The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will contract by 4.3 percent, which indicates an improvement compared with a negative GDP projection of 5.4 percent it had predicted in its previous report in June. This comes as the FG said it is not considering the relief package offered by the World Bank for low-income countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in order not to worsen the nation’s crippling debt situation. IMF’s Chief Economist, Ms. Gita Gopinath said at the ongoing Annual Meetings of the IMF/World Bank in Washington DC that Africa’s growth projections have not shifted significantly, with numbers that are “close to what we had in June, -3 per cent in 2020 and 3.1 per cent in 2021.” She added that there was “significant heterogeneity within the region. You have countries that are commodity exporters who have been negatively impacted not just by the pandemic but by the drop in oil prices.” She added that the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic would cause 20 million people in the continent to fall into extreme poverty.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has set up the Special Weapons and Tactics Team that will replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad. The prospective members of the new team, who will undergo tactical training next week, will undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment. A statement by force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in Abuja on Tuesday, said the personnel from police commands in the South-East and the South-South will be trained at the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State. The statement was entitled, ‘IGP orders all defunct SARS personnel to report at the force headquarters for psychological and medical examination’. “The medical examination will be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit, a unit, which henceforth, shall engage in psychological management, re-orientation and training of officers of the Force deployed for tactical operations and other duties,” the statement read in part. On social media, Nigerians rejected the creation of the new unit, saying that it does not sufficiently address concerns around police brutality.
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointments of eight new Supreme Court justices. President Buhari had sent a letter that was read by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, asking lawmakers to approve the appointment of the eight justices. Those confirmed are, Lawal Garba, (North West), Helen Ogunwumiju (South West), Abdu Aboki (North West), and M M Saulawa (North West). They also include Adamu Jauro (North East), Samuel Oseji (South South), Tijani Abubakar (North East), and Emmanuel Agim (South South). The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, said his committee found that all the judges are eminently qualified for the exalted positions and that there was no petition against any of them. The upper chamber in a Committee of the Whole, thereafter, confirmed the nomination of the eight appointees as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Eni has filed a request for arbitration against Nigeria at the World Bank’s dispute settlement body and plans to argue that the country’s failure to allow it to exploit an oilfield it acquired with Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L nearly a decade ago breaches their investment agreement, court documents show. OPL 245, an offshore field awarded to the two oil companies in 2011, is the subject of multiple court cases worldwide, including a criminal case in Milan in which the Nigerian government alleges roughly $1.1 billion of payments from the companies was siphoned to politicians and middlemen. Shell and Eni have denied any wrongdoing. Eni has submitted a request for arbitration against Nigeria with the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investor Disputes (ICSID), of which Nigeria is a member state, a posting on ICSID’s website shows. It shows the case was registered on 9 October but does not give details. Shell is not a party to the request, according to the posting. An Eni spokesman told Reuters that the request for arbitration was aimed at protecting its investments and investors, and that it was confident of a satisfactory solution for both parties. The Italian oil major also filed a request for evidence on Oct. 6 with a court in the U.S. state of Delaware which it says it wants to use in the ICSID arbitration and in the Milan case, the news agency quotes court documents as saying. In the Delaware court documents, Eni said it believed “third parties” were behind Nigeria’s lack of action on its request to convert OPL 245 into an oil mining license and on its efforts to claim some $1 billion in damages.