The Central Bank of Nigeria has stopped the processing of Form M, a mandatory documentation process aimed to monitor goods brought into Nigeria, for the importation of maize or corn into the country. The CBN on Monday directed banks and those permitted to trade foreign exchange in the country to stop processing the document, which was created by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the financial regulator, to also enable the collection of import duties where applicable to the imported goods. Explaining the rationale behind this directive, the bank, in a circular signed by its director in charge of Trade and Exchange Department, O.S. Nnaji, noted that it was to boost local production of the farm product. According to CBN, the present global health pandemic, COVID-19, has caused many Nigerians to lose their jobs, putting a dent on the economy. It said the move was necessary to begin a process of economic recovery.

New data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has shown that the country spent over ₦101 billion in the first three months of 2020 on petrol subsidy. The breakdown of the figure showed that the corporation spent ₦43.31 billion as subsidy on petrol in January, it incurred ₦20.68 billion as “under-recovery” in February, while in March the oil firm spent ₦37.66 billion on subsidy, even as stakeholders have called for the scheme, which the NNPC in its Monthly Financial and Operations March 2020 report described as “under-recovery”, to be fully halted. The state oil firm had consistently argued that only the National Assembly was empowered to approve petrol subsidy, despite the fact that NNPC’s monthly under-recoveries were due to subsidy on petrol. Petrol subsidy was, however, halted in March 2020 by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency following the crash in global crude oil prices. The PPPRA has adjusted petrol price about three times since after the first adjustment in March this year. The NNPC said it paid ₦434.25 billion to the Federation Account Allocation Committee during the quarter under review. It said that in January, a total of ₦138.57 billion was remitted to FAAC, while the committee received ₦148.53 billion from the corporation in February 2020. The NNPC said it paid ₦147.15 billion to FAAC in March this year.

The National Bureau of Statistics is set to publish labour statistics, a report that will show the country’s unemployment numbers by the end of July, finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, has said. According to Ms Ahmed during a recent virtual consultative public forum in which she presented the draft 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper, the survey has been completed and “the final report is being put together.” Going by the new date given by the Ahmed, the labour force report would be released earlier than the scheduled 31 August in the calendar of the statistics office. Publishing it by the end of July, Q3 2020, it will make it exactly two years since the last unemployment report was released in the third quarter of 2018. The most recent labour force statistics by NBS shows Nigeria’s jobless rate was at a record-high of 23.1 percent in Q3 2018. The country’s unemployment rate embarked on an upward spiral in 2015 after a decline to 6.4 percent a year earlier. According to the statistician-general, Yemi Kale, the labour report has not been published since July 2018, due to a lack of funds.

Cote d’Ivoire’s Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan has resigned following the sudden death last week of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. The President Alassane Ouattara’s office broke the news of the resignation Monday. According to the secretary-general of the presidency, Patrick Achi, Kablan Duncan, who previously served as Ouattara’s prime minister, was leaving for personal reasons. The resignation adds to unsettling the political outlook days after the death of Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Alassane Ouattara’s preferred successor. The death last week of Gon Coulibaly, hand-picked by Ouattara to run in October’s presidential election, has left the ruling party scrambling to find a replacement candidate, a process likely to reveal internal divisions, according to analysts. Ouattara picked Gon Coulibaly in March to represent the RHDP party in the 31 October poll after announcing he would not stand for a third term.