By Ezinwanne Onwuka
● Redesigned banknotes do not expire Dec. 31, 2023: Central Bank of Nigeria
The Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] has some good news for Nigerians: the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes will remain legal tender beyond December 31, 2023. That’s not all, the CBN is also working towards annulling the Supreme Court’s order that pegged the December 31 deadline.
Nigeria was hit with a disastrous cash shortage after the central bank announced the introduction of new banknotes in October 2022 to rein in excess cash, fight crime and kidnapping, and address inflation and counterfeiting.
Millions of citizens were cash-strapped, spending endless queues in banks daily to swap their old bills for new ones or to get cash to beat the February 10 deadline. The Supreme Court in Abuja provided succour by extending the time limit to the end of the year.
But yesterday the CBN retired the court’s order. “The general public is enjoined to continue to accept all Naira banknotes [old or redesigned] for day-to-day transactions,” Isa AbdulMumin, CBN’s director of corporate communications, said via a press statement.
● Passengers and flight crew escape death as aircraft skids off the runway
Sixty-two passengers and five flight crew aboard a ValueJet CRJ 900 bombardier aircraft narrowly escaped death on Tuesday after the aircraft went into a skid on the runway yet landed safely.
Though no life was lost, some passengers sustained varying degrees of injuries. The ValueJet aircraft “encountered a slip due to algae on the taxiway, which made it unable to maintain the centre line,” according to local media reports.
The incident happened at the Port Harcourt International Airport in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital city, 48 hours after a Boeing 737-300 aircraft [registration: 5N-BYQ] operated by Aero Contractors suffered a runway excursion while navigating taxiway A4 at Abuja airport.
● Party ward chairman gunned down in Anambra
Joseph Ezenwegbu, the ward chairman of Nigeria’s Young Progressives Party [YPP] in Nanka, a community in Orumba North County of Anambra State was gunned down by masked killers on Saturday evening ahead of an upcoming second ballot.
He was reportedly shot by the assailants shortly after a strategic meeting between himself, the YPP candidate for the election, Chinwe Nnabuife and some card-carrying members of the party. A resident told the PUNCH that the killers stormed the venue of the meeting in a Lexus 350 SUV and zoomed off at the speed of light as soon as their mission was accomplished.
The police, on Tuesday, condemned the killing, describing the killers as “cowards”. “They might think they have committed a perfect crime and that they would get away with it, they delude themselves,” said Aderemi Adeoye, the commissioner of police in Anambra State.
● Canadian experts in Nigeria to investigate explosion at Embassy
A team of technical experts from Canada arrived in Abuja on Tuesday to investigate an explosion at the Canadian Embassy that killed two people on November 6.
The investigation is to determine the factors and conditions that led to the explosion, according to Demilade Kosemani, the public affairs director of the High Commission of Canada. Kosemani said the team would work with Nigerian authorities to resolve the “unfortunate incident.”
Following the incident, the commission suspended its embassy operations while the Lagos and Abuja visa application centres remained active.
● Tinubu’s National Security Adviser appeals to labour unions to end work strike
Nigeria’s National Security Adviser [NSA] Nuhu Ribadu, on behalf of the Nigerian government, has urged labour unions in Nigeria to call off the ongoing work strike that has grounded economic activities in Africa’s most populous nation.
The NSA, in a statement on Wednesday, said he is “worried about the implications of the strike action on the livelihood of ordinary Nigerians and its potential impact on economic security and other strategic national interests.”
TruthNigeria, on the November 14 edition of WHAT’S NEWS?, reported that Nigerian workers in both the public and private sectors have boycotted work to protest the battering of their labour leader Joe Ajaero by the police last week. In his plea, Ribadu said some persons who brutalized Ajaero have been arrested while further investigation is underway.
“The Federal Government, through the Office of the NSA, therefore, appeals to the labour leadership to call off the current strike action and allow the dialogue process underway to be exhausted,” the statement added. Meanwhile, the labour unions have doffed their hats to Nigerian workers in ensuring that workplaces are shut down completely.
Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.