A National Bureau of Statistics report shows that intra-city transport fares in Nigeria have increased by 283% over a four year period. The average cost of bus transportation within Nigerian cities rose from ₦122.83 in January 2017 to ₦470.83 in December 2021. In 2017, Abuja had the highest intra-city bus transport cost at ₦290.55 while Borno had the lowest at ₦50. In 2021, Zamfara had the highest intra-city bus transport cost at ₦700.22 while Abia had the lowest at ₦294.44. The data shows that the lowest cost in 2021 is 2.4 times higher than the average cost in 2017. The report also shows that the average cost of bus transportation from one city to another rose from ₦1,430.63 in January 2017 to ₦2,784.92 in December 2021. However, despite the massive increase in the cost of bus transportation, the average price of petrol increased by only 11.48 percent in the same period, rising from ₦148.7 in January 2017 to ₦165.77 in December 2021. This is coming against the backdrop of the rising cost of the petrol subsidy. In 2017, the NNPC said that it spent ₦144.53 billion in subsidising petrol, but by 2021, the subsidy gulped ₦1.43 trillion, a stunning rise of 890%. The NNPC has requested ₦3 trillion from the government to fund the subsidy this year.

“110 of the 276 girls abducted from the Chibok community in Borno state in April 2014 are still unaccounted for,” the Kibaku (Chibok) Area Development Association (KADA), on behalf of the entire Chibok Community, said on Saturday in Abuja. At a press conference, KADA President Dauda lliya said of the 276 girls abducted, 57 escaped from their abductors. He added that parents and the community have continued to be subjected to persistent and sustained attacks, killings, abductions, maiming, arson and other myriads of criminality without adequate government protection. He said, “Chibok has been for all intents and purposes abandoned to its own devices by all layers of government in Nigeria. Right from late 2012 up to this time, the statistics of the state of damage and destruction of lives and property inflicted on the Community presents a worrisome and pathetic picture. According to Iliya, over 72 persons have been killed, over 407 persons abducted, houses, business premises, and churches burnt, while over 20 vehicles were stolen and many grains barns burnt or destroyed. “From late 2018 to date, the frequency of attacks and level of destruction have escalated and are simply alarming. Just this year (2022) alone, Kautikari (the second largest town in the Chibok area) was attacked on January 14 with five girls abducted, three persons killed, many houses and churches burnt,” he added. The group said Piyemi, another big town in the Chibok area, was attacked on 20 January with 19 persons, mostly girls, abducted and the vigilante leader beheaded. In his words, “Government should seek for support to synergize with our security forces in confronting this menace so as to end the sustained carnage on our people. By so doing, we expect our remaining 110 daughters abducted in 2014 and numerous others subsequently abducted at different times to be brought back to us.”

At least 32 people have died of Lassa fever within the first three weeks of 2022, according to the latest situation report released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The report, which was released on Saturday, disclosed that the number of confirmed cases increased from 48 in the second week of 2022 to 74 in week three, spanning 17 to 23 January. The confirmed cases, the NCDC noted, were reported by Bauchi, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Katsina, Ondo, Oyo and Taraba. The disease centre noted that the new fatalities were reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.8 percent, a lower record when compared with a 25 percent CFR reported for the same period in 2021. The NCDC also noted that, cumulatively, from the first week to the third week of 2022, 170 people have been infected by Lassa fever across 37 local government areas in 12 states of the federation. Similar to the previous week, the agency said the trio of Bauchi, Edo and Ondo accounted for 74 per cent of the confirmed cases, with Edo and Ondo topping the infection chart with 28 percent each, while Bauchi recorded 23 percent. The report indicated that there are currently 759 suspected cases across 37 local government areas in 12 states of the federation, an indication of a rise in percentage when compared to that reported for the same period in 2022.

European states combating Islamist militants in Mali will try to find a way to keep their mission going, but there are limits to the price that France is prepared to pay to remain there, French Defence Minister Florence Parly said on Saturday. Relations between Mali’s military junta and its international partners are close to breaking down after it failed to organise an election following two military coups. On Wednesday, the junta told France to stop interfering in the affairs of its former colony and to keep its “colonial reflexes” to itself. read more French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday that the situation had become untenable, as the European allies agreed to draw up plans within two weeks on how to adapt their campaign, which covers Mali and the wider Sahel region, to changing circumstances. “The conditions of our intervention, whether military, economic or political, have become harder and harder to manage,” Parly said. “In short, we are not prepared to pay an unlimited price to remain in Mali.” But she said the ministers from the 15 countries involved in the European special force were for now united in wanting to maintain the mission, “so we must determine its new conditions.”