Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has sold off his shares in Integrated Logistics Services. Atiku’s spokesman, Paul Ibe, explained that one of the reasons Mr Atiku sold his shares was the FG’s alleged preoccupation with destroying “a legitimate business”. Ibe said, “Co-founder of Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited (Intels), Atiku Abubakar, has been selling his shares in Intels over the years. It assumed greater urgency in the last five years because this government has been preoccupied with destroying a legitimate business that was employing thousands of Nigerians because of politics. He has sold his shares in Intels and redirected his investment to other sectors of the economy for returns and creation of jobs.” “There should be a marked difference between politics and business,” Mr Ibe said.
Nigeria’s government said on Monday that at least 1,375 irregular migrants were arrested during the border closure. Speaking at a new year media briefing in Lagos on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the border closure was a huge success. Mr Mohammed said seizures made between August 2019 and December 2020 included 157,511 – 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice, 10,447 bags of NPK fertiliser used for making explosives and 18,630 jerry cans of vegetable oil. The total monetary value of the seized items, according to him, was about ₦12.362 billion. The government closed the country’s borders in a move it called “Exercise Swift Response,” ostensibly to secure the land and maritime borders in the South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West Zones from smuggling and irregular migration.
Meanwhile, Lai Mohammed has insisted that the FG has no plan to impose a fresh lockdown on Nigeria as the country battles the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Mohammed however, appealed to Nigerians to adhere to all protocols outlined by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. He said, “On the issue of lockdown, I don’t think there is any time when the Federal Government has said it is going to have a second lockdown. However, the Federal Government is very unhappy that Nigerians are not adhering to the basic COVID-19 protocols of wearing face masks, or practising social distancing, or washing hands, or ensuring that they do gather in large numbers. “If we do not do these, the surge will continue and with the new strain of COVID-19 which is becoming much more difficult to handle than the old strain, the Federal Government will continue to insist and encourage Nigerians to please obey the Covid-19 protocols. “The Federal Government is aware of the economic and social implications of a second lockdown but we want to call on Nigerians to help us, help themselves and help the economy, by adhering strictly to the COVID-19 protocols.”
Mozambique’s jihadist violence has forced French energy firm Total to suspend work at its multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas project in the country’s northern Cabo Delgado province. After the rebels’ 1 January attack on Quitunda village, just outside the fence of the gas project, the company removed most of its workforce, estimated at 3,000, from the Afungi peninsula. “In view of the evolving security situation in Cabo Delgado province,” Total “decided to reduce the number of personnel present at the Afungi site,” the company announced in a statement Monday. Total “is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of its staff and subcontractors,” its statement said. Work at the site has been suspended, according to the Zitamar news agency. Total has cut back operations to a bare minimum, evacuating staff and contractors by air. The insurgents, allied with the Islamic State group, have carried out a string of attacks since Christmas Eve, driving closer to the Total construction site, which covers 27 square miles. Total paid $3.9 billion in September 2019 for a 26% share of the project which was to begin production in 2024.