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Nigeria’s apex bank, CBN, wants to redesign currencies to fight inflation. Smart move?

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The governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele on Wednesday announced plans to introduce new designs of the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes by December 15.

Nigeria’s apex bank says the policy is an attempt to bring currency from outside the banking system into the banking system, thereby making monetary policy more effective in combating inflation.

The inflation rate in Nigeria continued on an upward trend as it surged to 20.77% in September 2022, up from 20.52% recorded in August while the Consumer Price Index rose by 20.77% year-on-year in September 2022.

Mr. Emiefele while speaking on the policy revealed that “Statistics show that 85% of the currency in circulation are outside the volts of our commercial banks. Data indicates that N2.73 trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currency in circulation was outside the volts of commercial banks across the country.

“In recent years, the CBN has recorded significantly higher rates of counterfeiting, especially at the high demonization of N500 and N100 bank notes.” He added.

Emefiele also explained that the redesign of the currency is long overdue. According to him, “our existing series of banknotes -the naira, has not been re-designed in the last 20 years. The bank reasonably determined to achieve the objective of its mandate as enshrined in Section 2B of the CBN act of 2007 to ensure a strong and effective legal tender.

“It is therefore no longer tenable to continue with business as usual especially given the continually evolving circumstances that could impede the optimal performance of our naira. Furthermore, we believe that the re-design of the currency will help deepen our drive to entrench a cashless economy, and a christ minting of our E-Naira will complement it.”

He also argued that government would generate revenue from the process as  Nigerians wanting to deposit more than N150, 000 cash must pay a deposit fee.

The CBN also hopes that redesigning of the naira would to a certain extent help manage terrorist activities with the belief that the process of ransom payments to terrorists and kidnappers would become knotty.

Kidnapping for ransom is on the rise in Nigeria, a report by Lagos-based security and political risk research firm has shown says about N653.7 million was paid as ransom in Nigeria between July 2021 and June 2022.

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Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, TotalEnergies, discuss over gas project

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Discussion on the humanitarian situation in the Cabo Delgado area in Mozambique is ongoing between The head of TotalEnergies and Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi.

TotalEnergies’ chairman and chief executive Patrick Pouyanne had visited the Cabo Delgado area to review the security and humanitarian situation, and Pouyanne had met the Mozambique President during his trip.

The multinational revealed that it has engaged Jean-Christophe Rufin, whom it said was an expert in humanitarian action and human rights, with an independent mission to assess the humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado province.

Pouyanné said, “since 2021, the situation in Cabo Delgado province has improved significantly, thanks in particular to the support provided by the African countries that committed themselves to restore peace and security.”

“The mission entrusted to Jean-Christophe Rufin should enable Mozambique LNG’s partners to assess whether the current situation allows for a resumption of activities while respecting human rights,” he added.

A force majeure’ was declared in 2021 on TotalEnergies’ Mozambique LNG project, valued at $20 billion, due to regional unrest after an insurgent group linked to Islamic State attacked the northern town of Palma.

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Sierra Leone, Liberia, 2 others, receive $311 million from World Bank for renewables

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Four West and Central African countries are set to receive aid worth $311 million from the World Bank after signing an agreement that would improve renewable energy projects.

The countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, and Chad will receive funds will finance around 106 megawatts (MW) of solar power generation capacity with battery energy and storage systems, and a 41 MW expansion of hydroelectric capacity.

Commenting on the development, Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, who presided over the signing ceremony on Wednesday, said the deal was the beginning of a revolution in energy supply and access in the respective countries.

“We are paying far more for energy now than we were 18 months ago. Very high and rising energy prices continue to have an adverse impact on other sectors of our economies,” Maada Bio said.

The World Bank’s Director for Regional Integration, Boutheina Guermazi said the project was the first time four countries had been brought together for a regional energy approach.

“It is a continental approach to make sure that we reach universal access to clean affordable energy by 2030,” Guermazi said, adding that the project would be completed in four years.

The West and Central sub-regions of Africa have one of the lowest electrification rates coupled with some of the highest electricity costs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Under a new World Bank Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project, the West Africa Power Pool, a regional approach to improve electricity in the sub-region, will also receive some funds approved in December.

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