The federal government on Friday established a task force to halt the smuggling of petrol and determine the actual volumes consumed by each state in Nigeria, among others. The task force, named, “Operation White,” would ensure transparency and accountability of petroleum products distribution, as the queues for petrol grew worse on Friday in many parts of Nigeria. To curtail the development and help address the lingering fuel queues in Nigeria, especially in Abuja and environs, the federal government, through its Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), had to establish the taskforce on Friday. “The taskforce is made up of the NMDPRA, PPMC (Pipelines Product Marketing Company), and NSCDC.

Zamfara State will start issuing licenses to individuals to carry guns to defend themselves against armed gangs of kidnappers causing havoc in the country’s Northwest, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Magaji Dosara said on Sunday. He said the state governor had directed the state police commissioner to issue 500 gun licenses in each of the 19 emirates in the state to those wishing to defend themselves. “Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers, to secure basic weapons for defending themselves,” Dosara said in a statement. Owning a gun in Zamfara needs permission from the state governor and state police commissioner. Dosara also said that Zamfara will recruit additional community protection guards across the state to help to fight the bandits while the state will also set up a new paramilitary unit commanded by a retired police commissioner. The state also banned the use of motorcycles and the sales of petrol in three districts and one emirate, in areas which are the most affected by banditry, Dosara said. The state is divided into emirates and the emirates into districts. “Anybody found riding a motorbike within the areas is considered as a bandit and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight,” said Dosara.

The total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose to ₦14.2 trillion in May, according to figures from the National Pension Commission released on Friday. This was contained in the National Pension Commission’s latest report titled, ‘Unaudited report on pension funds industry portfolio for the period ended 31 May 2022; Approved Existing Schemes, Closed Pension Fund Administrators and RSA funds (Including unremitted contributions @CBN & legacy funds).’ The funds, which ended December 31, 2021, at ₦13.42 trillion, rose to ₦13.61 trillion and ₦13.76 trillion as of the end of January and February 2022, respectively. It rose to ₦13.88 trillion by the end of March and ₦14.06 trillion in April, according to the data. The data showed that ₦8.8 trillion of the total funds were invested in Federal Government securities, comprising bonds and treasury bills. Other investment portfolios where the funds were invested included: domestic and foreign ordinary shares; corporate debt securities comprising corporate bonds; corporate infrastructure bonds; corporate green bonds, and supranational bonds. PenCom also disclosed that the total number of workers with Retirement Savings Accounts rose slightly to 9.67 million by the end of May, from 9.529 million at the end of December 2021.

Burkina Faso’s army has given civilians two weeks to evacuate vast areas in northern and southeastern regions of the country in advance of military operations against rebel fighters. The military evacuation order follows after a major attack by rebels on June 11 that left at least 100 civilians dead and displaced thousands more. The West African country’s army last week ordered civilians to leave two large “military interest zones” to protect them, but did not specify how long they would have to evacuate or where they should go. One of the military zones is a rural area of approximately 2,000sq kilometres (772sq miles) bordering Mali in the northern province of Soum. The other military zone covers about 11,000sq km (4247sq miles) on the southern border with Benin and is mostly national park land. “A delay of 14 days will be accorded to resident populations to join safer zones,” army spokesperson said.