The Commandant, Oyo State Security Network Agency, Operation Amotekun, Rtd. Col. Olayinka Olayanju, has denied a report alleging that there were clashes between his men and Fulani herdsmen in Ibarapa and Oke Ogun areas of the State. Amotekun had recently embarked on operations in response to the incessant reports of killings and kidnapping in the area. Mr Olayanju said his operatives raided the forests of Ibarapa and Oke Ogun areas of the state in the early hours of Saturday to rid the areas of kidnappers. The corps paraded one of the suspected kidnappers, Sanni Bello, who was arrested in the forest around Aiyegun in Iwajowa Local Government Area. “Contrary to reports, there was no clash whatsoever between Fulani herdsmen and Amotekun in Ibarapa or Oke Ogun axis of Oyo State,” Mr Olayanju said. “What happened was that we launched clearance operations in different locations around the thick forests of the four local governments that have suffered kidnapping and wanton killings in recent times. When our men entered the forests at Aiyede, they were attacked and a gun battle ensued, which led to the death of three of the attackers. One of our men sustained injuries. It was not a clash with the Fulani because Fulanis were part of the planning of the operation and we raided the forests together. We were in touch with Seriki who is the leader of the Fulani in the area. Even after our men were withdrawn on Saturday afternoon, we got reports that some Fulani were kidnapped in one location close to the area of operation. So they are working with us because they are also victims of the dastardly acts of kidnapping in the area. All suspects and weapons were handed over to the Divisional Police Officer, DPO Magoro Police Station, Igbo Ora at about 9 am on Saturday.”

Non-teaching staff in the universities under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee, will on Tuesday, embark on three-day nationwide protests over the government’s handling of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, sharing formula of the ₦40 billion earned academic allowances and non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage. The committee said other contentious issues that informed the decision include inconsistencies in IPPIS payment and the delay in the renegotiation of the FGN/ASUU/SSANU 2009 Agreement. Others were the non-payment of retirement benefits to former members, non-constitution of visitation panels to universities, poor funding of universities, teaching staff usurping the headship of non-teaching units, among others. The JAC which comprised the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities directed all its branches to mobilize the members on Monday for the rallies. In a communique signed by the SSANU President, Mohammed Ibrahim, and the General Secretary of NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi, the committee added that the unions would consider other measures, including embarking on an indefinite strike, after the protests. The FG had in December approved ₦40 billion earned allowances for the four university unions and allegedly allocated 75 percent of the amount to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, leaving 25 percent for the other three unions. But this did not go down well with the NASU, SSANU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists as they rejected the sharing formula and threatened to ground the universities.

The Special Ministerial Task Force on Monitoring and Enforcement of Nigerian Expatriate Business Permit and Expatriate Quota Administration has said the FG will sanction any company that fails to comply with the law guiding the employment of qualified Nigerians to understudy expatriates. To ensure compliance with the policy, the task force has directed companies in the country to submit the Tax Identification Numbers, National Identification Numbers, phone numbers, and email addresses of Nigerians understudying expatriates in their firms. The chairman of the task force, Mr Bola Ilori, said on Sunday that all companies must submit the details of Nigerians understudying expatriates within their organisations to verify their sincerity or otherwise. He said this decision was reached after the meeting of the task force with representatives of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Labour Congress; Nigerian Bar Association; Nigerian Society of Engineers; other professional bodies, and officials of the Ministry of Interior. He said any company found to be playing tricks to deny qualified Nigerians jobs would face heavy sanctions from the FG. He said the task force would do everything to ensure that Nigerians were no longer denied the opportunities to work in companies in the country by foreigners and their collaborators.

Annual inflation in urban parts of Egypt grew at a slower pace in December, potentially clearing the way for the central bank’s focus to be on the global impact of the pandemic when it mulls upcoming rate decisions. The year-on-year inflation rate slowed to 5.4% from 5.7% in November, the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS said on Sunday. That puts the average rate for 2020’s final three months at 5.2%, according to Bloomberg calculations — significantly below the central bank’s target of 9%, plus or minus 3 percentage points. On a monthly basis, consumer prices reversed and hit their lowest level in about 18 months in December. They contracted 0.4%, compared with month-on-month expansion of 0.8% in November. Food and beverages, which comprise the largest single component of the inflation basket, fell 1.2% on a monthly basis. It’s a decline that is generally expected at the end of the year due to discounts over the holiday season, according to Radwa El-Swaify, head of research at Cairo-based Pharos Holding. Core inflation, the gauge measured by the North African nation’s central bank that strips out volatile items, was 3.8% year-on-year. The bank held its benchmark rate on 24 December, saying that average inflation in the fourth quarter of 2020 was likely to come under its target floor of 6%. Its next rate meeting is set for Feb. 4. “Since inflation is not expected to face major spikes in 2021, the interest-rate decisions in the first quarter will be largely reliant on global developments,” said El-Swaify.