The Nigerian Railway Corporation generated ₦5.7 billion in revenue from passengers in 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says. This data is contained in the NBS Rail Transportation Data for 2021 released in Abuja on Wednesday. The report said that the total revenue generated from passengers in 2020 was ₦1.75 billion. The 2021 revenue, the NBS said, represents a 226.44 percent increase. The NBS said that more than 2.7 million passengers travelled by train in 2021 compared to 1 million in 2020, representing a 166.03 percent increase. Similarly, the report showed a total of 168,301 tonnes of goods were transported in 2021 as against 87,440 recorded in 2020, showing a growth rate of 92.48 percent. In addition, the report showed the revenue generated from goods in 2021 amounted to ₦317.57 million, higher by 12.87 percent compared to ₦281.35 million in 2020. “Other income receipts in 2021 stood at ₦66.80 million, higher than the ₦5.19 million recorded in the preceding year.”

Data from the NBS’s Selected Food Prices Watch Report for May 2022 show that prices of selected food items increased in the month. The NBS says on a year-on-year basis, the average price of 1kg of white beans rose by 37.22 percent from ₦382.37 in May 2021 to ₦524.70 in May 2022, the average price of 1kg of a yam tuber increased by 37.87 percent from ₦269.98 in May 2021 to ₦372.23 in May 2022, and the average price of 2kg prepacked wheat flour rose by 34.92 percent from ₦785.87 in May 2021 to ₦1,060.26 in May 2022. The report also showed the percent increase in the prices of a bottle of palm oil, groundnut oil, and 1kg of boneless beef while also stating the month-on-month increase in the prices of the select food items. At the state level, the report showed that Ebonyi recorded the highest average price of white beans at ₦899.79 for 1kg, while the lowest was reported in Borno at ₦262.79. Akwa-Ibom recorded the highest cost of 1kg of a yam tuber at ₦804.45 while the lowest was recorded in Bauchi at ₦134.17. For 2kg prepackaged wheat flour, Abia had the highest cost at ₦1,393 while Yobe recorded the lowest price at ₦755.03. Analysis by zones showed that the Southeast recorded the highest average price of brown beans at ₦834.93 per kilogram followed by the Southwest at ₦579.06 per kilogram while the Northeast recorded the least with ₦295.20. Similarly, the Southwest recorded the highest price of average yam tuber at ₦535.27, followed by the South-South with ₦450.12, while the lowest was recorded in the Northeast at ₦141.10. The average price of 2kg prepackaged wheat flour was higher in the Southeast and the Southwest at ₦1,332.34 and ₦1,116.38, respectively.

The total non-performing loans in the banking sector hit ₦1.21 trillion as of the end of February 2022, figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria show. The CBN stated in reports obtained from the Monetary Policy Committee that the total credit in the sector rose to ₦25.25 trillion as of the end of February 2022 from ₦21.13 trillion as of the end of February 2021 representing a 19.53 percent increase. It stated that the non-performing loans reflected the case-by-case review of regulatory forbearance, effects of the Global Standing Instruction policy, and sound industry risk management practices. A member of the MPC, Kingsley Obiora, said the banking system maintained its resilience amid economic recovery. The Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability Directorate, CBN, Aishah Ahmad, said, “Total credit also increased by ₦4.13 trillion between end-February 2021 and end-February 2022 with significant growth in credit to manufacturing, general commerce, and oil and gas sectors.” She added that the non-performing loans ratio declined further to 4.8 percent in February 2022, from 4.94 percent in December 2021. A member of the MPC, Robert Asogwa, said the banking sector appeared sound and resilient with a considerably high Capital Adequacy Ratio and Liquidity Ratio in February 2022, in line with prudential requirements. With a persistently lowering non-performing loan ratio since 2021 despite the shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the asset quality of the banking system was now one of the strongest in Sub-Saharan Africa. “The extension of the moratoria on bank loans up to the middle of 2022 as part of the COVID-19 relief measures continues to alleviate the burden on the borrowers impacted severely by the pandemic.”

Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday relieved his Vice President Saulos Chilima of all delegated powers after the latter was named in a massive corruption scandal in government contracts already implicating several senior officials. “I have decided to withdraw all delegated functions” from Vice President Saulos Chilima, Lazarus Chakwera said in a televised address. The announcement follows a new report by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which is investigating British-Malawian businessman Zuneth Sattar on suspicion of corruption, fraud and money laundering. Several ministers and former ministers have already been arrested in connection with the case. “The office found that a total of 53 public officials and former public officials allegedly received money from Mr Sattar in the eight months between March and October 2021,” Chakwera said. The Malawian president also suspended his chief of staff and the country’s police chief. “In addition, the Bureau found that 31 other people from the private sector, the media, civil society and the legal profession also received money from Mr Sattar,” bringing the total to 84 people suspected of being involved, he added. The police and military reportedly awarded 16 contracts worth $150 million to five companies owned by Mr Sattar between 2017 and 2021. In 2020, Saulos Chilima, a presidential candidate, had teamed up with Lazarus Chakwera to win the re-run election following fraud in the first poll in 2019.