President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday asked the Senate to approve $4 billion and €710 million in new external loans. This request comes amid public criticism over rising borrowing by the current administration. According to the letter addressed to Senate President Ahmad Lawan and read at plenary, the proposed loan would be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, EXIM Bank and IFAD. The loan, if approved, Buhari noted, would enable the FG to fund critical infrastructure projects in different sectors across the country. In June, the Senate had approved the sum of $8.3 billion (₦8,325,536,537) loan Buhari had requested in May 2021. The lawmakers, in the same period, also approved a separate €490 million loan request by the president. The total amount is part of the 2018 – 2020 external borrowing (rolling) plan of the central government.
Nigeria’s annual inflation eased in August for a fifth straight month to 17.01% after the pace of food price growth witnessed a drop, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown. Food price inflation, the major headline component, eased 73 basis points in August to 20.30% on-month, the NBS said. Core inflation, excluding prices of farm produce, fell 31 basis points to 13.41%. The government says inflation is a structural problem linked to structural deficits and not solely a money supply issue, and claims that most of it is also imported. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said on Tuesday, without naming them, that the declining inflationary trend reflects several measures put in place by the fiscal and monetary authorities. Emefiele said he expected the pace of inflation to moderate as the country approached the harvest season. The CBN is due to set benchmark interest rates on Friday. With fragile growth, few expect any alteration. The bank has been dovish since September by leaving rates on hold at 11.5%. Inflation is currently above the CBN’s 6%-9% target band.
Six Nigerians were Monday named by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as financiers of Boko Haram and terror activities. According to the State-run WAM news agency, the information was released at the country’s federal cabinet meeting in Abu Dhabi on MonMuhammad Nigerians among the 53 names published include Abdurrahaman Ado Musa, Salihu Yusuf Adamu, Bashir Ali Yusuf, Muhammed Ibrahim Isa, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan and Surajo Abubakar Muhammad. The financiers were prosecuted in 2020 for wiring funds to Boko Haram. The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, had during a roundtable on U.S.-Nigeria military cooperation with journalists in Abuja, declared that her country was very eager to partner with Nigeria on identifying Boko Haram sponsors. According to a former Assistant Director of the Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree, the U.S. had been positively disposed to supporting Nigeria, especially in the fight against terrorism, noting that the question was whether the FG would embrace the gesture.
Nigeria’s State Security Service has asked security agencies in Kaduna to “step up surveillance and intelligence gathering” in the state as commanders and foot soldiers of Boko Haram have relocated from Sambisa forest in Borno to Rijana forest in Chikun local government area of Kaduna. A memo from the SSS, reported Peoples Gazette, said that a “senior Boko Haram fighter, Ibrahim (FNU) alongside his foot soldiers” were relocating to join their counterpart “under the leadership of one Adamu Yunusu (aka Saddiqu).” The secret police ordered the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to increase security measures in the “aforementioned areas and environs,” and that operatives of the corps “should be placed on alert and report accordingly.” The directive was issued a little under 24 hours after Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya warned army commanders that he will no longer accept excuses in the war against terrorism, banditry and other crimes in the country. Yahaya gave the warning Monday at the opening ceremony of the ‘Combined Second and Third Quarter Chief of Army Staff Conference’ in Abuja.