The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has recorded an increase in data usage despite boasting a less than 50 percent broadband penetration in four years. According to NCC, Nigeria’s Internet data usage increased from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2018 to 350,165.39 terabytes and a broadband penetration increased from 19.97 percent (38.12 million) in January 2018 to 40.88 percent (78.04 million) in 2021. There was also a rise in GSM Internet subscribers from 100.23 million in January 2018 to 141.62 million. When data usage increased from 68,154.12TB in December 2018 to 125,149.86TB as of December 2019, the NCC had said, “The increase in data usage is directly linked to the increased Broadband penetration in the country within the year.’ In 2020, when data consumption increased from 123,648TB in December 2019 to 205,880.4TB as of December 2020, the commission added, “The increase in data usage is directly linked to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted normal activities and most functions had to be held virtually including schools, corporate meetings etc.” Increasing smartphone and 4G coverage have been linked to the recent growth in the nation’s data usage. Data consumption grew from 205,880.4TB in December 2020 to 350,165.39TB in December 2021.
The World Bank has in its latest Nigeria Development Update report, said that the federal government’s response to inflation is inadequate as the country continues to suffer double-digit inflation which pushes many Nigerians into poverty and food insecurity. The report, titled, ‘The Continuing Urgency of Business Unusual’, read in part that, “despite the urgency, the authorities’ response over the last two years has not been adequate, and inflation has increased and fuelled poverty and food insecurity.” The financial institution further said that the inflation shock is projected to push about 15 million more Nigerians into poverty between 2020 and 2022, while it added, in a different report, that the number of poor Nigerians is projected to hit 95.1 million in 2022, warning that many non-poor Nigerians were only one small shock away from falling into poverty. The bank, while noting that the COVID-19 pandemic-induced inflation pushed about 23 million Nigerians into a food crisis in 2021, warned that without any decisive action, the average inflation rate would not reach the single-digit target of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the end of 2022 and Nigeria might have one of the highest inflation rates globally in 2022. Also, a United States-based magazine, Global Finance, agreed with the World Bank, saying the CBN had failed to curb rising inflation and stop the naira from sliding against the dollar.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Thursday in Turkey refused to grant audience to a former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Waziri, who was sent to speak with him by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar. Online newspaper, Premium Times reported that Atiku sent Mr Waziri to meet Mr Wike, who is on holiday in Turkey, after the governor rebuffed several attempts by the candidate to arrange a meeting between them since he overlooked Mr Wike to pick his Delta State counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate. The paper said Mr Abubakar had wanted to personally inform Mr Wike that he was not his vice presidential pick before making the public announcement, but the governor left Abuja the night before the announcement, having found out that Atiku had settled for someone else. Wike has also refused to speak on telephone with Atiku and his emissaries who were trying to have a meeting with him. Having got wind that Mr Wike was away in Turkey, aides said Atiku deployed the former minister who tracked the governor down to Hilton Conrad Hotel in Istanbul on Thursday. However, despite the two men running into each other in the lobby of the hotel, Mr Wike declined his request for the two of them to huddle to enable him deliver a message from Atiku. Contrary to Mr Waziri’s claim on Thursday that he met Mr Wike in Istanbul, aides of the governor insisted that Mr Wike did not grant an audience to the former minister.
The head of Tunisia’s constitution committee blasted a proposed constitution published by President Kais Saied, local media reported on Sunday, reinforcing opposition fears that Saied was seeking to impose a unilateral charter. Sadok Belaid, a former constitutional law professor who was named by Saied to draft a “new constitution for a new republic”, said Saied’s version was dangerous and did not resemble the first draft proposed by the constitution committee, the Assabeh newspaper said. Belaid said the draft constitution published by the president contains chapters that could pave the way for “a disgraceful dictatorial regime”. The president has not commented on the constitution since he published the text on Thursday in Tunisia’s official gazette. The constitution, which would give Saied near-absolute powers, will be put to a referendum this month. His proposal would dilute the roles of the parliament and judiciary, prompting accusations he is undoing democratic gains that Tunisians won in a 2011 revolution. A chapter of the proposed constitution includes the phrase, “In case of the imminent danger, the president can extend his term.” Belaid said this would “pave the way for a disgraceful dictatorship”. His proposed constitution would create a Council of Regions as a second chamber of parliament but gives no details on how it would be elected or what powers it would have. Belaid said the president’s proposal to limit membership of the Constitutional Court to judges named by the president would undermine its independence.