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1,500 CBN’s staff set to commence duties in Lagos amidst controversial headquarters relocation

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1,500 CBN's staff set to commence duties in Lagos amidst controversial headquarters relocation

1,500 CBN’s staff set to commence duties in Lagos amidst controversial headquarters relocation

In a strategic move that has sparked debates and criticisms, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is gearing up to witness a significant influx of at least 1,500 redeployed staff at its Lagos office this week. The controversial decision to relocate certain departments from Abuja to Lagos has been met with mixed reactions, with resumption dates set for Friday, February 2, 2024.

The decision to move key departments to Lagos was officially communicated to CBN staff through a memo, emphasising operational necessities, safety standards, increased productivity, and the imperative to decongest the head office in Abuja. The new management, led by CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso, believes that optimizing the operational environment and ensuring compliance with building safety standards are critical steps for the apex bank’s enhanced efficiency.

A source within the CBN, as reported by The Punch, confirmed the resumption plans, stating, “Yes, the plan is still on, and they will resume work by February 2, which is the first week of next month.”

The affected departments set to make the transition to Lagos include Banking Supervision, Other Financial Institutions Supervision, Consumer Protection Department, Payment System Management Department, and Financial Policy Regulations Department. The strategic relocation is seen as a proactive measure to streamline operations, enhance safety, and better utilize office space.

Despite the rationale provided by the CBN’s management, the decision has not been without controversy. The relocation faced strong opposition from certain northern groups and elites. The Northern Elders Forum, the Katsina Elders Forum, and the Arewa Consultative Forum have all expressed concerns, condemning the move and viewing it as detrimental to the development of their region.

The Arewa Consultative Forum went on record claiming that the relocation was a ploy to further underdevelop the northern region. However, CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso remains steadfast in implementing the relocation plan, demonstrating the commitment of the apex bank to its strategic goals.

The controversy surrounding the move highlights the complex dynamics at play, with considerations ranging from regional development to operational efficiency. As the resumption date approaches, discussions within and outside the CBN continue to unfold, reflecting the broader implications of this decision on the Nigerian financial landscape.

As the 1,500 redeployed staff prepare to commence duties in Lagos, the unfolding developments will undoubtedly shape conversations about institutional decisions, regional development, and the evolving landscape of Nigeria’s financial sector.

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Nigeria International Energy Summit 2024: focus on collaboration as petroleum producers forum takes centre stage

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Nigeria International Energy Summit 2024: Focus on Collaboration as Petroleum Producers Forum Takes Center Stage

Nigeria International Energy Summit 2024: focus on collaboration as petroleum producers forum akes centre stage

 

Amidst the backdrop of a rapidly evolving energy landscape, the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) 2024 emerges as a pivotal platform for fostering collaboration and cooperation among players in the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions. Spearheaded by James Shindi, Chief Executive of Brevity Anderson and consultant to NIES, this year’s summit marks the seventh iteration in a series dedicated to catalyzing dialogue and innovation within the energy sector.

In a statement on Sunday, Shindi underscored the overarching objective of NIES 2024, emphasising its steadfast commitment to nurturing a climate of collaboration conducive to addressing critical challenges confronting independent energy producers. Central to this endeavour is the inception of a groundbreaking session entitled the Nigerian Petroleum Producers’ Forum—a novel initiative aimed at galvanizing industry leaders towards collective action and shared insights.

Themed “Innovation, Collaboration, and Resilience: Empowering Independent Producers in the Dynamic Energy Era,” this innovative platform promises to empower independent producers, equipping them with the tools and strategies necessary to navigate the complex and ever-shifting terrain of the energy industry. By fostering a culture of resilience and adaptability, NIES 2024 seeks to lay the groundwork for sustainable growth and prosperity within the sector.

At the forefront of discussions will be an exploration of the myriad of challenges confronting independent energy producers, coupled with actionable strategies designed to promote innovation and collaboration. This holistic approach underscores the imperative of fostering a symbiotic relationship among stakeholders, wherein mutual benefit and collective advancement reign supreme.

Integral to the agenda is the identification of policy interventions tailored to support independent producers amidst the dynamic energy landscape. By sharing best practices and success stories from diverse regions, NIES 2024 aims to provide policymakers with practical insights to inform the formulation of supportive policies and regulations conducive to sectoral growth and stability.

The summit boasts an impressive lineup of speakers, including Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), who will deliver a keynote address setting the tone for deliberations. Joining him is Osagie Okunbor, Country Chair/CEO of Shell Companies in Nigeria and Chairman of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), whose wealth of experience promises invaluable insights into industry dynamics and challenges.

Rounding out the panel of speakers are Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, and Abdulrazaq Isa, Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Producers Group/Waltersmith Group, whose opening keynote speech will set the stage for fruitful discourse and collaboration.

As different players in the energy sector gather at NIES 2024, the stage is set for a convergence of minds, ideas, and aspirations, as the industry charts a course towards a future defined by innovation, collaboration, and resilience. Against the backdrop of mounting challenges and opportunities, the summit stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards a sustainable and prosperous energy future for Nigeria and beyond.

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Fuel scarcity looms as NARTO declares petroleum transporters’ strike amid soaring operational costs

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NARTO Declares Petroleum Transporters' Strike Amid Soaring Operational Costs: Fuel Scarcity Looms

Fuel scarcity looms as NARTO declares petroleum transporters’ strike amid soaring operational costs

 

In a bid to address the dire economic challenges plaguing Nigeria’s petroleum industry, the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has issued a resolute directive to its members, mandating them to halt the loading of petroleum products effective Monday, February 19, 2024. This drastic measure, stemming from the crippling burden of skyrocketing operational costs, threatens to unleash fuel scarcity and exacerbate the nation’s economic woes.

In a formal communiqué addressed to the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), NARTO lamented the insurmountable hurdles gripping the sector, rendering their operations financially untenable. The missive underscored the association’s relentless pursuit of viable solutions to mitigate these challenges, including fervent appeals to relevant authorities for a sustainable adjustment in freight rates. Regrettably, these entreaties have fallen on deaf ears, exacerbating the plight of petroleum truck owners.

Quoting excerpts from the correspondence, NARTO articulated its poignant plea, stating, “We are deeply constrained to seek the support and understanding of your union and members towards the excruciating challenges petroleum truck owners are facing with the high operational costs in the industry.” Despite relentless efforts to engage key stakeholders, such as the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria, in constructive dialogues, the resounding silence has left NARTO with no recourse but to initiate this decisive course of action.

Echoing the gravity of the situation, NARTO’s National Executive Council (NEC) unanimously endorsed the directive, compelling members to withhold their petroleum trucks from loading activities, effective February 19, 2024. The association implored petroleum truck drivers, who are integral members of NUPENG, to extend unwavering support in solidarity with NARTO’s quest for sustainable viability within the petroleum haulage sector.

The ramifications of NARTO’s impending strike reverberate across the nation, with the specter of fuel scarcity looming ominously. Such an outcome threatens to unleash a domino effect, triggering inflationary pressures and impeding economic growth trajectories. The ramifications extend beyond mere inconvenience, posing a formidable threat to the socioeconomic fabric of Nigeria.

In a concerted effort to avert this impending crisis, the Federal Government, in collaboration with downstream regulators and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is poised to convene a high-stakes meeting in Abuja on Monday. This crucial summit aims to foster constructive dialogue, facilitating a harmonious resolution to the impasse between NARTO and pertinent stakeholders. The deliberations aspire to chart a pragmatic pathway forward, one that safeguards the interests of all parties while ensuring the uninterrupted flow of petroleum products vital to Nigeria’s economic vitality.

Against the backdrop of escalating tensions and mounting apprehensions, the nation stands at a pivotal juncture, poised between the precipice of economic instability and the promise of collaborative resolution. The outcome of Monday’s deliberations holds profound implications, not merely for the petroleum industry, but for the collective welfare and prosperity of Nigeria as a whole.

As the clock ticks inexorably towards the fateful hour, stakeholders brace themselves for a pivotal reckoning, acutely aware of the stakes at hand. In the crucible of adversity, the resilience and ingenuity of Nigeria’s populace are poised to emerge triumphant, navigating the turbulent currents towards a brighter, more prosperous horizon.

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Fuel Scarcity Looms as Tanker Owners Threaten Nationwide Shutdown Over Rising Diesel Costs

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Fuel Scarcity Looms as Tanker Owners Threaten Nationwide Shutdown Over Rising Diesel Costs

Fuel Scarcity Looms as Tanker Owners Threaten Nationwide Shutdown Over Rising Diesel Costs

As Nigerians grapple with ongoing economic challenges, the specter of fuel scarcity looms large once again as the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) threatens to halt petrol lifting operations starting Monday, February 19, 2024. The impending shutdown, triggered by the exorbitant cost of diesel, could exacerbate the nation’s fuel supply woes, compounding the woes of already burdened citizens.

A Dire Warning

In a stern declaration made on Thursday, February 15, 2024, in Abuja, NARTO President, Yusuf Othman, sounded the alarm, announcing that members of the association would ground their tanker fleets in response to unsustainable operating costs. Highlighting the financial strain caused by the skyrocketing prices of diesel, Othman lamented that operational expenses far outweighed revenue, compelling members to consider drastic action.

Pleading for Attention

Despite repeated appeals to key stakeholders in the oil sector and President Bola Tinubu, NARTO’s pleas for intervention have fallen on deaf ears. Othman bemoaned the lack of response to their letters addressed to various government agencies and industry leaders, expressing frustration over the failure to address their grievances.

Market Realities and Rising Costs

Providing insights into the market dynamics, Othman underscored the disparity between prevailing market rates and stagnant freight rates. He cited the unyielding freight rates, set during the previous administration, as untenable in the face of escalating operational expenses. With diesel prices soaring and freight rates unchanged, tanker owners find themselves operating at a significant loss, unable to cover basic expenses such as fuel, vehicle maintenance, and driver allowances.

The Burden of Bridging

Othman shed light on the stark financial realities faced by tanker drivers, particularly in the transportation of petroleum products within and across states. Highlighting the exorbitant costs associated with local and bridging operations, he revealed the glaring mismatch between government compensation and actual operational expenditures. Despite the substantial financial outlay required for diesel and logistical support, transporters are left grappling with inadequate compensation, further exacerbating their financial woes.

Implications for the Nation

The impending shutdown of petrol lifting operations could have far-reaching consequences for Nigeria’s already strained economy and populace. With fuel scarcity likely to disrupt transportation, commerce, and daily life, citizens are bracing for heightened uncertainty and economic hardship. As the deadline approaches, all eyes are on government authorities to address the grievances of NARTO and avert a nationwide crisis.

As Nigeria teeters on the brink of yet another fuel crisis, the urgency to address the underlying issues of diesel costs and operational challenges becomes increasingly imperative to safeguard the nation’s economic stability and well-being of its citizens.

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