Digital Economy: Osinbajo Commends Abiodun For Launch Of OGDEIP
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday commended Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun for the launch of Ogun Digital Economy Infrastructure Project in the state.
Osinbajo gave this commendation while speaking virtually at official launch of the project, held at the Ogun TechHub, Kobape Road, Abeokuta, the state capital.
According to the VP, digital economy technology is the future of all aspects of human existence such as business, education, healthcare, governance, security, and the practice of practically every profession. He lauded Abiodun for his initiative of bringing broad-band to businesses and homes in Ogun.
He added that with the launch of the project, Ogun was taking hold of the future, saying that making digital access available to all the citizens and businesses remained the most far-sighted action any government could take in the existing time.
While saying that the project was a critical component of President Muhammadu Buhari’s objectives of broad-band connectivity for all by 2023, Osinbajo emphasised that access to broad-band and modern technology tools had become compulsory for any community seeking meaningful growth, security and prosperity for its people.
“Indeed access to broad-band and modern technology tools have become compulsory for any community that seeks meaningful growth, security and prosperity for its people. So, I will like to commend our futuristic, dynamic, innovative and digitally compliant governor, Dapo Abiodun for the credible and relevant initiative. By bringing broad-band to homes, businesses and offices in Ogun State, you’re opening up Ogun State residences and businesses digitally not just across Nigeria but to the entire universe.
“This project is a critical component of Mr President’s objectives of broad-band connectivity for all by 2023. This ambition as you know is now enshrined in our Economic Sustainability Plan and as part of the national commitment to make broad-band connectivity available to all. You will re-call that in 2017, the state governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council agreed to harmonize a right of way charges payable by telecommunication companies and related public utility infrastructure on local governments, states and federal gighways to encourage co-location of the companies that fiber the cables.
“In another demonstration of government’s commitment in this regard, the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy launched a National Broad-band Plan which is designed to deliver data downloads units across Nigeria with a minimum of 25ABPS in urban areas and 10MPPs in rural areas with effective coverage available to at least 90% of the population by 2025 at affordable prices,” Osinbajo stated.
Earlier in his address, Governor Abiodun noted that the FG’s initiative of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) as being supervised by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy had yielded positive results.
He added that positive effects of the deployment of ICT towards resolving various challenges had culminated in creating more employment opportunities and poverty alleviation.
While noting that a thriving digital economy would enable the people, especially the youth, to take advantage of information superhighway and new technologies to become leading players in the globalized world, Abiodun pointed out that “digital economy will serve as a viable platform for strengthening the economic diversification as well as the attainment of many key national objectives of fighting corruption, improving security, job creation and expanding the economy.”
He added that his administration had continued to demonstrate commitment towards developing the ICT industry for the continued growth and expansion of all sectors of the economy, stressing that “the fact is that developing and leveraging digital resources will provide us a sure way to harness a globally competitive citizenry and economy in our dear state”.
“This digital economy infrastructure is the backbone for ICT revolution in our dear state. This will further enhance the ease of doing business in our state. Recent events have even shown the various roles of digital technologies in solving many human challenges and transforming every aspect of the economy.
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Therefore, this particular effort of our administration of providing a digital economy in Ogun State will not only help to resolve many challenges, both human and economic, but also provide more opportunities to improve the people’s know-how, productivity and innovations as necessary for nurturing their potential and the continued development of our state’s economy.
“The formal launch of the Ogun State Digital Economy Infrastructure Project (OGDEIP), today, is to formally deepen the various advantages of information technology advancements into all sectors and making ICT one indispensable point of our economy. The ICT industry has continued to account for more than 21% of our dear state’s Gross Domestic Product, and hence continued to provide countless job opportunities for our growing educated and creative citizenry. And, as we are putting efforts towards improving on our status as the industrial hub of the nation and the investors’ destination of choice, as well as the education capital of the country, providing an enduring legacy in digital economy at a full capacity at this time is very apposite,” Abiodun stated.
The governor added that OGDEIP in collaboration with a private company would provide broadband connectivity to every corner of the state by delivering fibre-optic cables and mechanics across all the 20 local government areas within the next two years.
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NLC Directs Officials To Monitor Banks Over Cash Scarcity
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has directed its officials across the country to go round and monitor cash dispensing situations at the commercial banks.
This is coming ahead of today’s National Executive Council, NEC meeting, leaders of orfficials of state councils of NLC and industrial union affiliates are to take pictorial evidence of the actual situations at the banks, “whether the banks are dispensing cash or not, and report same to the NLC headquarters.”
The monitoring which ends by 12.30 pm will enable the NEC meeting that will commence by 1:00 p.m.at the Labour House, Abuja, takes a final decision on tomorrow’s planned nationwide strike over the cash crunch in the country.
The National leadership of NLC gave the directive yesterday (Monday, March 27).
An official of NLC who spokelsaid, “Yes, the directive was given yesterday. Union leaders are to go around their areas to monitor commercial banks this Morning before 12.30pm and show pictorial evidence of the situation at the banks.
“Whether they are dispensing cash or not. The pictorial evidencesl are to be forwarded to Congress headquarters to be us assess the activities of Commercial banks before the NEC meeting by 1pm to enable us take a final decision on tomorrow’s planned industrial action.”
BREAKING: Old N200, N500, N1,000 Notes Remain Legal Tender Till Dec 31 – CBN
In compliance with a ruling of the Supreme Court, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared that old N200, N500, N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender till December 31, 2023.
The apex bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin spoke in a statement on Monday. This is coming 10 days after the Supreme Court ruled that old naira notes should co-exist with new ones till the end of the year.
“In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterized the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of March 3, 2023.
“Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers’ Committee and has directed that the old N200, N500 and N1000 banknotes remain legal tender alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023.
“Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform accordingly,” the statement read.
The highest court of the land had on March 3 ordered that old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain valid till December 31, 2023.
This was after 16 states of the federation instituted a suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.
The 16 states led by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara had prayed the apex court to void and set aside the policy on the ground that it is inflicting hardships on innocent Nigerians.
The Supreme Court subsequently ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari’s disobedience of its February 8 order is a sign of dictatorship, adding that the President breached the Constitution of the Federation in the way he issued directives for the re-designing of the Naira by the CBN.
After the March 3 judgement by the Supreme Court, the Presidency, CBN and the AGF kept mum, throwing many bank customers and Nigerians into confusion as the ruling of the apex court contradicted the directive of the President on February 16 that old N500 and N1000 notes are banned and old N200 notes remain valid till April 10.
However, the Presidency broke its silence on Monday, saying the President never told the CBN and the AGF not to obey the order of the apex court.
“The CBN has no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President,” the Presidency noted.
According to the Presidency, the President is an absolute respecter of the rule of law and that the “negative campaign and personalised attacks against the President by the opposition and all manner of commentators is unfair and unjust.”
The CBN had extended the deadline for the swap of old N200, N500, and N1,000 from January 31 to February 10 following complaints by many Nigerians but the Supreme Court, after a suit filed by the states, held that the Federal Government, the CBN, commercial banks must not continue with the February 10 deadline pending the determination of a notice in respect of the issue.
However, the President, in a national broadcast on February 16, directed the apex bank to release old N200 notes into circulation to co-exist with new N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes for 60 days — by April 10, 2023. He also said old N500 and N1,000 banknotes cease to be legal tender in Nigeria.
There has been a flurry of reactions and stark criticisms against the President’s directive including from governors of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Umar Ganduje (Kano); Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo; and many stalwarts of the ruling APC have openly censured and faulted the President’s directive, arguing that it has no grounds because the case is before the apex court.
Leading Senior Advocates of Nigeria like Femi Falana and Mike Ozekhome have equally faulted the President’s move, saying he cannot overrule the apex court of the land.
CBN Asked Banks To Receive Old Naira Notes – Soludo
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has asked commercial banks to dispense and accept old naira notes as deposits, according to Anambra State Governor Charles Soludo.
Soludo, a former CBN governor, made this known in a statement he posted on his social media handles.
He explained that the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele gave the directive at a Banker’s Committee meeting on Sunday.
He added that Emefiele personally confirmed the directive to him.
According to him, residents should report banks refusing to accept the old notes.
“Commercial banks have been directed by the Central Bank to dispense old currency notes and also to receive the same deposits from customers. Tellers at commercial banks are to generate the codes for deposits, and there is no limit to the number of times an individual or company can make deposits.”
“The Governor of the CBN gave the directive at a Bankers’ Committee meeting held on Sunday, 12th March 2023. The Governor, Dr Godwin Emefiele, personally confirmed the above to me during a phone conversation on Sunday night. Residents of Anambra are therefore advised to freely accept and transact their businesses with the old currency notes (N200, N500; and N1,000) and the new notes”, the statement added.
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