Data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped further in the month of November 2021 to 15.4 percent from 15.99 percent recorded in the previous month. The report said that the latest figures represent the lowest recorded since November 2020, when the CPI rose by 14.89 percent. Meanwhile, on a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 1.08 percent in November 2021, this is 0.10 percent higher than the rate recorded in October 2021 (0.98 percent). The urban inflation rate increased by 15.92 percent (year-on-year) in November 2021 from 15.47 percent recorded in November 2020, while the rural inflation rate increased by 14.89 percent in November 2021 from 14.33 percent in November 2020. The breakdown of the report showed fgat food inflation dropped significantly to 17.21 percent in November 2021 from 18.34 percent recorded in October 2021. Food inflation dropped to its lowest level in 14 months. On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.07 percent in November 2021, up by 0.16 percent points from 0.91 percent recorded in October 2021. It is worth noting that the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, fish, food product, potatoes, yam and other tubers, oil and fats, milk, cheese and eggs and coffee, tea, and cocoa. The “All items less farm produce” also known as core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.85% in the review month, rising from 13.24 percent recorded in the previous month. The highest increases were recorded in prices of gas, Liquid fuel, other services, garments, Vehicle spare parts, passenger transport by road, non-durable household goods, Jewellery clocks and watches, passenger transport by air, pharmaceutical products, appliances, articles and products for personal care, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing and fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipments. According to states, in November 2021, all items inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Gombe (18.54 percent), Jigawa (17.54 percent) and Nasarawa (17.43%), while Kwara (11.73%), Rivers (13.36%) and Edo (13.50%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation. In terms of food inflation, Gombe also recorded the highest year-on-year increase at 21.83% followed by Kogi (21.09%), and Nasarawa State (20.48%), while Edo (14.12%), Rivers (14.31%) and Osun (14.45%) recorded the slowest rise in year-on-year food inflation.

The Federal Executive Council has approved a 20 percent salary increase for officers of the Nigeria Police Force. The salary upgrade is expected to take effect in January 2022. According to Maigari Dingyadi, the minister of police affairs, disclosing this to state house correspondents Wednesday after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja, said the federal executive council also approved the review of police duty tour allowance to six percent and also directed the release of ₦1.2 billion for the payment of uninsured benefits. The minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, said although the pay increase has not been captured in the 2022 appropriations bill, a supplementary budget could be sent to the national assembly for passage, and subsequently, implementation will be backdated to January 2022. The sum of ₦1.2 billion was also approved for the payment of outstanding allowances. Dingyadi said the approval is a follow-up to President Buhari’s promise to enhance police personnel pay as demanded by #EndSARS protesters. The minister said the sum of ₦13.128 billion was approved for outstanding death benefits for 5,472 police personnel. Dingyadi, however, said the payment would kick off after the auditor-general of the federation must have vetted it. He also announced a tax waiver of ₦18.6 billion for personnel between grade levels one and 14.

The National Youth Service Corps will bar unvaccinated corps members from its camps nationwide. The service said this Monday through its Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim. The DG noted that the measure will take effect from the next orientation camp, which is a few weeks from now. He said, while addressing the 2021 Batch “C” Stream Two corps members and camp officials, that prospective corps members will now need to show evidence of vaccination from coronavirus before they would be allowed to register. Shuaibu added the scheme was trying to be careful not to allow the spread of the disease owing to the detection of the Omicron COVID variant in the country. Corps members were also warned to avoid embarking on night and unauthorised journeys, adding that they should break any journey extending beyond 6:00 pm and pass the night in a safe place. “We have NYSC Corps Lodges, Secretariats and Army barracks, find out where they are and make sure you pass the night there for journeys that will take you beyond six to get to your destination,” he noted.

Somali Islamists have captured a town in the semi-autonomous central state of Galmudug, residents said, part of a string of incursions underscoring the group’s gains amid divisions between the central government and its erstwhile allies in the region. The gains – in towns free of the al Shabaab insurgency for more than a decade – are evidence that the group with links to al Qaeda is capitalising on deepening political divisions in Somalia ahead of long-delayed presidential elections scheduled for next year. The group on Tuesday captured the town of Eldheere, 30 km (18 miles) south of Galmudug’s capital Dhusamareb. Al Shabaab fighters bombed the police station before taking over the town, residents and an official from Galmudug state’s military said. “Last night the (Galmudug state) forces left and al Shabaab captured the town,” elder Nur Hussein said by phone from Eldheere town on Wednesday. The Islamists also kidnapped a trader and were threatening a key regional road. On Monday, al Shabaab fighters briefly took over the town of Mataban before it was reoccupied by troops from Galmudug state, a resident told Reuters by phone. “I saw masked al Shabaab fighters raising flags and addressing the people in the centre of town,” he said. Al Shabaab has been fighting in Somalia for years, seeking to topple the central government and rule based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic law. Major Farah Ahmed, a police officer in Galmudug, confirmed al Shabaab had taken Eldheere but said the state had dispatched troops to dislodge them. The incursions follow infighting between the Somali government and its erstwhile allies, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a (ASWJ), a Galmudug militia that was instrumental in the fight against al Shabaab. ASWJ says the government has accepted too many hardline clerics into its fold. In October, the two sides fought a deadly battle that claimed more than 120 lives. Analysts fear the clash is derailing the fight against al Shabaab.