Hundreds of students blocked the main airport road in Lagos on Monday to protest against the disruption to classes caused by a lecturers’ strike that has been going on for more than seven months. Strikes over pay by public university lecturers are common in Nigeria and often go on for months. The latest action started in February. Chanting and holding placards, students gathered on Lagos International Airport Road, causing gridlock in a city that already struggles with daily traffic congestion and leaving motorists and air passengers stranded. The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) had at the weekend threatened to occupy major airports to send a message that the students were tired of the pay stand-off between lecturers and President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. Passengers were forced to walk with their luggage in the rain for at least 5 kilometres (3 miles) to and from the airport. Dozens of armed police watched from a distance.
Portugal could face supply problems this winter if Nigeria does not deliver all the liquefied natural gas (LNG) it is due to, the European Union country’s environment and energy minister said on Monday. Asked whether with many countries now looking for alternatives to Russian gas there was a chance that Nigeria might not meet its LNG supply volumes, Duarte Cordeiro said that while the government had given Lisbon assurances that it would do so, “there is a risk of it not complying”. “From one day to another, we may have a problem, such as not being supplied the volume of gas that is planned,” Cordeiro told a conference in Lisbon. Cordeiro did not say what would prevent Nigeria from supplying the LNG it was contracted to. Oil and gas output in Nigeria has been throttled by theft and vandalism of pipelines, leaving gas producer Nigeria LNG Ltd’s terminal at Bonny Island operating at 60% capacity. Nigeria LNG, which is owned by state-oil company NNPC Ltd, Shell, TotalEnergies and Eni did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Although Portugal has its gas reserves at 100% of storage capacity, Cordeiro said that if fewer Nigerian LNG deliveries materialised, it would have to look for alternative supplies.
The Federal Government has foregone ₦16.76 trillion in revenue to tax reliefs and concessions given to large companies between 2019 and 2021, according to reporting by The Punch. As of the end of 2021, 46 companies had benefited from various tax incentives and duty waiver schemes while the requests of 186 companies were still pending. These were contained in the tax expenditure statement (TES) reports in the Medium-Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy documents posted on the website of the country’s budget office. The TES deals with revenue forgone on Company Income Tax (CIT), Value Added Tax (VAT), Petroleum Production Tax, and Customs Duty. In the TES report for 2019, it was stated that the Federal Government had forfeited revenue of ₦4.2 trillion from two main sources, CIT and VAT. For CIT, the estimated amount of revenue forgone was ₦1.1 trillion while ₦3.1 trillion was for VAT. According to the TES report, the figure for revenue foregone would likely exceed₦4.2 trillion if there were sufficient data, especially from Customs Duty, Excises, PPT, Personal Income Tax and concessions under the Oil and Gas Zones legislation. By 2020, the figure rose to ₦5.8 trillion, with the majority of it coming from revenue forgone under VAT. A breakdown showed that ₦4.3 trillion was forgone under VAT; ₦457 billion under CIT; ₦307 billion under PPT, and ₦780 billion under customs duty. It further added that five countries accounted for about 86 per cent of total customs relief, with China accounting for nearly two-thirds of total relief granted. Netherlands, Togo, Benin and India were the other top sources of supplies benefitting from the reliefs.
Chad’s interim Foreign Affairs Minister, Cherif Mahamat Zene said on Monday he was stepping down because of disagreements with senior politicians, as the government attempts to open dialogue with rebels and end military rule. Zene resigned as talks were taking place in Qatar’s capital Doha with various rebel and opposition groups aimed at paving the way to elections after the military seized power last year. “My willingness to serve my country finds itself at odds with parallel actions and initiatives of certain members of your cabinet and the government,” he said in a letter to the president that was posted on Zene’s Twitter account. He did not refer directly to the talks but said the situation had stripped his department of its prerogatives and kept him in a “mere background role”.