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Investors demand for treasury bills has reached a record high as the total subscriptions have risen to N2.62 trillion, with particular interest observed in the longer-dated bills, accounting for N2.48 trillion.

According to data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s website, instruments worth N161.33 billion, comprising N17.61 billion of the 91-day, N1.56 billion of the 182-day, and N142.16 billion of the 364-day bills were offered by the apex bank during the primary auction at the Nigerian Treasury bills secondary market.

The bullish sentiments persisted in the Nigerian Treasury bills secondary market, as the average yield across all instruments contracted by 6 basis points (bps) to 17.9 per cent with analysts at Cordros Research attributing the performance to higher demand as investors looked to cover for lost bids at the NTB PMA on Wednesday (27 March, 2024).

Across the market segments, the average yield dipped by 4bps and 6bps to 17.7 per cent and 18.5 per cent in the NTB and OMO secondary markets, respectively.

Ultimately, the CBN over-allotted bills worth N1.19 trillion, including N29.83 billion of the 91-day, N25.56 billion of the 182-day, and N1.13 trillion of the 364-day bills, at respective stop rates of 16.24 per cent, 17.00 per cent, and 21.12 per cent, all unchanged from previous levels.

Reacting to this development, money market operators noted that the successful auction and the heightened interest in the NTBs signify a keen investor appetite for higher interest rates, providing a solid anchor for the fiscal stability of Nigeria.

They noted that the CBN’s decision to tighten monetary policy by increasing interest rates and auctioning larger volumes of treasury bills is a strategic move to address several macroeconomic concerns.

“Higher interest rates are typically employed to control inflation; they make borrowing more expensive, thereby tempering spending and investment, which, in theory, should reduce the upward pressure on prices.

Additionally, these higher rates tend to attract foreign investors seeking better yields, leading to an inflow of foreign currency, which can help stabilise and potentially strengthen the Naira. Following our expectation of a possible lower liquidity in the system next week, we envisage moderation in demand for instruments in the T-bills secondary market and, thus, increased yields”, they said.

Meanwhile, the naira further appreciated by 9.3 per cent to N1,309.39/$1 at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), with total turnover (as of 27 March 2024) declining by 47.8 per cent week-to-date (WTD) to $984.84 million, as trades were consummated within the N1,200.00 – N1,486.00/$ band. Notably, the CBN sold another round of $10,000.00 to each of the eligible BDCs at N1,251.00/$1, with an allowable spread capped at 1.5 per cent.

However, Nigeria’s FX reserves weakened further, as the gross reserves level fell by $311.91 million to $33.95 billion.

In the Forwards market, the naira rates recorded for the 1-month (+9.5 per cent to N1,334.58/$1), 3-month (+9.1 per cent to N1,375.00/$1), 6-month (+8.7 per cent to N1,438.11/$1) and 1-year (+10.7 per cent to N1,541.08/$1) contracts increased.

Speaking to our correspondent, Head, Research, FSL Securities, Victor Chiazor, said that the CBN’s continuous efforts in the FX market to stabilise the naira, reflected in the sustained sale of US dollars to eligible BDCs and maintenance of high yields on naira-denominated assets to support FPI inflows.

According to him, “Whilst CBN’s intervention in the FX market is poised to remain frail in the near term given its low FX reserves, we expect the naira to remain stable in the short term, supported by tighter monetary policy conditions and improved FX liquidity”.

 

Sun

The Police Command in Cross River, on Sunday, confirmed the abduction of three students of the University of Calabar (Unical).

Spokesperson of the command, Irene Ugbo, who gave the confirmation, said the students were abducted Thursday night at one of the university hostels inside the campus.

Ugbo, who didn’t give details of the abduction, however, said the police were working in collaboration with other agencies to rescue the students.

A source who pleaded anonymity gave the names of the students as Ojang Precious Ebejin, a 200-level student of the Department of Medicine and Surgery; Ugwu Chukwuemeka, a 300-level student of the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology and Damilola Dickson, a final-year student of the same Department.

 

NAN

Iran-backed Palestinian leader vows victory over Israel in the war in Gaza

The leader of the Iran-backed Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad vowed victory over Israel in the war in Gaza as he met Iran’s foreign minister for talks in Tehran Saturday.

“I promise you that we will be the victors in the war,” Ziad al-Nakhalah told reporters, according to the official IRNA news agency. He called his meeting with Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian “important” and thanked Iran for its support for the Palestinians.

Iran hasn’t directly intervened in the Israel-Hamas war, despite long describing Israel as its archenemy. However, experts say Iran provides both financial and political support to Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza and that launched the Oct. 7 attack on Israel in which more than 1,200 people were killed and about 250 were taken hostage.

“Active diplomacy by Islamic Republic of Iran has had a great role in defining the stance of Palestinian resistance,” al-Nakhalah was quoted as saying.

The two sides discussed the latest development in the war, and Israel’s “war crimes and genocide,” IRNA reported.

Also in Tehran was the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, who met with al-Nakhalah, as well as holding separate talks with the Iranian leadership over the past few days.

Iranian media reported that al-Nakhalah and Haniyeh, during their bilateral meeting Friday in Tehran said the success of any indirect negotiation with Israel depends on the end of Israel’s war on Gaza, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory, the return of displaced people and the continued delivery of humanitarian aid. They also stressed the need for “intensifying resistance in all fields” and thanked Yemen’s Houthis for their support, as well as Iraqi and Lebanese anti-Israeli militant groups.

Earlier in the week, the U.N Security Council adopted a resolution on Gaza, demanding an immediate cease-fire, as well as the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

Nearly six months of war has destroyed critical infrastructure in Gaza, including hospitals, schools and homes as well as roads, sewage systems and the electrical grid. Airstrikes and Israel’s ground offensive have left more than 32,000 Palestinians dead, according to local health authorities. The fighting has displaced over 80% of Gaza’s population and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine, the U.N. and international aid agencies say.

 

AP

RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE

Putin signs decree on spring draft to armed forces

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on spring draft for military service in Russia.

The document was published on the official legal information portal. According to new rules, in effect since January 1, the conscription will involve those aged 18-30, with the exception of those who turned 27 before the end of 2023 and those who are 28 or 29 or are in reserve.

"[I hereby decree to] carry out the conscription of Russian citizens aged between 18 and 30, not in reserve and eligible for conscription, between April 1 and July 15, 2024, in the quantity of 150,000 people," the decree said.

The document also dismisses soldiers, sailors, sergeants and petty officers, whose conscription time span has expired.

 

WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

Russia seeks extradition of Ukraine security service head; Ukraine rejects demand

Russia is demanding that Ukraine hand over all people connected with terrorist acts committed in Russia, including the head of the country's SBU Security Service, the foreign ministry said on Sunday.

The SBU immediately dismissed the Russian demand as "pointless" and said the Russian ministry had "forgotten" that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin was the subject of an international arrest warrant.

A Russian Foreign Ministry statement listed violent incidents that have occurred in Russia since the Kremlin's forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022, including bombings that killed the daughter of a prominent nationalist and a war blogger, and an incident in which a writer was seriously hurt.

The ministry said investigation of these incidents showed that "the traces of these crimes lead to Ukraine."

"Russia has turned over to Ukrainian authorities its demands ... for the immediate arrest and extradition of all those connected to the terrorist acts in question," the statement said.

Among those listed in the statement to be handed over are SBU head Vasyl Maliuk, who has acknowledged his service was behind attacks on the bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland since the Kremlin's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Russia seized control of Crimea in 2014; the bridge was built after the region was annexed.

"The Russian side demands that the Kyiv regime immediately cease all support for terrorist activity, extradite guilty parties and compensate the victims for damages," the ministry statement said.

"Ukraine's violation of its obligations under anti-terrorist conventions will result in it being held to account in international legal terms."

'POINTLESS, CYNICAL"

Ukraine's SBU said the Russian demands "sound particularly cynical coming from the terrorist state itself. ... Therefore, any words from the Russian Foreign Ministry are pointless."

The SBU referred to the arrest warrant against Putin issued by the International Criminal Court in connection with the transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia and said "the tribunal in The Hague is waiting for him."

The Russian statement referred to the mass shooting this month at a concert hall outside Moscow in which 144 people died, but only in an oblique sense.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and U.S. officials said they had intelligence showing it was carried out by the network's Afghan branch, Islamic State Khorasan, or ISIS-K.

Russian investigators said last week they had found proof that the concert hall gunmen were linked to "Ukrainian nationalists." Kyiv denies any connection with the attack.

Russian news agencies on Sunday quoted Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia's Investigative Committee, the country's most important criminal investigation body, as saying that work was proceeding to determine who was behind the attack.

 

Tass/Reuters

Two weeks ago, in my article entitled “Tinubu, beware the gathering dark clouds (2)”, I touched on our unity and rhetorically ended by asking if going our various ways would be better for all.

I said, “To stitch the “merely a geographical entity” that we currently have, therefore, is a task that must involve all of us. We do not have any other country to call ours. And we cannot afford to see the country put together by God through the British rendered asunder.

“Another reason I always look at some Nigerians from the south and north who shout ‘let Nigeria be divided:’ “Do they know what they are saying? Do they think that is feasible anymore? Would it be beneficial to all concerned? We will look at this next.”

Yes, we have to look at it because from the uppermost tip of the north to the southernmost part of the Nigerian map, you find those agitating for “everyone” to find their way out of Nigeria. Well, to these people, there is good news and bad news.

I will start with the latter.

On January 31, 2021, I wrote here, under the title “Mandela and the parable of the Fulani”, that “But I have always maintained that even if Nigeria would balkanise, now is the wrong time, for all our sakes. The best time would have been 1966 and, perhaps by now, we would all have been independent nationalities, each with its peculiar problems and prospects. But now, none of the six geopolitical zones can survive outside Nigeria. Bandits, insurgents, militants and all would overwhelm us.”

The northeast will just be an easy pick for Boko Haram, and the North West an easy meal for the bandits while the North Central will be a good ‘brunch’ for the kidnappers and killer-herdsmen militia. And you know what? All three sets of criminals are somehow interconnected. The security forces will, in the event of a national breakdown, all be concerned with protecting themselves and their families, for there will be no country to live in or a nation to die for.

In the same article, I pointed out that in the South, “even the Igbo nation cannot stand on its own if left to the whims, arrogance and demagoguery of its self-anointed secessionist leaders who will make Yoweri Museveni look like a saint”.

“But many intelligent Igbo know this. The problem is there is a herd movement towards something that the gullible, used as cannon fodder, do not even know what it is. To them, it is “freedom”. Sure? Freedom from what? From where? From who? If it happens, which is doubtful, then they will recall Nigeria with nostalgia and rue over a Nigerian slang “one chance”. They would realise its real meaning, albeit late in the day. This is assuming various warlords have not emerged to deny everyone peace. And freedom.”

The Asari Dokubos and Tompolos will control the South-South of Adaka Boro and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Then throw strongmen like Nyesom Wike into the mix and the cauldron is complete.

This would necessitate international action that would see Chad and Niger Republics encouraged to come in and take over the North because the world cannot stand a fake Afghanistan or a country of bandits. In the South, Cameroon too will have to be encouraged to come in and help. The survivors among our children and their children and their children’s children would now be left struggling to reunite because they would forever remain second or third-class citizens in their new countries.

Well, perhaps the western region would escape this scenario because, after the first hiccup, it would pick up, as it is currently the only zone that can survive as a mini-nation. Under the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, the zone consolidated itself as a democracy and economic powerhouse. Please compare Lagos and the North’s economic hub, Kano, in just one area - transportation. Can you see the modern intra-train services in Lagos and how Keke NAPEP (commercial tricycles) has become the symbol of the state? Can you see the industries in the southwest employing tens of thousands while in Kaduna billions were collected as a loan to build roads that cannot bring revenue in any way while moribund industries were overlooked?

But that is still with a big “perhaps” because the South West too has its fair share of rabble-rousers and enfant terrible. It has the Sunday Igbohos and Gani Adams before he was tamed. Maybe they are good at taming their problem children.

The North could have survived and escaped being landlocked had the late President ‘Yar’Adua’s vision of the Baro Port been sustained by the last president of northern extraction. Or even if there was a genuine commitment to get oil in the North. Sadly, both were used to deceive the ever-gullible northern voter at every election cycle.

What made the North this pathetic is that it lacked a genuine leader and, therefore, vision and focus. Do you know that most of the Fulani terrorising Nigeria now could have long been engineers, medical doctors, professors, big dairy and meat factory owners, etc? The regime of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida started what it christened nomadic education. Under it, there were many things involved that could change the way the Fulani live. But because most of our leaders were, and are, short-sighted and prioritise lining their pockets, they never took that programme seriously. Now, with all the money they have sliced for themselves, those who should have been empowered with skills and knowledge yesterday will not allow them to enjoy it today. And what of the nomadic education programme started by the much-maligned President Jonathan in which billions were expended but allowed to work?

The good news is that the scenario painted will never happen. Despite intra-fights, threats and blackmails, Nigeria has come to stay. While it is said that “there is nothing the good and visionary can do when demagogues opiate the minds and souls of the gullible herd,” or so it seems, we should also keep in mind Edmund Burke’s letter to Thomas Mercer, a 19th-century judge. A summary of the letter is: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Ultimately, for this country to stick together for the long haul, the governance pillars must be probity, justice, fairness, equality, equity and inclusiveness. Leaders who work at variance with these values are the greatest enemies of Nigeria’s unity.

** Hassan Gimba is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Neptune Prime.

 

Nobel Laureate Economist Angus Deaton gave a humbling lesson to Economists on Capitalism in his seminal article, 'Rethinking my Economics', published on the IMF website, questioning his 40 year neo-liberal economic beliefs that won him a Nobel Prize, which resonates with President Bola Tinubu’s economic somersaults of reversing his neo-liberal economic policies of subsidy removal and floating the Naira that led to economic destabilization and heightened poverty in Nigeria.

How Yorubas Omoluabi leadership moved from Awolowo's empowering Social Welfarism to Tinubu's debilitating neo-liberal economics can only be explained by one of Deaton postulations that "Without an analysis of power, it is hard to understand inequality or much else in modern capitalism” https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/fandd/issues/2024/03/Symposium-Rethinking-Economics-Angus-Deaton

I had set out early on the path of rethinking my economics during the 2023 presidential campaign, when I observed that the three leading presidential candidates’ manifestos were based on the same outdated slave plantation economics perspectives that Agriculture was the focus of economic development, overlooking the simple fact that an accelerated railway development was the launchpad of industrialization that will provide immense income and employment multiplier effects across the Economy. This made me label them 'Neocolonial administrators, Not Economic Revolutionaries' in an article.

However, I overlooked their promises to immediately remove fuel subsidies and float the Naira, until Tinubu came into power to do exactly what had been the prevailimg economic thought for a decade since President Goodluck Jonathan. The devastating effects of the policies made me research and rethink to realize that contrary to the IMF neo-liberal economic policies pushed on Black nations, all industrialized capitalist nations depended on subsidies to stimulate and sustain their economies. Average global fuel subsidies to GDP was 7.1% while Nigeria’s was a mere 2%.

Economic history reveals that 'Capitalist nations spent money they didn't have to pay subsidies' to stop spread of Russian type revolutions. Slavery had been the capital of Capitalism for 350 years since the 1500s, but with the end of slavery and the continued need of an underclass increasingly included Whites that formed unions and Marxist political movements, to snatch power from the capitalist plutocracies masquerading as democracies. Maynard Keynes provided the economic solution known as demand side economics that was to subsidize income, housing, health and big business. 'Keynes wrote that the problem of economics is to reconcile economic efficiency, social justice, and individual liberty'. The British Fabian Society spread the economic perspective of social welfarism to leaders of newly independent nations like Obafemi Awolowo; Jawaharlal Nehru of India; Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan; Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore; and Michel Aflaq, the founder of the Ba'athist movement that spread it across the Arab world.

However, Western nations racially restricted the socioeconomic empowerment, like USA where Blacks were deprived the 1950s housing subsidies, the greatest generational transfer of wealth to Whites. There was the need to maintain an underclass, if not economically but sociopolitically, to continue Global White Supremacy doctrines. Social welfarism was brought to an end globally by UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan that used Milton Friedman Chicago School of Economics neo-liberal economic theories through the IMF. While all sources of Black Diasporan employment were cut, and excuses proffered to stop payment of subsidies to them, the IMF was used to stop subsidies in all Black nations.

From the Eighties, the likes of Awolowo were kept out of power through various tools like coloniality of knowledge and power sources, as well as coloniality of ecology/economics that gave them power to crash underdeveloped countries’ commodity prices. Michael Manley, PNP government of Jamaica was pushed out of power until they accepted to be the fierciest advocates of neo-liberal economic policies. Kenneth Kaunda, the Zambian freedom fighter, was boxed into a corner that forced him to implement IMF subsidies removal that led to protests and loss of power. Even in the West, for the left wing social welfarist parties to regain power, they had to move to the center with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair adopting neo-liberal economic policies.

African social welfarists were labelled Populists, Marxists and Communists as the Cold War deepened between 'Capitalist' West and 'Communist' East. Western economic and media powers distorted the terms by refusing to see Communism as a temporary system to restructure the economies of non-slaving nations, galvanizing capital and private property to build socially beneficial production infrastructure, and the stark reality that pure Capitalism could no longer survive without subsidies and now were welfarists states.

While President Olusegun Obasanjo craftily struck a balance, Tinubu took the neo-liberal economic policies in the name of efficiency without social.justice. As Deaton observed, 'when efficiency comes with upward wealth redistribution, our recommendations frequently become little more than a license for plunder,' Tinubu's Lagos policy of increasing efficiency of taxation to raise IGR led to the unfair taxing of the large but poorly paid informal sector, whose proceeds were split by the upper classes without giving them health, housing or employment subsidies. He was able to get away with his neo-liberal economic injustices in Lagos, because majority of Lagosians taxed were traders and transporters with unions that could pass on the increased costs. However, on a national level, the polices implode the economy with galloping inflation as farmers and other producers passed prices to consumers. Fortunately, he has reversed the policies by now paying subsidies, at a higher rate than if left alone, and resumed backing Naira.

Though rethinking his economics, and trying to find a way forward by setting up high powered economic teams with capitalists, neo-liberal economists and top ministers, he overlooks Augus’ observation that following the Eighties global tyranny of neo-liberal economics, 'and economists on the left bought into the Chicago School’s deference to markets—“we are all Friedmanites now”—social justice became subservient to markets. Therefore his team is made up of the heavyweights with the same economic perspectives that wrote his Manifesto and guided his economic destruction till date.

Contrary to Tinubu's statement at Chatham House that he would run the economy with teams, he must take leadership at this pivotal time in global economics to redirect Nigeria away from neoliberalism to progressive policies to provide abundance for all according to Afenifere Social Welfarism mantra. The further empowerment of the neo-liberal capitalists in his new economic teams will not bring about social justice and economic development that can stop a class war and revolution. Ex-President Jacob Zuma recently categorized capitalism as the rule of a few capitalists over the masses, while socialism gave power to the masses over the capitalists.

Deaton advised Economists could benefit by greater engagement with the ideas of philosophers, historians, and sociologists, just as Adam Smith once did. Now that Tinubu has reversed the subsidy removal, and like the 1940s Western capitalists paying subsidies with the money we don't have, through borrowing, he must lead an economic crusade towards industrialization and economic advancement to pay back, or the system would collapse under the weight of debts. He must take note of the economic history of subsidies and industrialization, tied to accelarated railway development which have huge multiplier effects in agriculture, industry and service sectors.

** Justice Faloye, author The Blackworld: Evolution to Revolution, is an Economist, sociopolitical activist, President ASHE Foundation, Deputy Publicity Secretary Afenifere.

 

Monday, 01 April 2024 04:44

4 ways to speak up without payback

It takes courage to stand up and say when something isn’t right. But all too often, we meet these acts of integrity and accountability with suspicion and resentment.

“People are dying, Scott, you’ve got document after document here telling you why, and you haven’t said one word. I wanna know. . . . How the hell you sleep at night?”
Erin Brockovich
(2000)

In the movies, whistleblowers are usually portrayed as courageous individuals willing to brave serious harm to their reputation, livelihood, and even their lives, to speak truth to corruption or other grave misconduct. From All the President’s Men to Erin Brockovich, we romanticize these characters as avatars of integrity. But the harsh truth is that whistleblowers rarely get a Hollywood ending, in part because of the very language we use to describe their actions.

Murray v UBS Securities, LLC

On February 8, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that UBS had to pay around $900,000 to Trevor Murray, a former analyst who claimed he was fired after refusing to yield to pressure to produce “illegal” and “unethical” reports that supported UBS business strategies. Murray complained to his supervisor in December 2011 and January 2012. About a month after that, UBS eliminated his job, which prompted Murray’s lawsuit. His legal victory at the Supreme Court doesn’t just vindicate his experience, but it significantly strengthens the whistleblower protection provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley, which prohibit companies from retaliating against whistleblowers. Thanks to this recent Supreme Court decision, ex-employees in Murray’s position no longer have to prove that their former employers reacted with “retaliatory intent” when they fired them. 

This brings U.S. law more in line with the European Union, which doesn’t just specifically forbid whistleblower retaliation, it goes one step further than Sarbanes-Oxley and requires employers to prove that they didn’tretaliate when letting whistleblowers go. Perhaps it is this evolution in whistleblower protection that prompted powerful U.S. trade groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Airlines for America, and the American Association of Railroads to line up behind UBS in this matter, claiming that expanded whistleblower protection would inundate employers with meritless claims. 

For anyone familiar with what actually happens to people when they speak up about workplace misconduct, however, the notion that anyone would do it frivolously is simply ridiculous. Indeed, there are state, federal, and international laws prohibiting whistleblower retaliation. But whistleblowers also routinely face ostracization by their peers, lost promotion opportunities, workplace bullying, and more. It may not rise to the level of Japan’s infamous “banishment rooms,” but spiteful employers can, have, and do carry out all kinds of soft retaliation against employees deemed disloyal for having the integrity to raise their hand when something is amiss—instead of acknowledging the reality. An employee raising an issue early is the best way to resolve problems before they become a four-alarm reputational fire.

Four steps to combat workplace retaliation 

This may all sound dire, but there are actions that organizations can take to avoid becoming the next headline and court case.

Develop a formal anti-retaliation policy. This sounds basic, but it all begins here. Does your organization formally prohibit retaliatory behavior? Does it clearly describe how to report suspected retaliation? Is it written in language that all employees can understand? Companies that lead the way in this area establish build meaningful policy language around this, and back that up with properly resourced ethics and compliance departments that work closely with HR to ensure that employees feel empowered to speak up when they see that something is wrong, secure in the knowledge that they will not be overtly or covertly punished for their integrity.Train your managers. Managers are your culture’s linchpin. They’re the tone setters, and those best-positioned to prevent retaliation in their teams. Even at organizations with sophisticated and well-advertised employee hotlines, the reality is that employees usually first raise concerns with their managers before elevating matters. If your people managers are not trained to prevent retaliation, then the gap to allow for retaliation will only widen. According to Ethisphere’s research, the most common topics covered in non-retaliation training for managers include:

The importance of not treating reporters differently (94%)The need to avoid suspensions, terms, or layoffs (90%)The need to avoid potentially retaliatory transfers or changes (88%)Viewing reporting as a positive opportunity to address an issue (83%)Observation to prevent retaliation from co-workers (77%)

Equipping managers well in advance will pay dividends in protecting your organization, your culture, your reporters, and your managers themselves.

Develop a culture of integrity. Many companies that have been found guilty of retaliating against whistleblowers also had formal policies forbidding such behavior. These policies are only as good as the culture they are a part of, and they can’t exist in a vacuum. Culture can be measured and benchmarked, and when you have hard data around how well your culture stacks up against your peers and industry best practices, then you have a sense of just how much your organization means it when it says it won’t retaliate. But when it comes to preventing retaliation, the first and best defense is to encourage speaking up. Reporting isn’t an act of disloyalty. It is an act of integrity.Stop calling it whistleblowing.Depending on where you look, the origins of the term whistleblower either refer to a police officer blowing a whistle to halt traffic, a referee blowing a whistle to stop play, or a train engineer blowing a whistle warning people to get out of the way. Whatever the origin, it all comes down to a kind of necessary evil: a shrill, unwelcome, and potentially hurtful noise that interrupts business as usual. Even when calling out truly criminal and reprehensible behavior, “whistleblowing” is still often equated with cynical tattling. 

When we couch speak-up activity in this way, is it any wonder that it is so misunderstood, and that those who do it often face retaliation for it? Maybe we should call employees with the integrity to call out misconduct upstanders instead. After all, the words we use to describe ourselves matter. And those among us who live up to the expectations of business integrity in the most meaningful way possible deserve to be addressed properly: as model employees.

Erica Salmon Byrne is chief strategy officer and executive chair for Ethisphere.

 

Fast Company

A son of former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has attacked his father’s successor, Uba Sani, over his complaint about the loans burden he inheritted from Mr El-Rufai.

Governor Sani said his administration was finding it difficult to pay workers’ salaries because of the repayment of the state’ huge debts.

The governor said the administration inherited $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from the administration of Mr El-Rufai.

Mr Sani lamented that due to the rise in the exchange rate, the state is now paying back almost triple what was borrowed by the previous administration.

Reaction

In an apparent reaction to Mr Sani’s remark, the son of the former governor, Bello El-Rufai, in a tweet on X said the governor was only trying to cover his administration’s incompetence.

Mr El-Rufai claimed that the governor had “deflected” from his responsibilities and abandoned his duty as governor.

“These guys have realised that they are wholly incompetent and the only way to mask the nonsense is to deflect. From a Governor who is always sleeping in Abuja to a litany of incompetent aides who were only rewarded for foolish political reasons,” he said.https://x.com/BashirElRufai/status/1774112565737500778?s=08

Kaduna’s debt burden

Daily Trust newspaper had reported that Sani made the statement in Kaduna on Saturday while addressing a town hall meeting. The governor said the huge debt burden was eating deep into the state’s federal allocation.

He explained that N7 billion out of the N10 billion federal allocation for the state in March was deducted to service the state’s debt.

The governor lamented that the N3 billion left from the allocation was not enough to pay salaries, as the state’s monthly salary bill stands at N5.2 billion.

However, Mr Sani said despite the debt inherited, his administration has not borrowed “a single kobo” in the last nine months of his government.

“Despite the huge debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities sadly inherited from the previous administration, we remain resolute in steering Kaduna State towards progress and sustainable development.

“We have conducted a thorough assessment of our situation and are sharpening our focus accordingly. It gladdens my heart to inform you that despite the huge inherited debt on the state, to date, we have not borrowed a single kobo,” the governor said.

 

The governor further said the key priority areas of his government include safety and security, housing, education, healthcare, and support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

He said his government would also prioritise inclusive development by investing in human capital, stimulating the economy, and providing affordable housing.

Governor Sani at the town hall meeting highlighted some of his administration’s top priorities for 2024 including safety and security, infrastructural development, education development, housing and urban development, social intervention, and investment drive, among others.

 

PT

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has removed the limits and restrictions on transactions on the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS).

This is contained in a circular dated March 12, signed by Hassan Mahmud, CBN’s director of trade and exchange department.

PAPSS is a cross-border financial market infrastructure enabling payment transactions across Africa, bridging trade challenges in a continent with over 41 known currencies. 

In June 2023, PAPSS signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with five African multinational commercial banking groups such as UBA and Access Bank for seamless cross-border trade payments.

One month later, the apex bank pegged the amount for transactions in PAPSS at $200,000 per quarter by authorised dealer bank (ADB) and $20,000 per quarter for a customer.

However, in the latest circular, the CBN said all limits and restrictions on PAPSS, including the amount to be paid quarterly, have been removed.

“Following the recent liberalization of the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) initiatives to boost foreign exchange inflows, particularly through the facilitation of intra-Africa continental trade, we hereby revise our Circular Ref-TED/FEM/PUB/FPC/01/005 issued on July 25, 2023, on the above subject,” the circular reads.

“Removal of all restrictions and limits on Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), including US$20,000 and US$200,000 quarterly limits per Individual and authorised dealer banks (ADBs), respectively.

“Removal of the restrictions of ‘only’ Trade backed and inwards transactions

“ADBs are allowed to source for FX for settlement of PAPSS transactions through the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market with no recourse to the CBN.

“All export proceeds repatriated under PAPSS shall be subject to certification by the respective processing banks.”

The apex bank also said all documentation requirements stipulated in the foreign exchange manual and extant circulars will continue to apply.

 

The Cable

National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has announced fees that Nigerians are required to pay to modify the data on their National Identification Number (NIN).

NIMC last weekend disclosed that corrections can be made to name, date of birth, and phone numbers incorrectly registered with their NIN on a newly launched mobile application.

The application and online portal allows visitors to register to use the service.

Thereafter, it requests for visitors’ NIN, last name, and email address before launching the data modification channel.

NIMC did not initially announce a fee for the modification of data until seven days later amid complaints from users about technical glitches on the mobile application.

The commission said different fees for specific self-service options for modification of data – name, age, date of birth, phone number, and email address – on the NIN.

This is not the first time NIMC will list fees for different services that involve modification of data on NIN.

In 2021, NIMC announced that fees between N5,000 and N15,000 had to be paid to rectify incorrect data on NIN database.

The charge, according to NIMC regional coordinator in Alausa, Lagos at the time, Mrs Funmi Opensanwo, varies from correction of details like name, address, card renewal or replacement and date of birth.

“The money we charge is for modification fee,” Opensanwo said on Channels TV in January 2021.

“For the date of birth correction, the processing fee is N15,000. For card renewal or card replacement, there is a processing fee of N5,000.

“For a modification of your name and address, there is a fee of N5,000.”

She noted that the fees “are for services and (things) to be corrected. They are payable to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and not to anybody.”

Modifying data on NIN has been challenging for Nigerians. Hundreds of people besiege NIMC offices in different parts of the country to either register for the NIN or requesting to correct their data.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has mandated banks to compel bank account owners to link their NIN to their banking data or risk having the accounts suspended.

 

The Guardian


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