Ibrahim Magu, who has acted as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission since 2016 has been suspended from his position. The Presidency had summoned Mr Magu to discuss the sale of seized assets the day before, and then suspended him “to allow him to face the probe into the allegations against him.” Mr Magu had appeared before a panel probing allegations of gross misconduct against him on Monday. The panel is led by Ayo Salami, a retired justice of the appeal court. The development is coming after Magu was arrested and detained by security operatives in Abuja Monday following a memo by Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, in which the suspended anti-graft czar was accused of grave malfeasance. Presidency spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Mr Magu was summoned to discuss the anti-graft agency’s sale of recovered assets based on Malami’s petition. Mr Magu was accused of mishandling recovered loot, and selling seized assets to associates. He was also alleged to have refused to subject himself to the supervision of the office of the attorney-general. Femi Odekunle, a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, has accused Mr Malami of waging a grudge war against Mr Magu, who he claims is the victim of a power-play at the Presidency.
Panellists on agricultural security at the National Conversation on Mapping Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 have advocated a review of the national food security structure to address an imminent possibility of food security crisis that may hit Nigeria as a result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the agricultural sector. The session with the theme ‘Safeguarding the Nation: Agricultural credit and national food security in an economic downturn’ drew participants from both the private and public sectors. In her opening remarks, the spokesperson of Upfield Foods, Motola Oyebanjo, said conversations around improved food security and systems were discussed that must be prioritised particularly now that the pandemic had impacted socioeconomic activities on a global scale. Commenting on the need to have sufficient food reserves across the country, the Vice Chairman of Dangote Foods, Sani Dangote, agreed that food security was a reality that had shown up fully due to the current pandemic. Other speakers including the Managing Director of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, Aliyu Abdulhameed, and the Co-founder of Sahel Consulting, Ndidi Okonkwo-Nwuneli, said the country needed to think about how to strengthen SMEs because they were the bedrock of innovation in the ecosystem and warned of an impending food crisis.
The naira eased 5.5 percent on the official market on Tuesday after the CBN devalued its official exchange rate to ₦381 to the dollar from ₦360, data from the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange has shown. Though the monetary regulator has not issued a statement about the development, it is coming after Governor Godwin Emefiele announced last month that the bank plans to unify its multiple exchange rates to improve the transparency of its currency-management system. The CBN had also devalued the currency in March this year when it adjusted the official peg against the dollar to ₦360 from ₦307. Then, the CBN governor said the move was “an adjustment of price and not a devaluation of the currency.” On the CBN’s website, last updated 3 July, the quoted rate remains ₦360 to the dollar.
Doctors in Sierra Leone, refusing to treat COVID-19 patients to press demands for bonus payments and more protective equipment, have threatened on Tuesday to expand the strike to include treatment for general patients if the dispute is not resolved by Sunday. The doctors stopped attending to cases of the coronavirus pandemic since last Thursday after a more than month-long stand-off with the country’s government over what they say is a misuse of funds for the COVID-19 response. According to the Secretary General of Sierra Leone’s Medical and Dental Association, Dr. Samba Jalloh, the doctors had a meeting with (the) government Monday but their interest in resolving the issue did not appear significant. He told Reuters that they will stop caring for other patients too if a solution cannot be met by the end of this week. A spokesman for the coronavirus response team has previously said the government was carrying out an audit to determine which health workers were entitled to hazard pay. A memorandum of understanding signed in April by the government promised weekly hazard pay of up to $100 for frontline health workers. Doctors say the agreement was allowed to expire without any payments having been made. They also say they lack protective equipment like gloves, masks and coveralls to prevent infections spreading from patients to hospital staff. Daily coronavirus infection totals in Sierra Leone have declined since the strike began, which Jalloh said was due to suspected cases no longer being admitted and tested at isolation centres. Their Nigerian counterparts in state-run hospitals had on 21 June called off a week-long strike over welfare and inadequate protective equipment even as coronavirus cases spike in the country. Sierra Leone has confirmed about 1,500 total COVID-19 cases, fewer than many other West African countries. Of those, 160 have been health workers, and 62 people – including three doctors – have died from complications related to the disease.