The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said the implementation of a new e-customs project will generate $176 billion in 20 years. This was disclosed by the Comptroller-General, retired Col. Hameed Ali, on Monday in Abuja during the signing of the e-Customs concession agreement between the NCS, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), and China’s Huawei Technologies Limited. He also revealed that the concession would alleviate the cost of doing business and boost productivity for the service. Meanwhile, the Acting Director-General of ICRC, Mr Michael Ohiani, says the project is a migration from analogue to digital. “We urge the concessionaire to stick to the rules of engagement as we will be monitoring the project every step of the way,” he said. Alhaji Saleh Ahmadu, Chairman, Trade Modernisation Project Limited (TMPL) and project chairman of the concession, said: “As the concession period begins, we wish to assure Nigerians that the revenue target for the Federal Government will be achieved, if not surpassed.”

Deaths on the African continent from COVID-19 are expected to fall by nearly 94 percent in 2022 compared to last year, modelling by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed on Thursday. 2021 was the pandemic’s most deadly year in Africa, with COVID-19 the seventh major cause of death, just below malaria. “Our latest analysis suggests that estimated deaths in the African region will shrink to around 60 a day in 2022. … Last year, we lost an average of 970 people every day,” WHO Africa Director Matshidiso Moeti told a virtual news conference. The gulf in the numbers is due to increased vaccination, improved pandemic response and natural immunity from prior infections, the WHO said. COVID deaths in Africa have been uneven. Richer countries and southern African nations have had around double the mortality rates of poorer ones in other parts of Africa, partly due to co-morbidities that increase the risk of death, the WHO analysis found. Around 23,000 deaths are expected by the end of the year, provided current variants and transmission patterns remain the same, according to the analysis. The findings infer that only one in 71 COVID-19 cases are recorded in Africa and that about one in three deaths have been missed. As of the end of May, Africa had reported over 11.8 million confirmed COVID cases and more than 250,000 deaths.

Kasada Albatross Holding, a Mauritius-based subsidiary of Kasada Hospitality Fund LP, is set to buy Southern Sun Ikoyi from Tsogo Sun Hotels in a US$30.4 million deal. The acquisition deal is now at an advanced stage after a Sale of Shares Agreement between Southern Sun Africa (SSA) and Kasada Albatross Holding, which requires SSA to dispose of all of its sale shares in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Southern Sun Ikoyi Holdings (SSIH) together with all shareholder loan claims against Ikoyi Hotels Limited (IHL) to the purchaser. As of 31 March, the value of the net assets of IHL was US$ 41.0 million while Southern Sun Africa Group’s 75.55 percent share of IHL’s net asset value equates to US$ 31.0million According to a release by JSE SENS Department, the information dissemination service of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE Limited), the largest stock exchange in Africa, on the Sale of Shares Agreement on May 26, 2022, the US$30.4 million purchase, comprised of US$29.1 million for the Sale Shares and US$1.3 million for the Sale Claims. Explaining the rationale for the sale, JSE SENS Department noted that since its separate listing, Southern Sun Africa has been looking for ways to reduce its US dollar-denominated interest-bearing debt (offshore debt) as COVID-19 limited the Group’s ability to apply its cash resources towards the settlement of the debt. However, the purchase is subject to the fulfilment or waiver of some conditions including; unconditional approval by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) in Nigeria, termination of the hotel management agreement between SSA and Ikoyi Hotels Ltd, while Absa Limited, the third party provider of debt financing to IHL, must approve the sale of the Sale Shares in writing.

The Tunisian Judges Association on Thursday called the president’s decision to sack dozens of judges as a “massacre” and called on members to oppose it. President Kais Saied on Wednesday dismissed 57 judges, accusing them of corruption and protecting terrorists in a purge of the judiciary – his latest step to tighten his grip on power in the North African country. The Judges Association said the move aims to allow him to influence the judiciary and create vacancies to appoint his loyalists. In a televised address, Mr Saied said he had “given opportunity after opportunity and warning after warning to the judiciary to purify itself”. Hours later the official gazette published a decree announcing the dismissals. Among those sacked was Youssef Bouzaker, the former head of the Supreme Judicial Council whose members Saied replaced this year as he moved to take control of the judiciary. The council had acted as the main guarantor of judicial independence since Tunisia’s 2011 revolution that introduced democracy and Saied’s changes prompted accusations he was interfering in the judicial process. Last year, Saied dismissed the government and seized executive power in a move his foes called a coup before setting aside the 2014 constitution to rule by decree and dismissing the elected parliament. He says his moves were needed to save Tunisia from crisis and his intervention initially appeared to have widespread public support after years of economic stagnation, political paralysis and corruption. The powerful UGTT labour union said this week that public sector workers would go on strike on 16 June, posing the biggest direct challenge to Saied’s political stance so far.