President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday weighed the possibility of imposing a nationwide ban on the sale and use of motorcycles by Nigerians, according to Attorney-General Abubakar Malami. Mr Malami said at the State House shortly after a meeting of the National Security Council on Thursday afternoon that the administration is considering the wholesale ban as a result of the raging insecurity that has shown no signs of subsiding despite concerted efforts of security agencies. Mr Malami said the determination did not come easy for the administration, warning that Nigerians are likely to bear harsh economic implications of the move. The attorney-general said federal authorities have been able to find a connection between motorcycles, mining operations, and insecurity across the country. He, however, failed to clarify why the measure was being considered nationwide. Mr Malami also did not say when the ban would be announced, or whether it would be debated openly prior to implementation, but he insisted that the administration would not disregard its intelligence report that recommended banning motorcycles to control the flow of money and other resources to rampaging outlaws.
The FG’s debt servicing exceeded retained revenue by as much as ₦310 billion in the first four months of 2022, the first time the country’s debt service to revenue ratio would hit or exceed 100 percent. The FG spent ₦1.93 trillion on debt servicing, which was about 20 percent higher than the retained revenue pegged at ₦1.63 trillion for the same period. This was contained in the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategic Paper (MTEF and FSP). The finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, said urgent action is required to address revenue under-performance and expenditure efficiency at national and sub-national levels. The retained revenue was also about 51 percent short of the prorated target for the four months which was ₦3.32 trillion. The data also showed that debt servicing alone took as much as 41 percent of the total spending, while personnel cost (including pensions) was approximately 27 percent or ₦1.26 trillion, leaving a meagre ₦773.6 billion for capital expenditure (CAPEX) or 16 percent. Meanwhile, the continuous rise in energy costs in the global market may have pushed subsidy on petrol for 2023 to an estimated ₦6.72 trillion, Ahmed said during the MTEF and FSP presentation.
The Federal Government has dragged about 3,657 civil servants before the Independent and Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission (ICPC), for prosecution over failure to get verified on the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS). The Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Folashade Yemi-Esan, disclosed this while appearing at the Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday. It was also revealed that a total of 61,446 civil servants in the core Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) have now been verified. She said another 1,618 applicants were found to have used illegal or fake letters, while 874 officers have been suspended from the IPPIS platform. The federal civil service boss also noted that about ₦180 million is being saved every month and about ₦2 billion annually from the implementation of the IPPIS. She also said the payment platform can accommodate the salaries of university lecturers who have since rejected it in preference for University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which is yet to pass relevant integrity tests.
The WHO and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, have invited developing countries like Ghana, Kenya and Malawi to apply for funding to access the RTS,S malaria vaccine. International support worth $160 million from 2022 to 2025 will be made available to the aforementioned countries, which piloted the jab in 2019. Other countries which are affected by malaria can apply for the funding from September. It is thought one child dies from malaria each minute in Africa. The WHO recommended the widespread use of the RTS,S vaccine in October 2021, which has led to more countries expressing an interest in it. But the jab only provides 30% protection. To date, about 1.3 million children have received at least one of the required four doses of the vaccine since it was piloted in 2019. Africa needs at least 80 to 100 million doses annually, according to the WHO. The manufacturer GSK says it can only produce about 15 million doses every year until 2028.