number of buses to students’ bodies of all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education across the country.

A statement by Dele Alake, Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy on Monday,saud that the action was in furtherance of Tinubu’s desire to ease the burden of the fuel subsidy removal on students of higher institutions of learning.

The announcement was sequel to moves by the organised labour to stage a mass protest on August 2nd nationwide.

According to the Presidential spokesman, the desire of the President is to see that students can access their campuses without experiencing much difficulty as a result of hike in transportation costs.

He said,the provision of the buses will go a long way in removing the burden of additional cost of daily commuting on parents and guardians.

The statement also added that President Tinubu has directed the removal of all restrictions on the students’ loan to make it available to any student or household that may desire it.

He said the new directive was in line with his promise to ensure no Nigerian student abandons his or her educational pursuits as a result of lack of money and economic circumstances of their parents.

Alake disclosed that Tinubu has directed the authorities in all Federal Institutions of higher learning to avoid arbitrary increase in sundry fees payable and where possible defer further increase so that parents and students don’t face too many difficulties.

“While it is important to reiterate that President Tinubu has directed release of over 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains to families in 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the government is working to ensure that vulnerable students can also benefit from conditional cash transfers and food distribution.

“The Federal Government salutes the courage, wisdom and partnership of Nigerian Students as our country navigates this challenging time.

“President Tinubu will continue to prioritise education and the needs of the students, improve welfare of teaching and non-academic staff and invest in infrastructure to make our institutions of higher learning become more globally competitive,” Alake said.

Why I Switched My Allegiance To Nigeria—Falcons’ Ashleigh Plumptre

Ashleigh Plumptre, born on 8 May 1998 in Leicester, is a professional footballer who currently represents the Nigeria national team, the Super Falcons which today play ousted Ireland in the last group game of the ongoing FIFA Women World Cup.

The Super Falcons defender recently decided to part ways with English Super League side Leicester City. The departure of Plumptre was officially announced by the Foxes in a statement confirming that the talented defender left the club after her contract expired at the King Power Stadium.

With a diverse background and a passion for the sport, Plumptre has made a name for herself in the footballing world.

Early Life

Growing up in Melton Mowbray, Plumptre attended primary school there. Her journey in football began at the age of four when she joined Asfordby Amateurs.

Recognising her talent and dedication, she joined the Leicester City Centre of Excellence at the age of eight and spent seven years with the club, progressing from under-10 to under-15 level.

In 2013, she made a move to Birmingham City’s under-17 team, where she had the opportunity to train with the senior WSL 1 team. During that time, she briefly joined Derby County’s Centre of Excellence, a third-tier FA Women’s Premier League side.

Growing up in Melton Mowbray, a short 30-minute drive from the city,Plumptre’s affinity for football led her to join Leicester City’s centre of excellence at a young age.

From the age of eight to 14, she honed her skills within the club’s youth system, having already started playing for a local girls’ team a few years prior.

Reflecting on her childhood, Plumptre describes herself as a child who always craved physical activity.

After returning home from school, she would promptly drop off her bags and head outside to play football until her mother called her in for dinner.

This unwavering dedication to the sport was a testament to her passion and drive, even at a young age.

“I was one of those kids that just always wanted to be active,” Plumptre said.

Although she temporarily left Leicester City during her teenage years, fate would bring her back to the club where she would eventually sign her first professional contract.

“[It] meant a lot to me to sign for Leicester because it was the club I’ve always supported and I grew up here,” she divulged.


In pursuit of her dreams, Plumptre moved to the United States in 2016 to pursue a scholarship at the University of Southern California.

There,she majored in human biology and also played for the university’s football team. In her first year, the team won the National Championship and were even invited to the White House to celebrate their achievement.

“It influenced so many things in my life, and not just football, I found out more about myself, what I’m passionate about,”she added


Ashleigh Plumptre comes from a mixed heritage. Her father is of Nigerian descent, specifically from Lagos State, and belongs to the Yoruba tribe. Her mother is English.

‘’My grandfather from dad’s side is a Nigerian from Lagos state. He is of Yoruba descent. My younger sister Bayleigh, is called by Yoruba name, Bisi. She is a drummer.

International Career

Plumptre’s connection to her Nigerian roots played a significant role in her decision to represent the Nigeria national team.

She spoke about her purpose and how it has evolved over time, emphasising her desire to delve into her heritage and represent the people she is familiar with.

Plumptre values the impact she can have as both a player and an individual, bringing her jovial and free-spirited personality to the game while also embracing her physical side, which she refers to as her “Nigerian side.”

She said:“As much as I love playing football, I like to play for a purpose and a reason. I know the impact I can have by delving into my heritage more and representing the people I am always familiar with”.

Plumptre began exploring her Nigerian heritage during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Discussing her background with her sister, who identifies as black while Plumptre identifies as mixed heritage, she felt compelled to connect with her roots.

“Even though we have the same dad, we both have a Nigerian dad and a white mum, she looks a little different to me and has experienced things in school that I never had,” she says. “Most people just assume that I’m white. I identify as being mixed heritage. But my sister … she identifies as being black.”

As a result, Plumptre switched her international allegiance from England to Nigeria, aiming to experience the culture and educate her sister about their heritage.

She says: “That’s where I’m like: ‘OK, Nigeria would be good for me to do because then I can experience the culture more, I can come back and teach her about our heritage. That was the trigger for me.”

“I love the culture, I honestly love everything about being in Nigeria,” she says. She has also “realised how lucky I’ve been to just have been born in this country, the opportunities that I’ve been blessed with”.

She adds: “My Nigerian teammates, for example, they’ve worked so hard but sometimes they don’t get the same opportunities based upon the teams that they’re playing in, the lack of exposure that they have. It’s a privilege to play with them.”

Career Honours

Throughout her career, Plumptre has achieved several notable honours. While playing for Notts County, she was a Women’s FA Cup runner-up in 2015 and a FA Women’s League Cup runner-up in the same year.

During her time at the University of Southern California, she won the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship in 2016.

In 2019, with LA Galaxy OC, Plumptre claimed the UWS Championship. More recently, she contributed to Leicester City’s success, helping them win the FA Women’s Championship in the 2020-21 season.

Net Worth

With her impressive performances on the field and her dedication to making a difference both as a player and as an individual, Ashleigh Megan Plumptre has become a highly respected figure in the world of women’s football.

Her net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, primarily derived from her appearances as a professional footballer.

As she continues to make strides in her career, Plumptre’s impact both on and off the field .is sure to leave a lasting legacy.


Asharami Energy Zambia Gets ‘A’ Rating from Energy Regulation Board

Mohammed Shosanya

Asharami Energy Zambia, a Sahara Group Company, has been awarded an “A” rating by the Energy Regulation Board of Zambia in recognition of its exceptional performance and quality service to customers in the region.

It rated the Asharami Energy Zambia Retail Station on Mungwi Road Lusaka, “A” for outstanding service delivery.

According to Dipo Fatoki, Country Manager, Asharami Energy Zambia Limited, the award demonstrates the company’s commitment to operating in line with globally endorsed quality, health, safety, and environment standards.

Fatoki said Asharami Zambia continues to promote access to clean, safe, reliable, and top-notch petroleum products in Zambia, facilitating economic growth and development in the nation.

“This recognition underscores our unwavering dedication to excellence and our ability to consistently deliver exceptional service to our esteemed customers in Zambia. We are committed to ensuring that every customer experience and journey brings delight, satisfaction, and above all, peace of mind that comes from the knowledge that Asharami Energy Zambia brings energy to life responsibly,” he said.

The Energy Regulation Board of Zambia also commended Asharami Energy Zambia for upholding industry standards, providing efficient energy solutions to the Zambian people and contributing significantly to the overall growth and development of the Zambian energy sector.

“This rating is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the Asharami Energy Zambia team. We are proud to replicate the high standards Sahara Group is known for across its location in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The team has an unwavering dedication to delivering excellent customer service safely and reliably is,” said Akinrotimi Borha, Depot Manager, Asharami Energy Zambia.

In addition to providing energy solutions, Asharami Energy Zambia also implements interventions geared towards promoting sustainable development in Zambia. Some of the interventions include rehabilitation of the Vision of Hope kitchen, a project which delivered a brand new kitchen for the Vision of Hope Orphanage.

The company also executed a robust Covid-19 Awareness campaign – which involved printing awareness materials in local languages to sensitize the public and minimize the spread of the virus, as well as the distribution of face masks (made from local fabric) and hand sanitizers to aid in the fight against the virus.

Ugandan Magistrate Poses As Woman To Write Exams For Girlfriend

Musa Semwogerere,a new Magistrate, has been arrested for posing as a woman to sit for exams for his girlfriend at the Law Development Centre (LDC) Lira, Uganda.

He was promoted to the rank of grade one magistrate by the Judicial Service Commission two weeks ago,a local media said.

Semwogerere was caught in the act last Friday, while writing exams for his girlfriend, Irene Mutonyi,according to local media report.

He has been charged with two counts of forgery and remanded to prison till August 3.

LDC director, Frank Nigel Othembi in a statement said Semwogerere’s offense was in contravention of Section 351 of the Penal Code Act and Impersonation contrary to Section 381 of the Penal Code Act.

Othembi said: “We reported the matter to the Police and he has been charged with two counts of uttering a false document contrary to Section 351 of the Penal Code Act and Impersonation contrary to Section 381 of the Penal Code Act and remanded to prison till August, 3, 2023. We will ensure that this case is prosecuted fully to its conclusion, including all other culpable persons.

“LDC is currently conducting final written examinations across all its three Campuses- Kampala, Lira and Mbarara. LDC does not condone any act of examination malpractice. We will continue with our zero tolerance policy towards any such conduct.”

Besides,the Judiciary confirmed that the suspect was a grade one magistrate appointed recently by the Judicial Service Commission but revealed that he will be relieved of his appointment.

“Semwogerere Ammaari Musa was appointed a judicial officer on June 12, 2023 by the Judicial Service Commission alongside 86 other persons to the position of Magistrate Grade One on probation. According to the Chief Registrar, Her Worship Sarah Langa Siu, the Judiciary is finalizing the appointment process of the said officers after which they will be sworn in,” the judiciary added.