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Naira Redesign: Nigerian Senate To Debate New Central Bank Cash Withdrawal Policy

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The Senate has set Tuesday, December 13, 2022, to debate the latest Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, policy over cash withdrawal limits.

The Senate raised concerns in its plenary on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.

Senate Minority Leader Aduda Phillip, in a point of order, had drawn the attention of his colleagues to the CBN’s new policy and demanded caution as it will affect many citizens, small business owners.

Responding to this, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who cautioned the CBN not to approach the policy at once, directed the committee on banking to engage the CBN and discuss the matter during the screening of the CBN Deputy Governor, expected to hold before the coming week.

Under the new withdrawal policy, the CBN restricted the maximum weekly cash withdrawal over the counter, OTC, by corporate organisations and individuals to N500,000 and N100,000, respectively.

The new withdrawal regime pegged the maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated teller Machine, ATM, at N100,000, subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal daily.

Nigerian Senate Launches Probe Into Job Racketeering In NDDC

The Senate Committee on Ethics and Privilege is probing allegations of job racketeering in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Ayo Akinyelure, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions disclosed this to journalists on Thursday, November 24, 2022, at the National Assembly in Abuja.

He said the probe followed a petition accusing the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Senator Godswill Akpabio and the management of the NDDC of refusing to document the appointments of seven job seekers from Ondo State who legitimately applied and were issued letters of employment to work in the Commission.

Senator Akinyelure, however, said the Ethics Committee has absolved the current Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs Umana Okon Umana of any wrongdoing in the alleged job racketeering and corruption allegations.

EFCC Arrests NDDC Account Director Over Alleged N25 Billion Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested the director, finance, and account of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Eno Ubi Otu, for the alleged diversion of over N25 billion tax remittances.

The suspect who arrived at the commission in the early hours of Wednesday was still being interrogated as of press time.

A source told the Guardian that the arrest was part of a larger investigation of the forensic audit report of the NDDC.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2019 authorised a forensic audit of the NDDC following allegations of widespread corruption at the agency.

This was due to reports of how several NDDC projects were abandoned or non-existent despite the release of millions of naira for them.

In September 2021, attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami received the NDDC forensic audit report on behalf of the president.

On December 30, 2021, the President said his administration will recover “every kobo” mismanaged or looted from the commission, adding that culprits will face the wrath of the law.

The Niger Delta minister, Godswill Akpabio, had also said the NDDC was treated like an ATM where officials just went to steal public funds.

It was also gathered that following the audit, contractors who abandoned their projects rushed back to the site to avoid prosecution by the EFCC

A few others were said to have returned all monies paid to them before they left their contracts uncompleted.

The EFCC had beamed its searchlight on the errant contractors in line with Federal Government’s directive after scrutinising NDDC’s forensic report.

On the arrest of Otu, the spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for confirmation.

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