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President Buhari The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has approved the continuous use of the old N200 as legal tender till April 10.

The President made this known on Thursday morning during an address to Nigerians.

See the full text below;

My Dear Compatriots,

I have found it necessary to address you today, on the state of the nation and to render account on the efforts of our administration to sustain and strengthen our economy, enhance the fight against corruption and sustain our gains in the fight against terrorism and insecurity which has, undoubtedly, been impacted by several internal and external factors.

  1. Particularly, I am addressing you, as your democratically elected President, to identify with you and express my sympathy, over the difficulties being experienced as we continue the implementation of new monetary policies, aimed at boosting our economy and tightening of the loopholes associated with money laundering.
  2. Let me re-assure Nigerians, that strengthening our economy, enhancing security and blockage of leakages associated with illicit financial flows remain top priority of our administration. And I shall remain committed to my oath of protecting and advancing the interest of Nigerians and the nation, at all times.
  3. In the last quarter of 2022, I authorised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the N200, N500, and N1000 Nigerian banknotes.
  4. For a smooth transition, I similarly approved that the redesigned banknotes should circulate concurrently with the old bank notes, till 31 January 2023, before the old notes, cease to be legal tender.
  5. In appreciation of the systemic and human difficulties encountered during implementation and in response to the appeal of all citizens, an extension of ten days was authorized till 10th February, 2023 for the completion of the process. All these activities are being carried out within the ambit of the Constitution, the relevant law under the CBN Act 2007 and in line with global best practices.
  6. Fellow citizens, while I seek your understanding and patience during this transient phase of implementation, I feel obliged to avail you a few critical points underpinning the policy decision. These include:

a. The need to restore the statutory ability of the CBN to keep a firm control over money in circulation. In 2015 when this administration commenced its first term, Currency-in-Circulation was only N1.4 trillion.

b. The proportion of currency outside banks grew from 78%in 2015 to 85% in 2022. As of October 2022, therefore, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking System while N2.7 trillion remained permanently outside the system; thereby distorting the financial policy and efficient management of inflation;

c. The huge volume of Bank Notes outside the banking system has proven to be practically unavailable for economic activities and by implication, retard the attainment of potential economic growth;

d. Economic growth projections make it imperative for government to aim at expanding financial inclusion in the country by reducing the number of the unbanked population; and

e. Given the prevailing security situation across the country, which keeps improving, it also becomes compelling for government to deepen its continuing support for security agencies to successfully combat banditry and ransom-taking in Nigeria

  1. Notwithstanding the initial setbacks experienced, the evaluation and feedback mechanism set up has revealed that gains have emerged from the policy initiative.
  2. I have been reliably informed that since the commencement of this program, about N2.1 trillion out of the banknotes previously held outside the banking system, had been successfully retrieved.
  3. This represents about 80% of such funds. In the short to medium and long terms, therefore, it is expected that there would be:

a. A strengthening of our macroeconomic parameters;

b. Reduction of broad money supply leading to a deceleration of the velocity of money in the economy which should result in less pressures on domestic prices;

c. Lowering of Inflation as a result of the accompanying decline in money supply that will slow the pace of inflation;

d. Collapse of Illegal Economic Activities which would help to stem corruption and acquisition of money through illegal ways;

e. Exchange Rate stability;

f. Availability of Easy Loans and lowering of interest rates; and

g. Greater visibility and transparency of our financial actions translating to efficient enforcement of our anti-money laundering legislations.

  1. I am not unaware of the obstacles placed on the path of innocent Nigerians by unscrupulous officials in the banking industry, entrusted with the process of implementation of the new monetary policy. I am deeply pained and sincerely sympathise with you all, over these unintended outcomes.
  2. To stem this tide, I have directed the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources and legal means to ensure that our citizens are adequately educated on the policy; enjoy easy access to cash withdrawal through availability of appropriate amounts of currency; and ability to make deposits.
  1. I have similarly directed that the CBN should intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies, so as to ensure that any institution or person(s) found to have impeded or sabotaged the implementation should be made to bear the full weight of the law.
  2. During the extended phase of the deadline for currency swap, I listened to invaluable pieces of advice from well-meaning citizens and institutions across the nation.
  3. I similarly consulted widely with representatives of the State Governors as well as the Council of State. Above all, as an administration that respects the rule of law, I have also noted that the subject matter is before the courts of our land and some pronouncements have been made.
  4. To further ease the supply pressures, particularly to our citizens, I have given approval to the CBN that the old N200 bank notes be released back into circulation and that it should also be allowed to circulate as legal tender with the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes for 60 days from February 10, 2023, to April 10, 2023, when the old N200 notes cease to be legal tender.
  5. In line with Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007, all existing old N1000 and N500 notes remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points.
  6. Considering the health of our economy and the legacy we must bequeath to the next administration and future generations of Nigerians, I admonish every citizen to strive harder to make their deposits by taking advantage of the platforms and windows being provided by the CBN.
  7. Let me assure Nigerians that our administration will continue to assess the implementation with a view to ensuring that Nigerians are not unnecessarily burdened. In this regard, the CBN shall ensure that new notes become more available and accessible to our citizens through the banks.
  8. I wish to once more appeal for your understanding till we overcome this difficult transient phase within the shortest possible time.
  9. Fellow citizens, on the 25th of February, 2023 the nation would be electing a new President and National Assembly members. I am aware that this new monetary policy has also contributed immensely to the minimization of the influence of money in politics.
  10. This is a positive departure from the past and represents a bold legacy step by this administration, towards laying a strong foundation for free and fair elections.
  11. I urge every citizen, therefore, to go out to vote for their candidates of choice without fear, because security shall be provided and your vote shall count.
  12. I however admonish you to eschew violence and avoid actions capable of disrupting the electoral processes. I wish us all a successful General Elections.

Thank you for listening. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Anambra State has continued with its winning streak in educational competitiveness, as one of its indigenes has been declared the best candidate in the category of visually impaired students in Nigeria in the 2022 Senior Secondary School Certificate examination conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

Miss Precious Nzube Mbajiorgu, who wrote the examination at St John of God Secondary School in Awka, has just been rewarded by the WAEC Nigerian headquarters office in Abuja for her academic excellence despite being physically handicapped.

She performed brilliantly in the nine subjects she wrote.

An indigene of Ihiala in Anambra State, Ms. Mbajiorgu is currently a fresh-year student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, where she is studying guidance and counselling.

Now 21years old, Ms Mbajiorgu lost her sight in 2008 to glaucoma when she was in her terminal class in a primary school in Awada near Onitsha. She subsequently lost some years while adjusting to her new condition which caused her to learn the use of the Braille machine to read.

“Precious has always been a serious and ambitious student”, remarked Chief Greg Okafor, a Lagos-based lawyer who has been following her educational progression.

Ms Mbajiorgu, who plans to be an academic, dedicated her award from WAEC to Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo for his commitment to quality education and for his effort to empower physically challenged persons.

“Professor Soludo cares for all”, she said, “and he is well-focused, not just brilliant”.

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Guinea’s military junta chief, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara speaks in Conakry on September 30, 2009. – Former Guinean dictator Moussa Dadis Camara was taken out of prison on Saturday morning by a heavily armed commando in an operation that led to heavy exchanges of fire in central Conakry (Photo by SEYLLOU DIALLO / AFP)

Former Guinean dictator Moussa Dadis Camara was on Saturday taken from prison by a heavily armed commando during an operation that sparked heavy gunfire in the capital Conakry, lawyers and a judicial source said.

At least two other former officials currently on trial alongside Dadis Camara over a 2009 massacre during his presidency were also taken from the central prison, they said.

It was unclear whether Dadis Camara had escaped of his own free will.

A group of masked and heavily armed soldiers arrived at the prison at around 4:00 am (0400 GMT) and entered by force, said a judicial source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

They declared they “had come to free Captain Dadis Camara”, the source said.

Inside, the group headed towards the former leader’s cell, appearing to already know its location, and took him and other detainees to an unknown location, the judicial source said.

“The attorney general confirmed to me that my client had been taken out of prison by heavily armed men,” Dadis Camara’s lawyer Jocamey Haba told AFP, raising the possibility that he was taken against his will.

“I continue to think he was kidnapped. He has confidence in the justice of his country, which is why he would never try to escape,” he added, referring to the trial against Camara currently underway.

The lawyer said his client’s life was “in danger”.

The sound of gunfire could be heard before dawn in Kaloum — a central district located on a peninsula that houses the presidency and several top government and administrative offices as well as the military headquarters and the main prison.

“There is gunfire from both automatic and weapons of war in Kaloum,” a witness from the area said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The city centre has been sealed since dawn, we can neither enter, nor leave,” a shopkeeper added, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

“I wanted to go to the port area where I work but was prevented from leaving (Kaloum), where armoured vehicles have been deployed.”

An airport source said no flights had taken off from Conakry’s international airport on Saturday morning as air traffic staff could not get to the airport from Kaloum, where they often spend the night.

Guinea, a West African country of about 14 million people, underwent a coup in September 2021, when Colonel Mamady Doumbouya stormed the presidential palace with soldiers and overthrew civilian president Alpha Conde by force.

It has been led by the junta since.

Several Guinean news sites quickly reported that Saturday events were not another coup, but that a heavily armed commando had attacked the central prison.

Guinean media reported that Dadis Camara had escaped alongside Moussa Tiegboro Camara and Claude Pivi.

‘Compass’ of justice
Dadis Camara has been detained since going on trial in September 2022.

He and about 10 other former military and government officials are accused over a 2009 massacre carried out by security forces loyal to the then-junta leader.

The killing of 156 people and the rape of at least 109 women started at a political rally in a Conakry stadium on September 28, 2009 and continued in the days that followed, according to a UN-mandated inquiry.

Camara — who himself came to power in a coup in December 2008 — and his co-defendants are charged with murder, sexual violence, torture, abduction and kidnapping.

They face life imprisonment if convicted.

The trial is unprecedented in a country ruled for decades by authoritarian regimes, where people had become used to the impunity of the virtually untouchable security forces, according to the international commission of inquiry into the massacre.

It opened in September last year at the urging of the new strongman, Colonel Doumbouya. After his coup, he promised to rebuild the Guinean state and make justice his “compass”.

After the 2021 putsch, Doumbouya was inaugurated president and under international pressure committed to handing over power to elected civilians within two years from January 2023.

The Forces Vives de Guinee, a collective of opposition parties and organisations, have since denounced unfulfilled commitments and an authoritarian drift by Doumbouya’s junta, calling it an “emerging dictatorship”.

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Israel is set to send in ‘the Teddy Bear’ the world’s most indestructible bulldozer to spearhead IDF’s invasion of Gaza and tackle its labyrinth of tunnels, booby-traps and sniper positions

As the Israeli army masses forces in preparation for a full-scale invasion of Gaza, its troops prepare to face a maze of narrow streets, vast tunnel networks, booby traps, and sniper positions.

In this urban environment, the D9R armoured bulldozer affectionately nicknamed Doobi or ‘Teddy Bear’, will be essential for a successful assault.


A ground operation in the dense residential districts of the Palestinian enclave will require specialized equipment to clear the way for the 300 tanks and 173,000 soldiers massing on the border.

Should fighting break out, the Israeli-modified Caterpillar bulldozer will be used to detonate mines and improvised explosive devices and to demolish obstacles in the path.

With 15 tonnes of added armour and a reinforced blade, the D9R is almost impervious to guns or explosives and will play a key role in allowing infantry to advance safely.

The D9R armoured bulldozer, affectionately nicknamed Doobi or ‘Teddy Bear’, will be essential for a successful assault

In an urban warfare scenario, the D9R would be used to clear mines and explosives from the path of advancing ground troops and tanks

What is the D9R?

Nicknamed Doobi or ‘Teddy Bear’, the D9R is the latest generation of D9 armoured bulldozers which were first deployed by the Israeli Defense Force in the 1950s.

It is 26.2ft long x 13ft tall x 14.7ft wide (8m long x 4m tall x 4.5m wide) and weighs 62 tonnes.

The vehicle is equipped with a large front blade and rear ripper attachment for clearing obstacles and detonating explosives.

The armoured cockpit has room for a crew of two who are protected by bullet-proof glass against sniper and machine gun fire.

The D9R can also be equipped with a mounted machine gun, grenade launcher, or smoke projector.

Over 100 were deployed in the 2014 incursion Operation Cast Lead, a 22 day assault killing into Gaza by Israeli military forces. 

In 2018, the Israeli army revealed the D9R Panda, a remotely operated version of the vehicle. 

The D9R gets its nickname ‘the teddy bear’ from military slang for a bulldozer of any kind.

It can hold a crew of two soldiers in its armoured cockpit – a driver and a commander – where bullet-proof glass offers them protection against sniper and machine gun fire.

In 2015, the D9R was upgraded with ‘slat armour’ to offer the vehicle more protection against the rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) widely used by Hamas in previous conflicts.

Slat armour, also known as cage or bar armour, works by allowing the sensitive detonator tip of the rocket to pass through before deforming the explosive body so that it either does not detonate or is less effective.

At 26.2ft long x 13ft tall x 14.7ft wide (8m long x 4m tall x 4.5m wide) and weighing 62 tonnes, the D9R is an enormous piece of military equipment capable of carving through any obstacle in its path.

The D9R Dozer is powered by a Cat 3408C engine capable of producing 405 horsepower and pulling over 70 tonnes.


Not only does this help the bulldozer plough through obstacles, but it also allows various infrastructure support roles such as digging trenches and building bridges or defensive structures.

The Teddy Bear can also be equipped with a mounted machine gun installation, grenade launcher, or smoke projector for additional combat capability.

In 2018, the Israeli army also began to deploy and operated the D9R Panda, a remotely operated version of the bulldozer for more hostile environments.

The cost of a D9R is unclear as the vehicles are bought directly from Caterpillar by the Israeli military and are later outfitted with their specialist armour.

However, the cost of a new Cat D9 bulldozer is at least $900,000 (£739,624) even before any additional upgrades have been made.

In response to the massacre of 1,300 Israelis by Hamas terrorists, the Israeli army has already pounded the 25-mile (45km) Gaza strip with over 6,000 bombs containing a total of 4,000 tonnes.

Palestinian authorities claim that 1,400 people have so far been killed by the Israeli bombardment, and today Israeli authorities ordered the evacuation of Northern Gaza in preparation for an assault.

With its reinforced blade and slat armour the Teddy Bear is almost entirely impervious to bullets and explosives

The specialist slat armour was added in 2015 as a specific counter to the rocket-propelled grenades frequently used by Hamas

The Israeli army announced that it has deployed the D9R Panda, a remote operated version of the armoured bulldozer for even more hostile environments

Israel is drawing on its huge military might – including thousands of tanks, warplanes and troops in a full-scale ground invasion of the enclave in response to a series of terrorist attacks which killed 1,300 Israelis

While Hamas is only believed to be in possession of around 10,000 rockets and cannot match the size or technological capacity of the Israeli army, the group’s fighters are still expected to offer bloody resistance.

Before reaching Hamas’ defensive strongholds, Israeli forces will have to breach a series of defensive lines including mines, mortar targets, anti-tank weaponry, and potentially suicide bombers.

Since 2007, Hamas are believed to have built as many as 1,370 tunnels beneath the enclave, forming a network of hundreds of miles in length nicknamed ‘the Gaza Metro’.

As part of 2008’s Operation Cast Lead, a large-scale incursion into Gaza, the Israeli army deployed 109 D9Rs which had a key role in demolishing buildings such as bunkers and tunnels.

During the most recent conflict in 2014, at least 66 Israeli soldiers and six civilians were killed in the fighting, while in Palestine the UN reported 2,133 people were killed of which 1,489 were civilians.

Given the current plans for a new assault into Gaza, the fighting this time will no doubt be bloody on both sides, with advanced technology such as the D9R playing a vital role for the Israeli forces. 

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