Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that Nigeria’s inflation increased by 11.98 percent in December 2019 due to the rise in the composite food index which rose by 14.67 percent in December. This is higher than the 11.85 percent recorded in November. The consumer price index, which measures inflation, witnessed a 0.05 percentage change for the twelve months period which ended in December 2019. The report said that the urban inflation rate increased by 12.62 percent year-on-year in December 2019 from 12.47 percent recorded in November 2019, while the rural inflation rate increased by 11.41 percent in December 2019 from 11.30 percent in November 2019. The rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Meat, Fish, Oils and fats, Potatoes, yam, and other tubers. The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending December 2019 over the previous twelve-month average, the NBS said, was 13.74 percent, 0.09 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2019 13.65 percent. The breakdown according to states showed that food inflation on a year on year basis in Sokoto was 17.75 percent, Ogun 17.37 percent and Plateau 16.75 percent. Bayelsa 13.26 percent, Delta 12.72 percent and Bauchi 12.19 percent recorded the slowest rise in the period.

Nigeria was among 12 African countries whose Internet service slowed down after undersea connection cables were damaged. The WACS and SAT3/WASC cable systems, which connect many African countries to Europe, are wired through the Atlantic Ocean. The disruption started on Wednesday night with a huge impact on mostly West African countries. NetBlocks, a non-profit organisation that tracks internet shutdowns, said the outage knocked out connectivity in some of the countries affected and degraded the service in others. Reuters also quoted Openserve, a unit of South Africa’s biggest fixed-line telecommunications provider, as saying one of the cables was damaged near Libreville in Gabon while the second near Luanda, Angola’s capital. It quoted an official of Vodacom Group Ltd., South Africa’s biggest mobile-network operator, as saying the cause of the damage has not been established. According to NetBlocks, some of the countries affected include South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Namibia and Cameroon. By Saturday, MTN Nigeria which had apologised to its customers via Twitter and SMS sent another message to say that service had been restored.

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday in London said that the partial closure of Nigeria’s borders is not meant to punish her neighbours, but to strengthen the country’s security and economy. At a meeting with a select group of the Nigerian Community in the UK, Buhari explained that the period of closure will be used for stock-taking on threats to the nation’s security and economy. He said that Nigerian farmers have been celebrating the closure which has drastically reduced smuggling of agricultural produce as well as arms and ammunition. Buhari attributed the country’s food security position to the “very good last three rainy seasons;” the FG’s reduction in the price of fertilizers by 50 percent and the presidential directive to the CBN not to give foreign exchange for food imports thereby saving the nations billions of naira. Buhari said Nigeria’s “huge, vibrant youth population” have been encouraged to go back to the farms and are “living decent and respectable lifestyles.”

The Transmission Company of Nigeria has said that Maiduguri and its environs in Borno State have been left in darkness over insurgents’ damages of electricity transmission networks. A TCN spokesperson, Ndidi Mbah, said Maiduguri and its environs have also been cut off from the National Grid. Mbah saidd that the 330kv transmission line between Maiduguri and Damaturu was badly affected, adding that the Damboa-Maiduguri 132kv transmission line has been disconnected from the grid for the same reason. “TCN has located the fault on the Maiduguri-Damaturu line and has arranged to repair the line. Consequently, bulk electricity would be restored to Maiduguri on or before January 20, 2020,” she said.