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Economy pushes young ladies to okrika pants, brassieres with high risk of infections



Gone are the days when it was a pride for young ladies to troop boutiques to buy pants and brassieres.

The economy of the average Nigerian lady no longer supports that luxury.

Besides, several brands of new panties come with substandard elastics and fabrics that do not let the products last.

The alternative now appears to be used pants and brassieres, sold in heaps at roadside stalls and markets popularly known as bend-down boutiques.

Although some say the act is degrading to women’s fashion sense, there’s also an argument that fashion sense that does not consider quality and affordability, lacks real taste.

More for affordability, some women have even resorted to making a choice between panties and tights saying that both of them perform the same job of covering their private parts.

Adejobi Badejo, an undergraduate said she goes for okrika pants and gets them at Katangua market for far cheaper costs.

“The state of the economy is really dealing with I used to buy two dozens of  panties before but now, I have limited it to one dozen and they are not new but bend-down-select. A dozen of new cotton panties that were sold for N5,000 to N7,000  as of last December, have risen to N15,000 to N25,000. Even to match quality pants and brassiers are no go areas. I love wearing my undergarment in the same colors but now that I have resolved to buy okrika panties, I have forgotten all about that dress sense.

“This is what is trending for most young ladies and housewives now. The first day my friend and I visited Katangua to buy pants; we saw many women buying okrika panties in the market and were shocked at the high patronage.”

Confirming women’s high patronage of okrika panties, Mrs Chinwe Mbafor, an okrika undergarment seller in Ikotun market said: “It is true that most ladies now prefer buying okrika panties. They have dropped their shame and embraced its use.

Before, I would sit for hours and make little sales from brassieres, tights and children’s panties. The low sales made me buy less quantity of okrika ladies’ pants.

“Sometimes any odd occurrence in any environment favours some people. Now the so-called okrika panties are bought with speed. Not only panties but other used products as the prices of brand new ones are increasing every day.

“Even the prices of some okrika products are also increasing due to the high demand.”

On his part, a pharmacist known as Doctor Chinedu, said he noticed that his female friends and some other ladies no longer wear panties. He pointed out that most young ladies, including married women, now wear tights without panties.

He said most of his female friends said tights are better options when compared to pants as most of the new pants being produced are very expensive and get torn easily and don’t last long unlike tights. However, he noted that some prefer using tights due to the comfort they derive from it.

“I see most of my female friends putting on tights without panties, even the ones that are married. Before, these tights were undergarments worn under gowns or skirts. But now, these women said due to the increase in the prices of panties which don’t last long, they prefer to go pantless and wear tights.

“A male friend of mine who sells okrika clothes disclosed to me that ladies, even his girlfriend, now go for okrika decided to start buying okrika briefs. The so-called new ones don’t last long anymore.”

Mr. Matthew Oluwaseyi, a laboratory Technician explained that despite their ability to last long and being cheap, wearing okrika pants without proper washing and ironing, can cause infections.

“As a laboratory technician, I have come in contact with various infections contracted by wearing okrika undergarments, especially pants.

“It is unhygienic for a woman to put on Okrika pants because some of these pants were worn by infected patients who might have disposed of them without proper washing. So if a new buyer does not  wash and iron them well, they could contract bacterial and fungal infections such as genital warts, vaginal and skin candidiasis, scabies, tinea curis, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and even Hepatitis A, B and C.” (Vanguard)

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CBN devalues Naira to 630/$1



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has devalued the Naira to N631 to the dollar from N461.6 it sold at the Importers and Exporters (I&E) window the previous day, Daily Trust gathered.

The devaluation came 48 hours after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the plans of the federal government to unify the country’s exchange rate to stimulate the economy.

In his inaugural speech, minutes after he was inaugurated as the 16th president of the country, Tinubu said, “Monetary policy needs a thorough house cleaning. The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy.”

There has been a wide margin between the I&E window and the parallel market, a situation that experts say encouraged round-tripping with Bureau de Change operators.

The situation has seen the CBN devise several measures to check the practice as well as completely stop the sale of forex to BDCs.

On Tuesday, President Tinubu met with the top echelon of strategic institutions including the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the presidential villa.

At the end of the meeting, neither the presidency nor Emefiele disclosed the outcome of the briefing. It was, however, gathered that the issue of the exchange rate was discussed at the meeting.

The President also met with the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari. The removal of petrol subsidy was discussed, it was gathered.

Findings, however, revealed that at the resumption of the weekly bidding for foreign exchange, the apex bank sold the spot rate to banks on behalf of their customers at N631 to a dollar and most bidders got the full amount they requested.

One of the customers told this paper that they applied and that their request was fully granted at N631 as against N461.6.

The move has also seen prices at the parallel market trend downwards. Checks by this paper revealed that prices dropped from N750 to a dollar in the early hours of yesterday to N745 by evening in Abuja and Kano respectively.

The naira weakened in the parallel market to the lowest level in a year on expectations of a possible change in exchange rate management after Tinubu takes office on Monday.

The naira dropped to N762 a dollar on Friday from 775 the previous day in the unauthorized market in Lagos, said Umar Salisu, a BDC operator who tracks the data in the nation’s commercial capital.

The unit has weakened steadily in the parallel market since last week after stabilizing for most of this year.

The market arbitrage (difference between the official and parallel markets) has widened in the past three years from N100 per dollar or about 30 per cent in 2020 to over N400 per dollar (above 100 per cent) sometime last year when the black market rate spiked to N880/$.

Development institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are wary of exchange rate differential in excess of five per cent and warn that such could trigger unhealthy manipulation that could negatively affect other efforts on market stabilisation.

From 2020 to 2022, the CBN spent about $42 billion intervening in the foreign exchange market to stabilise the naira. The amount was sold to the end-users, including students and tourists, at the official rates, which are way off the effective exchange rate of the naira.

According to the Financial Stability Report, a publication of the CBN, the apex bank sold $9.2 billion in the market in the first half of last year.

The full data for the second half are not available, but the annualised value is assumed to have surpassed that, especially with the level of social and economic activities associated with the second half.

Whereas the black market rate averaged N730/$, the I&E window finished at suppressed N447/$ on average. That puts the arbitrage at N283/$, pushing the CBN’s FX subsidy in the year to about N3.65 trillion.

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EEDC blames rainstorm for lack of electricity supply in South East



Enugu Electricity Distribution Company

The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC, EEDC, has informed her esteemed customers across the South East that the loss of supply in some areas within its network was due to the rainstorm which occurred on Sunday evening and early hours of Monday

EEDC explained this through a message issued by Mr Emeka Eze, its Human Capital Development Head and made available to reporters.

This he explained had resulted in faults, occasioned by fallen trees and a high rate of broken High and Low Tension poles, causing supply disruption to their 11KV and 33KV feeders across the business districts.

He explained that their various technical/maintenance teams have since commenced patrol of the network to evaluate the extent of damage and treat faults where they are minimal.

EEDC expressed regret over the inconveniences these developments have caused their esteemed customers and appealed for their patience and understanding while these challenges are addressed.

Emeka Eze maintained that EEDC remained committed to delivering improved services to her esteemed customers.

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CBN gives reason for raising interest rate to 18.5 per cent



The Central Bank of Nigeria has opened up on why it raised the Monetary Policy Rate, also known as the interest rate, to 18.5 per cent from 18 per cent.

In a communique from the 291st Monetary Policy Committee meeting posted on CBN’s website on Wednesday, the Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, stated that its investigation and research found that the country’s interest would have been higher but for its intervention by raising interest rates.

According to Emefiele, Nigeria’s April inflation rate of 22.22 per cent would have been 30.48 per cent if the MPC had not raised the interest rate.

The bank’s decision to raise interest rates since May 2022 positively moderated the country’s rising inflation rate.

“The results revealed that following each monetary policy rate hike, the rise in inflation moderated relative to what it could have been if the MPC had not aggressively raised rates at all.

“The empirical evidence provided showed that whereas inflation in April 2023 stood at 22.22 per cent, the counterfactual evidence suggests that, it could have risen to 30.48 per cent in April 2023, had the MPC not taken any action to raise policy rates as it did since May last year,” he said.

CBN’s MPC raised the interest to 18.5 per cent.

CBN retained the Asymmetric Corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR, Retained the CRR at 32.5 per cent, and Retained the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

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