Nigerian press zones in on circulation of newly redesigned banknotes, others

The report that the newly redesigned naira notes will go into circulation today with Deposit Money Banks releasing the bills…

The report that the newly redesigned naira notes will go into circulation today with Deposit Money Banks releasing the bills to their customers via over-the-counter payments dominates the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Punch reports that the newly redesigned naira notes will go into circulation on Thursday (today) with Deposit Money Banks releasing the bills to their customers via over-the-counter payments.

This came about three weeks after the President Muhammadu Buhari, unveiled the new bills at a weekly Federal Executive Council meeting in Aso Rock Villa.

The President unveiled the redesigned notes across the N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations.

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, had in October announced that apex bank would release re-designed naira notes by December 15, 2022.

He also disclosed that the old notes would cease to be regarded as legal tender by January 31, 2023.

Emefiele pointed out that the redesigning of the naira notes would help to curb counterfeit notes, and reduce ransom payments to terrorists and kidnappers.

The CBN boss said it was worrisome that 85 per cent of the total currency in circulation was being hoarded by Nigerians.

As such, he said the redesigning of the local currency would help to mop up the currency outside the banking sector, adding that out of about N3.3tn in circulation, close to N2.75tn were outside the banking sector.

The newspaper says that Nigeria lost 619.7 million barrels of crude oil valued at $46.16bn or N16.25tn in 12 years, from 2009 to 2020, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, has said.

It disclosed this in a statement issued by its Head, Communications and Advocacy, Obiageli Onuorah.

It also welcomed the decision of the Federal Government to set up a Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft and Losses in Nigeria, describing it as bold, courageous and timely, given the havoc the menace had wrecked in oil production and the country’s revenue generation.

Nigeria’s crude oil losses, according to NEITI, were basically from theft and sabotage, according to information and data provided by an average of eight companies covered by NEITI’s process over the years. 

A breakdown of the losses showed that in 2009 when NEITI commenced reporting of crude oil theft, Nigeria lost 69.49 million barrels valued at $4.31bn.

The figures for 2010, 2011 and 2012 revealed that 28.31 million, 38.61 million and 51.58 million barrels which were valued at $2.29bn, $4.39bn and $5.82bn were lost respectively.

The NEITI oil and gas industry reports for 2013 to 2020 also showed that the losses to crude oil theft did not abate as 78.30 million barrels valued at $8.55bn was lost in 2013 alone.

2014 and 2015 witnessed combined losses of 67.29 million barrels valued at $5.57bn.

According to the NEITI reports, 2016 recorded the highest losses of 101.05 million barrels that was valued at $4.42bn.

Between 2017 and 2020, the NEITI reports indicated losses of 36.46 million barrel ($1.99bn) in 2017; 53.281 million barrels ($3.837bn) in 2018; 42.248 million barrels ($2.772bn) in 2019; and 53.056 million barrels ($2.21n) in 2020.

The combined value of these losses was 619.7 million barrels amounting to $46.16bn over a 12-year period.

NEITI lamented that it was regrettable that at a time Nigeria’s economy was largely dependent on oil revenues, some Nigerians would choose to collude with foreign nationals to steal and sabotage the main sources of revenue for the federation.

The Guardian reports that with a wary eye on China, President Joe Biden, yesterday, announced an agreement aimed at bolstering trade ties between the United States and Africa after years wherein the continent took a back seat to other U.S. priorities.

“The United States is ‘all in’ on Africa’s future. When Africa succeeds, the United States succeeds. Quite frankly, the whole world succeeds as well,” Biden told African leaders attending a three-day Summit in Washington.

Biden’s remarks, and the summit, aim to show that the United States is a better partner for Africa than China, which has sought to expand its influence by funding infrastructure projects in Africa and elsewhere.

Chinese trade with Africa is about four times that of the United States, and Beijing has become an important creditor by offering loans with less stringent conditions than Western lenders.

Biden said a new U.S. agreement with the African Continental Free Trade Area will give American companies access to 1.3 billion people and a market valued at $3.4 trillion. He listed companies that had made deals at the Summit, including General Electric Co GE.N and Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O.

Delegations from 49 countries and the African Union, including 45 African national leaders, are attending the three-day Summit, which began on Tuesday, the first of its kind since 2014. It’s part of a renewed push to boost ties with a continent where U.S. interests have been challenged by China’s security ambitions and trade, investment and lending drives. By contrast, Beijing has held its own high-level meetings with Africa every three years for more than two decades.

Biden is expected to announce his support for the African Union joining the G20 group of the world’s largest economies as a permanent member during the Summit.

At several of the deals meeting held yesterday, as part of its long-term commitment to African leaders, U.S. companies announced more than $2 billion ($2.7 billion), led by technology deals.

The newspaper says that a MALWARE that steals Facebook account credentials, known as ‘Schoolyard Bully’, has infected over 300,000 android devices.

This has prompted the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) to issue an advisory, reminding users to only download applications from official sites and application stores.

The advisory recommended that users double-check each application; uncheck boxes that request extra third-party downloads when installing apps downloaded from Google Play Store; and use anti-malware applications to routinely scan their devices.

NCC, yesterday, said researchers from mobile security firm, Zimperium, found several apps that transmit the Schoolyard Bully malware, while disguising themselves as reading and educational apps with a variety of books and topics for their victims to study.

According to the commission, the primary objective of the malware, which affects all versions of Facebook apps for android, is to steal account information, including email address and password, account ID, username, device name, device RAM (Random Access Memory), and device API (Application Programming Interface).

According to NCC-CSIRT, “the (Zimperium) research stated that the malware employs JavaScript injection to steal Facebook login information. The malware loads a legitimate URL (web address) inside a WebView (a WebView map website element that enables user interaction through Android View objects and their extensions) with malicious JavaScript injected to obtain the user’s contact information (phone number, email address, and password), and then sends them to the command-and-control server.

“The malware uses native libraries to evade detection and analysis by security software and machine learning technologies.”

The CSIRT is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre, set up by NCC to focus on incidents in the sector as they may affect consumers.