The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says 47.4 percent of children in Nigeria live in households that spend less than ₦400 per day. In a statement on Friday, Peter Hawkins, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, said 54 percent of children in Nigeria are “multi-dimensionally poor”. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday, launched three reports on how poverty affects children in Nigeria — ‘The Situation Analysis of Children, ‘Multidimensional Child Poverty Analysis’ and the ‘Monetary Child Poverty in Nigeria’. Speaking on the report, Hawkins said the multi-dimensional child poverty report shows that more children are living in poverty in rural than urban areas. “Multidimensional poverty in children is more prevalent in the rural (65.7%) than urban areas (28.4%). There are also high state disparities ranging from 14.5% (Lagos) to 81.5% (Sokoto). The monetary child poverty report shows that 47.4% of children face monetary poverty by living in households with expenditure of less than ₦376.5 a day – the national poverty line. Slight differences are observed between boys (47.98%) and girls (46.8%) while there are high geographical and state disparities (from 6.5% in Lagos to 91.4% in Sokoto). The analysis indicates that the country would need as roughly as ₦1 trillion to lift children out of poverty.” One of the reports predicted that Nigeria will have 29 million child brides by 2050, up from the current 22 million – a figure which represents 40 percent of such cases in West and Central Africa. Citing the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2013, the report added that 58.2 per cent of Nigerian girls get married before they turn 18 years old.

National cooking gas demand has dropped by 38 percent, according to the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM). The revelation came on the heels of clamours by a group of experts on Tuesday that demand for Liquefied Natural Gas, popularly known as cooking gas, had dropped to a record low across the country. The President of the Nigerian Gas Association, Ed Ubong, said at a downstream event in Lagos that national gas consumption had dropped due to high prices. “We are aware that the local consumption of cooking gas has dropped from 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) to around 750,000 mtpa out of which about 600,000 mtpa is supplied by local producers,” NALPGAM President Oladapo Olatunbosun said. The FG has an annual consumption target of 5mn metric tonnes. Olatunbosunalso alleged that the Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) inflated the price of a 20 metric tons (MT) truck by 100 percent. According to him, gas importers who were NLPGA members sold to plant owners at ₦12.7 million per 20MT despite purchasing the product at around ₦7 million per 20MT from Nigeria LNG and other local producers. NALPGAM is the association of Nigerian private companies with operating gas bottling plants while the NLPGA is the umbrella body of all stakeholders including importers, skid owners and also players in the LPG sector. According to him, cooking gas, as of 23 May was ₦750 per kilogram (kg) at the depot and was sold at ₦800/kg at the retail end in Lagos, Ogun and some states in the South West, while the same quantity went as high as ₦900 to ₦1000/kg at the retail end in Bayelsa, Gombe and other states.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has picked former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as its candidate for the 2023 presidential elections. Vote counting started late on Saturday and Abubakar garnered 371 votes, defeating his nearest rival Rivers Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who received 237 votes. Abubakar has made numerous bids to capture the presidency. The 75-year-old lost to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 during the last election, which he claimed was rigged. Buhari will not be on the ballot next year when the second of his two four-year terms comes to an end. The PDP, which ruled Nigeria after military rule ended in 1999, was removed from power by Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) party in 2015. In his acceptance speech, Abubakar reiterated his campaign promise to end insecurity in the country and revive its fragile economy, among other pledges, and promised to work with his opponents. “I therefore pledge that I will restore unity. I also committed that I was going to deal decisively with the security situation in this country,” said Abubakar. Abubakar has stood in six primaries, and next year’s vote will be his third presidential bid. From 1999 to 2007, he was vice president to Olusegun Obasanjo, the first Nigerian leader after the end of decades of military rule. Abubakar’s main opponent will be from the ruling APC, which will choose its candidate at a special convention to be held 6-8 June. The APC postponed its presidential primary from Sunday after the electoral commission extended the deadline for political parties to choose their candidates. Twenty-five candidates from the APC have registered to take part in the primaries. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former Lagos governor and party heavyweight Bola Tinubu are seen as the ruling party’s front-runners.

Senegal President Macky Sall, who chairs the Africa Union, Sunday, called for dialogue between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda as tensions escalate between the two countries over a resurgence of the M23 rebel group. Congo on Saturday summoned Rwanda’s ambassador and suspended RwandAir flights to Congo in response to what it says is Kigali’s support for M23 rebels carrying out a military offensive in its eastern borderlands. Kinshasa has accused Rwanda of the latest offensive by the rebels, citing the rebels’ heavy firepower as evidence of outside support. Rwanda has denied this, calling the fighting an intra-Congolese conflict. Rwanda’s army also requested the release of two Rwandan soldiers it said were “kidnapped” along its border with Congo. “I am seriously concerned by the rising tension between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Sall said on Twitter. “I call for calm and dialogue between the two countries, and for the peaceful resolution of the crisis with the support of regional mechanisms and the African Union,” said Sall who holds the rotating chairmanship of the African Union.