Gunmen killed a dozen worshippers, including an imam, and kidnapped several others from a mosque on Saturday night in the latest attack by armed gangs in Nigeria’s north. The attack took place in Maigamji village along Funtua-Dandume road, Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina, disrupting Saturday Isha’i prayer. A former councillor in Maigamji ward told Daily Trust that the bandits opened fire on two people, including the Imam leading the prayers. Another resident told Reuters that about 12, who were attending night prayers, were caught in the gunfire and killed, including the chief imam. “They then gathered many people and took them to the bush. I’m praying that the bandits release the innocent people they abducted,” said Abdullahi Mohammed, another Funtua resident. Katsina police spokesman Gambo Isah confirmed the attack and said state-backed vigilantes, with the support of some residents, had managed to rescue some worshippers. Katsina is among several states in the northwest of Nigeria which share a border with neighbouring Niger, allowing the gangs to move freely between the two countries.
Nigerian airlines are gradually slashing ticket prices on domestic routes as more airlines resume operations or increase frequencies. In recent weeks, more airlines have increased frequencies into routes that were being plied by one or a few airlines. In addition to this, Dana Air’s flight resumption has seen airlines gradually slash their prices to routes operated by the airline. The commencement of operations by ValueJet, a new start-up airline, has also put downward pressure on fares. Reporting by BusinessDay showed that a one-hour flight ticket that was sold for an average of ₦90, 000 in October on Arik, United Nigeria, Ibom Air, Azman and Air Peace has come down to an average of ₦70,000 or lower. On the other hand, a return ticket sold for ₦160,000-₦170,000 now goes for about ₦120,000-₦140,000. Last week, Air Peace announced plans to resume flight operations to Uyo, with a base fare of ₦50,000. Ibom Air, which charged an average of ₦80,000 for one-way tickets from Lagos to Uyo, also slashed their fares to ₦55,000. Arik Air resumed daily flights from Lagos and Abuja to Owerri, the Imo state capital. The airline also resumed four weekly flights from Abuja to Kano that day. Air Peace recently received two new Airbus 320 aircraft to support its operations, bringing the size of its Airbus fleet to 10. Green Africa recently announced a 10 percent discount on all fares on all routes in its network to be redeemed in a staggered manner from the end of November through February 2023.
Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Friday allowed Shell’s local unit to appeal a ruling that directed the company to pay $1.8 billion compensation over an alleged spill, in a dispute that has held back the company’s sale of its onshore assets. Shell said in June it would pause the disposal of local assets until the court ruled on an appeal brought by its subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) and partner NNPC Ltd against a lower court judgment. The Supreme Court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the matter and would hear the substantive case. The court did not immediately set a date for the hearing. “We believe in the merits of our case and are encouraged that the Nigerian Supreme Court is hearing this matter. We look forward to the hearing of our main appeal,” an SPDC spokesperson said. The case started with a Federal High Court ruling in November 2020 that ordered Shell to pay ₦800 billion ($1.8 billion) to communities of Egbalor Ebubu in Rivers state, who accused the firm of an oil spill that damaged waterways and farms. In March, the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment and ordered Shell to deposit the money in an account controlled by the court. Shell denies causing the spill.
Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum said in an interview that African and European states should agree to quotas for African immigrants tailored to employment needs. An agreement based on the number of Africans that each European country needs for its labour market could help resolve the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking, Bazoum told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. “In France, Spain and Italy you have many jobs in sectors of employment where Africans can work,” Bazoum said. “These numbers need to be established, country by country, and then the consulates entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing them.” Bazoum spoke on a trip to Italy where he met Italian President Sergio Mattarella and attended a conference in Rome with other African heads of state. Italy was on the frontline of a European migration crisis in 2015 and 2016, when a million refugees fled war and poverty in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, adding to existing migration. Niger is both a source country and a transit point for migrants who continue to trek to north Africa and travel across the Mediterranean to Europe’s southern coastline. Bazoum also noted the limits of funding development projects to stem economic migration – a widespread approach in Europe – pointing out that “Africa’s development is something far more complex”.