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Daily Watch – 63% of Nigerians are ‘multidimensionally poor,’ Senegal secures IMF credit extension

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The National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed that 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor due to a lack of access to health, education, and living standards, alongside unemployment and shocks. This figure was presented during the launch of Nigeria’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Survey in Abuja, on Thursday. The study was conducted by the NBS, the National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). The MPI was calculated using five components: health, living standard, education, security and unemployment. The survey, which sampled 56,610 households across the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT, and conducted between November 2021 and February 2022, stated that 65 percent of the poor – 86 million people – live in the North, while 35 percent, nearly 47 million people live in the South. It identified Sokoto as having the highest poverty levels in the country with 91 percent while Ondo had the lowest with 27 percent. Speaking at the event, President Muhammadu Buhari said the index was adopted because it provides ways poverty could be identified and tackled with policies.

At least 13 commanders of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN), have been killed by troops of the Nigerian military, over their criminal activities in the South East Zone. The troops also recovered a voter registration capturing machine belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and some other items, defence spokesman Major General Musa Danmadami said in a press briefing on Thursday. He said, “Within the week in focus, troops neutralised 13 IPOB/ESN criminals and arrested six including their herbalist. Troops equally recovered eight AK47 rifles, seven pump action guns, three locally made pistols, one sniper rifle, 15 rounds of 7.62mm special, 13 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, eight rounds of 9mm ammunition and five cartridges. Other items recovered are three pairs of combat boots, two pairs of camouflage uniforms and two camouflage jungle hats. Also recovered were two CCTV cameras, one INEC image-capturing machine, one INEC box, two walkie-talkies, a transistor radio, three solar panels, motorcycles, and vehicles among other items. All apprehended criminals and recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authority for further action.” Danmadami added that troops attached to Operation Delta Safe destroyed 44 illegal refining sites in the Niger Delta and arrested 29 suspected oil thieves during land, maritime and air operations at creeks, villages, communities, waterways, cities and towns in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa, on Thursday, said the Naira redesign introduced by the FG has increased the number of governors on his agency’s watchlist. Bawa said this to reporters at the State House after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari. While speaking, the EFCC boss declined to say the number of governors currently under the commission’s watch. He said, “Our agency is pleased with the redesign of the naira note because the policy would help the Central Bank of Nigeria control the monies in the system and by extension, enable more money for people to borrow. “It is my belief (as a student of economics) that the redesigning of the Naira will cause the value of the dollar currently at ₦890 to crash to ₦200.” On a number of sting operations against Bureau De Change operators, he said the operations were successful and “huge recoveries” were made.

The International Monetary Fund’s board has approved Senegal’s request for a credit extension to 10 January 2023, to allow time to complete credit and policy reviews, the Fund said in a statement on Thursday. The request, approved on 15 November, concerns an 18-month Stand-By Arrangement and Arrangement Under the Standby Credit Facility (SBA/SCF). The SBA/SCF was approved in June 2021 with special drawing rights (SDR) access of $453 million. This was followed by additional access of SDR $129.44 million approved in June 2022. “Completion of the reviews will enable the Senegalese authorities to have access to funds available under the SBA/SCF,” the Fund said. The extension was granted one day before an IMF staff mission to Senegal concluded that the West African country had made “significant progress” in implementing structural reforms despite these being slower than anticipated.

Source: SB Mintel