Inflation in Nigeria soared to 16.8 percent in April, driven by fuel price increases and accelerating costs for food, including bread and cereals, newly released data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown. Annual food inflation rose to 18.4 percent from 17.2 percent in March, sending the headline rate to 16.8 percent, the highest in eight months, according to the data released on Monday. The jump in fuel and food items costs is driven by global supply disruptions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prices for wheat, a key ingredient in cereals and flour for pasta and bread, have jumped more than 5 percent over the weekend, and over 68 percent year-on-year, according to commodities data compiled by the Financial Times. Shortages of jet fuel have led to airline operators increasing fare prices by nearly 100 percent or in some cases suspending operations as the price of the commodity rose from ₦190 to ₦700 ($0.46 to $1.69) per litre in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Persistent double-digit inflation could hamper the growth of the Nigerian economy that “experienced its deepest recession in four decades” in 2020, the World Bank had said in a “Time for Business Unusual” report released in November 2021.
Nigeria’s Accountant-General Ahmed Idris has been arrested over alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) confirmed on its Twitter handle on Monday. Mr Idris was intercepted in Kano by operatives of the EFCC on Monday evening and was flown to Abuja for interrogation. The agency has been investigating a case of diversion of at least ₦80 billion in public funds for some time. The funds were allegedly laundered through bogus contracts awarded to companies with links to family members and associates of the accountant-general, online newspaper, Premium Times reported. The paper said Mr Idris ignored multiple invitations by EFCC investigators “We were left with no choice than to keep him under watch and arrest him,” one of our sources is quoted as saying. President Muhammed Buhari appointed Mr Idris accountant-general in June 2015 and reappointed him for a second four-year term in June 2019, amid criticism from rights groups that he should have retired after turning 60. Prior to this 2015 appointment, he was the finance and accounts director at the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
Borno’s Police Command says it defused a bomb planted by Boko Haram and Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP) insurgents at the Dalori Internally Displaced Persons camp. The state’s police commissioner, Abdu Umar confirmed the incident at a news briefing in Maiduguri. The Dalori IDP camp in Konduga Local Government Area is a few kilometres from Maiduguri on the Maiduguri-Bama expressway. According to reporting from the News Agency of Nigeria, the bomb scare began at 6 am when an item concealed in a sack thought to be an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was spotted causing the camp’s residents to abandon their shelters. The police’s (EOD) team immediately dispatched to the scene for disposal and evacuation. “The IED was successfully defused by the [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] team without causing any casualties,” he told reporters. Dalori is one of the biggest IDP camps in the state, with more than 19,000 residents as of July 2021, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Around 40 people, many of them civilian volunteers with the army, have been killed in suspected jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso, local sources and security officials said on Monday. In the northern region of Sahel, around 25 people were killed in two assaults on Saturday, including 13 members of the VDP volunteers, a leader of the force told AFP. In Kompienga, near Burkina’s southeastern border with Togo and Benin, about 15 civilians were killed on Saturday when their convoy was attacked while under VDP escort, a security source in the region said. A local inhabitant said three VDP volunteers also died in this attack and called for help for the wounded, which he said numbered nearly a dozen. In another raid overnight Saturday, assailants carried out a coordinated attack on police and gendarmes’ posts in Faramana, near the frontier with Mali, causing two wounded, a security source said. Burkina Faso has been battered by jihadist raids since 2015 when insurgents began mounting cross-border attacks from Mali. More than 2,000 people have died and almost two million fled their homes. Mutinous troops, angered at mounting losses, ousted elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore in January. The new strongman, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, says tackling the violence and restoring security is his top priority. Some of the heaviest losses have been suffered by the Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP), a civilian auxiliary force set up in December 2019 to take over some basic security duties from the army. Recruits are given two weeks’ military training and then work alongside the military, typically carrying out surveillance, information-gathering or escort duties.