Inflation in Nigeria maintained a “galloping trend” in May, rising above expectations to 17.7 percent, against the 16.82 percent recorded in April, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed. Food inflation rose to 19.5 percent in May, from 18.4 percent in April, driven by the cost of bread and cereals and other food items, the NBS said in its Consumer Price Index report released on Wednesday. With the NBS report showing increasing inflation and as the naira continues to plummet against the dollar, the purchasing power of Nigerians could be depleted even more. The continuing war in Ukraine has also been seen as partly responsible for placing upward price pressures on the nation of more than 200 million people that rely on the import of critical commodities in producing bread – a key driver of food inflation in Nigeria. “Inflation in Nigeria, already one of the highest in the world before the war in Ukraine, is likely to increase further as a result of the rise in global fuel and food prices caused by the war,” the World Bank said in a recent report. “And that, the World Bank estimates, is likely to push an additional one million Nigerians into poverty by the end of 2022, on top of the six million Nigerians that were already predicted to fall into poverty this year because of the rise in prices, particularly food prices.” Concerns about inflationary pressures driven partly by war in Ukraine, as well as domestic security challenges, pushed the Central Bank of Nigeria to tighten its benchmark interest rates last month, for the first time in almost six years during its policy meeting last May.
The Nigerian Army says it has found a woman believed to be one of the girls abducted from a school in the town of Chibok in 2014. A short statement on its social media page said a patrol had intercepted her and her son on Tuesday around Ngoshe village in Borno. She was identified as Mrs Mary Ngoshe – no further details were given about what had happened to her. One of the leaders of the Chibok community, Manasseh Allen, told the BBC that they were waiting for more information to be able to confirm her identity. A total of 276 girls were abducted by Islamist militants Boko Haram from the school in April 2014, sparking global outrage. Fifty-seven of them escaped from trucks in the first hours of their abduction. Between 2016 and 2018, several were found or rescued in the Sambisa forest hideout of Boko Haram by the military, while 103 were freed following negotiations between the government and the militants. More than 100 of the girls are still missing.
The House of Representatives has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the deadline for continuous voter registration (CVR) by 60 days. The resolution was passed during the plenary session on Wednesday following the adoption of a motion passed by Abia lawmaker Benjamin Kalu (APC: Bende Federal Constituency). The electoral umpire had fixed 30 June as the deadline for the suspension of CVR across the country ahead of the 2023 general election. Moving his motion, the lawmaker said the extension of the voter registration will enable many eligible Nigerians to get registered. The lawmaker said if measures are not taken to tackle the “shortage of voter registration equipment and extend the deadline for voter registration,” many Nigerians will be disenfranchised and this will jeopardise the “integrity” of the 2023 election. The motion was adopted when it was put to a voice vote by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. The House subsequently mandated the committee on electoral matters to engage INEC and ensure that the deadline for voter registration is extended by 60 days. Section 9 (6) of the Electoral Act 2022 stipulates that “the registration of voters, updating and revision of register of voters” shall stop not later than 90 days before any election covered by the Act.
Somalia’s president nominated on Wednesday Hamza Abdi Barre, a former chairman of the Jubbaland state election commission, as prime minister. “I ask the parliament to approve him as soon as possible. I ask the prime minister to fulfil the work before him like tackling insecurity, drought, climate change and good relations with all countries,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on state television. Last month Mohamud won the presidency for the second time, having previously served from 2012 to 2017, after a long-delayed election that took place against a backdrop of the worst drought in 40 years and a bloody Islamist insurgency. Barre’s nomination comes after a bitter rift between former President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who attempted to extend his presidency, and former Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, with security forces splintering into factions supporting either of the men. The rivalry triggered gunbattles between different security organs and distracted them from the fight against al Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants, who control large swathes of the country and have killed tens of thousands of people in bombings. The political crisis also diverted attention from a growing humanitarian emergency forcing more than six million Somalis to depend on food aid.