Daily Watch – GDP growth slows in Q3, FG withdraws ex-bandit negotiator case

25th November 2022

The Department of State Services, on Thursday, withdrew a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja to detain the former terrorists’ negotiator, Tukur Mamu, for 60 more days. DSS’ counsel, A.M. Danlami, told Justice Nkeonye Maha shortly after the matter was called for hearing. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that upon resumed hearing, Danlami, who sought to withdraw the case, said that the matter has been overtaken by events. Following the application, Justice Maha struck out the suit. On 13 September, the agency sought an order from the court to detain Mamu for 60 more days in the first instance pending the conclusion of its investigation. It urged the court to grant its reliefs to enable it to conclude its investigation on Mamu, who had been leading the negotiation with the terrorists for the release of the Abuja-Kaduna train passengers kidnapped in March.

The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Thursday disqualified the Rivers governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Cole. In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Emmanuel Obile, said Cole was not eligible to contest the Rivers governorship in part because he is a citizen of the United Kingdom. The state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Cole claiming that the delegates that voted at the primary election that brought in the candidate were not democratically elected. Up in Sokoto, the Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Muhammad Shuaibu dismissed an appeal filed by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Zamfara, Dauda Lawal, thereby nullifying his candidature. Delivering judgement in a unanimous decision by the three-man panel of judges, Justice Shuaibu said the appeal was an abuse of the judicial process since Lawal had no right to appeal a judgement which he already complied with. Also, the Court of Appeal in Yola upheld the governorship candidacy of APC candidates Emmanuel Bwacha and Aishatu Ahmed also known as Aisha Binani for Taraba and Adamawa respectively. The appeal court set aside a ruling by the High Court nullifying their candidacy and ordered that their names be forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the APC governorship candidates for both states.

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2.25% (year-on-year) in real terms in the third quarter of 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said in its GDP report released on Thursday. The Q3 2022 growth rate decreased by 1.78 per cent from the 4.03 per cent growth rate recorded in Q3 2021 and decreased by 1.29 per cent points relative to 3.54 per cent in Q2 2022. The Bureau blamed the decline on the base effects of the recession and the challenging economic conditions that have impeded productive activities. The report stated that quarter-on-quarter, real GDP grew at 9.68 per cent in Q3 2022, reflecting a higher economic activity in Q3 2022, than in the preceding quarter. “In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at ₦52.255 trillion in nominal terms.” “This performance is higher when compared to the third quarter of 2021 which recorded aggregate GDP of ₦45.113 trillion indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 15.83 per cent. The nominal GDP growth rate in Q3 2022 was higher relative to the 15.41 per cent growth recorded in the third quarter of 2021 and higher compared to the 15.03 per cent growth recorded in the preceding quarter”, the report added.

Ghana’s government is working on a new policy, where gold rather than the U.S. dollar reserves will be used to buy oil products, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia said on Facebook on Thursday. The move is aimed at tackling dwindling foreign currency reserves coupled with rising demand for dollars by oil importers, which is weakening the local cedi and increasing living costs. Ghana’s gross international reserves stood at around $6.6 billion at the end of September 2022, equating to less than three months of import cover. That is down from a stock position of around $9.7 billion at the end of last year, according to the Government. If implemented as planned for the first quarter of 2023, the new policy “will fundamentally change our balance of payments and significantly reduce the persistent depreciation of our currency,” Bawumia said. Using gold would prevent the exchange rate from directly impacting fuel or utility prices as domestic sellers would no longer need foreign exchange to import oil products, he explained. Bawumia’s announcement was posted as Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced measures to cut spending and boost revenues in a bid to tackle a spiralling debt crisis. In a 2023 budget presentation to parliament on Thursday, Ofori-Atta warned the country was at high risk of debt distress as the cedi’s depreciation was seriously affecting Ghana’s ability to manage its public debt.