Daily Watch – PMI crashes in February, Mali postpones constitutional referendum

Daily Watch – PMI crashes in February, Mali postpones constitutional referendum

At least 18 people have been reported killed on Saturday evening in Kankara Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina State when terrorists clashed with local security guards. Kankara residents told Punch that search parties were still busy looking for casualties to ascertain accurate casualty figures. The residents said the list of settlements where the clashes occurred included Majifa, Gurbi, Danmarke, Gidan-Anchor, Gidan- Saika, Dan-Mangoro and Gidan-Sale. The paper reported that the incident was precipitated by the wedding of a terrorist leader identified as “Mai Kalifat Mutuwa,” attended by terrorists at Majifa. Some local security guards allegedly clashed with those who attended the wedding party, including terrorists from neighbouring Zamfara. Meanwhile, in Kaduna, the death toll of Saturday’s night attack on the Ungwan Wakili community in Zango Kataf Local Government Area has risen to 17. This crisis escalated by the alleged killing of a herder days ago in Ungwan Juju, apparently in retaliation for the death of a local last month. In the Federal Capital Territory, gunmen have kidnapped 10 residents of the Grow Homes Estate in Kuchibiyi, Kubwa. The gunmen numbering about 20, according to reports, stormed the estate around 11:30 pm last Friday. According to a resident, some children and a woman are among those who were taken away by the attackers.

Nigeria’s private sector expectedly experienced a decline in business activity in February, the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data released by Stanbic IBTC show. The PMI, which measures business activity in the private sector, fell to 44.7 in February from 53.5 in January. According to Stanbic, February’s PMI data indicated that cash shortages across the economy had a major impact on the private sector midway through the first quarter of the year. Substantial declines were seen in both output and new orders, while firms scaled back their purchasing activity and employment. Business conditions deteriorated markedly, ending a 31-month expansionary run. The decline in operating conditions was the sharpest since the survey began in January 2014, excluding the opening wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the second quarter of 2020.

The European Union (EU) has al­located an amount of 10 million euros to support Ghana’s food security, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has announced. He said this would definitely augment the government’s agenda of Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), as the global economy has, in recent times, witnessed deep­ening polarisation and increased scepticism about the benefits of multilateralism. Speaking at the opening ceremo­ny of the Ghana-European Union Political Dialogue in Ac­cra, Bawumia added that the current global challenges had brought trade friction, economic slowdown and constrained fiscal and financial space.

Mali’s ruling junta announced last Friday that it would postpone a constitutional referendum scheduled for 19 March 2023, while assuring that it would respect its commitments to return civilians to the helm of the country in 2024. “The date of the referendum scheduled for March 19, 2023, will be slightly postponed,” government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said in a statement read to the press. This referendum is the first step supposed to be validated by the vote on the way to elections in February 2024 and a return to civilian rule. The junta justifies this postponement by the installation of the representations of the election management body in all regions of the country and by the desire to popularise the new Constitution.


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