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Daily Watch – FG laments capital markets ‘closure,’ Côte d’Ivoire announces peacekeepers withdrawal

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The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba has ordered an immediate restructuring of the security architecture on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway to provide adequate deployment of officers and assets to ensure the protection of lives and property. This development, which was disclosed in Abuja by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Olumuyiwa Adejobi, followed the briefs of the security situation from the Commissioners of Police in charge of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo State commands. Daily Post reported that the new measure is to checkmate the criminal activities of prowling kidnappers and armed robbers along the expressway. The IGP said the police authority was not insensitive to the prevailing security challenges but has rather been occupied with charting a path towards decimating the security issue and strategically eliminating the threats along the expressway. The police authority even promised adequate operational support of technology-based and tactical operational assets for the Commissioners of Police in charge of the affected states. Further, the states’ heads of tactical operational units were directed to combat the current trend of crimes and criminality on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) puts Nigeria’s inflation rate at 21.09% in October 2022, a 17-year high. Food inflation also surged to 23.72% in the review month from 23.34% in September, while the core inflation rate rose to 17.76% from 17.6%. On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate moderated to 1.24% compared to 1.36% recorded in the previous month, but higher than the 0.98% recorded in the corresponding period of 2021. The increase in the composite index was due to increases in the core and food inflation rate in the period under review. According to the NBS, the possible factors responsible for the increase in the year-on-year index, include disruption in the supply of food products, increase in the cost of importation due to the persistent currency depreciation, and the general increase in the cost of production e.g increase in energy cost. The rise in the food inflation rate was caused by the increase in the prices of bread, cereals, potatoes, yams and other tubers, and oil and fat.

Patience Oniha, director general of the Debt Management Office (DMO), says the problem of high-interest rates and inflation has made the international capital market inaccessible for Nigeria to borrow money. Oniha said this on Monday when she appeared before the house of representatives committee on aid loans and debt management to defend the agency’s 2023 budget proposals. According to Oniha, the Nigerian government has spent about ₦1.2 trillion not budgeted on interest on loans taken from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The DMO DG further said the international capital market had closed its doors to Nigeria, making it impossible for the country to borrow money from the Eurobond market to fund government projects. “But from the fourth quarter of last year, the international capital market has not been opened to countries like Nigeria. “In 2021, there was ₦6 billion to be raised but we raised ₦4 billion out of that. This year, we raised ₦1.25 billion. That was the only day the International capital market was opened. Since January this year, countries with our rating, the international market are not looking for us because the invasion of Ukraine by Russia turned things around the world significantly.” Oniha further said the country spent N1.2 trillion on interest rates on ways and means advances, a process where the federal government borrows directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Côte d’Ivoire has announced the gradual withdrawal of its troops from the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali by August 2023, a decision that comes against a backdrop of diplomatic tensions between Abidjan and Bamako for several months. “By order of the government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Permanent Mission confirms the gradual withdrawal of Ivorian military and police personnel deployed in the UN Mission in Mali,” said a letter from the Permanent Mission of Côte d’Ivoire to the UN, on Tuesday. “The rotation of the protection company based in Mopti, as well as the deployment of staff officers and police officers planned for October and November 2022 respectively, can no longer be carried out,” the letter contained. Côte d’Ivoire also said that the soldiers and other elements present in the Minusma will not be relieved in August 2023. No official reason is given for this withdrawal, but relations between Côte d’Ivoire and the UN have become considerably strained in recent months, particularly after the arrest of 49 Ivorian soldiers in Bamako last July. After three releases, 46 of them are still being held in Mali; Bamako accuses them of being mercenaries, while Abidjan asserts that they were supposed to participate in the security of the German contingent of Blue Helmets in Mali. The Ivorian announcement comes a day after Britain said it would withdraw its contingent “sooner than expected”.

Source: SB Mintel