Five things to know to start your Thursday

Banks have so far absorb N165bn of old notes — CBN

Ahmed Bello Umar, the director of currency at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said N165 billion of old notes have so far been mopped up by commercial banks since the announcement of the introduction of new bank notes was made on October 26.

Umar revealed this in Abuja during a post-Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) media briefing on Wednesday.

He said that the amount deposited so far in the commercial banks was small compared to what CBN had hoped to get.

He revealed that since the new currency had already been officially launched by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa on Wednesday, the apex bank would start distributing the new naira notes to all its branches on Thursday.

However, the new notes will only be available for spending on December 15, even as he reemphasized the position of the federal government that there would be no extension beyond January 31, 2023, to discontinue usage of the old naira notes.

Read also: Explainer: What to know about new naira notes

2023: Vote Tinubu for continuity — Badaru tells Jigawa residents

Gov. Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa State urged the electorate on Wednesday to vote for Sen. Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023, for continuity.

The governor said that voting for Tinubu was important in order to ensure that he continued with the road, rail line, and other federal government projects initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari in the state.

Badaru spoke in Gumel shortly after presenting flags to the APC’s candidates contesting for various elective positions in Jigawa’s Northwest Senatorial District.

He stated that the APC was the only party that people in the state and Nigeria trusted.

“We fulfilled almost all our campaign promises, as there is no community in the state that is yet to benefit from one or more capital projects by our great party, the APC.”

“We have a legacy in the state, and I assure you that voting for APC at all levels will ensure the continuity of such projects and programmes,” the governor said. This is according to NAN.

AfDB fund secures $64m grant from Norway

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has secured $64 million in grant funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) for its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) project.

AfDB also received funding from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) for SEFA.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Communications and External Relations Department of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday.

The announcement about the funding came during a panel discussion as part of the just-concluded 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference Summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The discussion titled “Renewable energy for climate action and socio-economic transformation in Africa: The Role of SEFA” aimed to provide concessional finance to unlock private sector investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

US Fed considers slower rate hikes

A review of the November 1–2 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes has shown that a substantial majority of Fed officials accepted that a slowing in the pace of the fed funds rate increase would likely soon be appropriate. They believe that would better allow the committee to assess progress toward its objectives of price stability and full employment.

Monetary policy markets also noted that, with inflation not slowing as a result of the rise in energy prices caused by the Ukraine war and the economy’s worsening supply and demand imbalances, the ultimate level of the federal funds rate required to achieve the committee goal will be slightly higher than previously expected.

The Fed raised the target range for the federal funds rate by 75 basis points to 3.75 percent to 4 percent during its November meeting.

This is the sixth consecutive rate hike this year. This decision could force policymakers to declare a recession as many businesses struggle to deal with the higher borrowing costs.

Scottish nationalists suffer huge blow as UK court rejects independence vote bid

All hopes for Scotland’s independence from the United Kingdom were dashed on Wednesday following a ruling from the UK Supreme Court, which insisted that calls for a second referendum must get the backing of the British Parliament.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), had announced earlier this year she intended to hold an advisory vote on secession next October but that it had to be lawful and internationally recognised.

Sturgeon, undeterred by the ruling from the UK Supreme Court, had vowed to campaign in the next UK-wide election, expected to be held in 2024, solely on a platform of whether Scotland should be independent, making it a “de facto” referendum.
“We must and we will find another democratic, lawful, and constitutional means by which the Scottish people can express their will. In my view, that can only be an election,” Sturgeon told reporters.

“As of today, democracy is what is at stake… It is now about whether or not we even have the basic democratic right to choose our own future,” she said.

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