After about six days, the leadership of cattle and foodstuff dealers under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, on Wednesday, agreed to resume the movement of food supplies from the northern part of the country to the southern region. It was gathered that the agreement was reached when the leadership of the trade union met with Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello in Abuja. Former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode was also at the meeting. About a week ago, northern traders had embarked on strike over the alleged killing of their members in the southern part of the country. Prices of food commodities like pepper, tomatoes, beef, yam, garri, amongst others, had gone over the roof with many southerners groaning and complaining about the increase. The General Secretary, AUFCDN, Ahmed Alaramma, had said the President of the association, Mohammed Tahir, was with the Department of State Services over the blockade. The northern traders had also called on the Federal Government to pay them billions in compensation while Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere; Activist Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, and others had threatened to launch a campaign against cows in protest against the development.
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security agencies to shoot anyone seen with the AK-47 assault rifle. Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said that President directed a clampdown on bandits who have refused to surrender. On the efforts being made to rid Zamfara and other northern states of bandits, Shehu said the government is resorting to lethal force. “The president has ordered security forces to go into the bushes and shoot whoever they see with sophisticated weapons like AK-47,” he said. “He ordered that whoever is seen with terrible weapons at all should be shot immediately.” Mr Shehu also said the Nigerian government declared Zamfara a no-fly zone following intelligence that arms were being transported to the bandits with private jets. “These jets are being used to pick up gold that is being mined in some parts of Zamfara and exported. This is strong because at the moment, there is a Nigerian gold market in Dubai. The government is losing, the people of this country are losing, that’s why it is said that gold mining is banned for those who are not made by the government,” he said.
In 2020, Nigerian startups owed 71.2 percent of their investments to foreign funders, according to a new report. Techpoint Africa’s annual Nigerian startup report showed that foreign investors contributed $85.8 million out of the approximately $120.6 million that Nigerian startups raised throughout the year. The report stated that the year-on-year funding size comparison, however, was a mere 22.73 per cent of the $377.4 million recorded in 2019 and 48.12 percent of the $178.3 million recorded in 2018. The decline could be attributed to the economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of foreign deals involving Nigerian companies in 2020 stood at 37, with 14 local deals and deals with both a foreign and local component was nine. The number of foreign deals in 2020 constituted a 30.1 percent decline from the 53 deals closed in 2019, while local deals in 2020 saw a 80.3 percent plunge from 111 deals in 2019. The report said foreign investments made up the larger part of total African startup funding, as disclosed in its West Africa Decade Report. A total of 81.3 percent of investments in West African startups that had raised at least $1 million in the last ten years came from outside the continent, according to the report.
Senegal’s prominent opposition leader Ousmane Sonko has been arrested, his lawyer said on Wednesday after supporters scuffled with security forces ahead of his scheduled court appearance to face a rape charge. Mr Sonko, 46, was heading to court to face the charge, which he denies and says is politically motivated. “He has been notified of his arrest on charges of disturbing public order and participating in an unauthorised demonstration,” one of Mr Sonko’s lawyers, Cheikh Khouraissy Ba, told the AFP. Controversy has dogged Mr Sonko since last month when Senegalese media reported that an employee at a beauty salon where he went to get massages filed rape charges against him. On Friday, Senegal’s parliament voted to strip Mr Sonko of his immunity so the rape prosecution could proceed. Mr Sonko has accused the president of conspiring to remove him ahead of the 2024 elections. The leader of the opposition Pastef party challenged President Macky Sall in the 2019 vote, eventually finishing third in a race that delivered the incumbent a second term. He was due to appear before a judge in Dakar on Wednesday morning to answer the rape charge. However, he was arrested before he reached the courthouse.