Boko Haram terrorists has killed 33 wives of the rival Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Sambisa Forest, Borno, according to new reporting by the Guardian. The slaughtering of the ISWAP wives was reportedly triggered by the recent killing of Boko Haram Commander, Malam Aboubakar and 15 others in a fierce gun battle in one of the forest camps. The paper quoted a counter-insurgency expert in the Lake Chad region, Zagazola Makama, as saying that “Since December 3, 2022, a top Boko Haram leader in charge of the Mandara Mountains in Gwoza Council, Ali Ngulde, has led hundreds of fighters to wage war against ISWAP in the Forest.” The paper, citing unnamed military sources in Maiduguri, reported that the attack commenced following a failed negotiation initiated by Boko Haram commanders, who invited ISWAP and said they were ready to surrender to its leadership. “Unknown to ISWAP, Ngulde and his team had laid an ambush against them, in which at least 12 of them were killed in Yuwe,” Makama said, adding that others escaped with gunshot wounds into the forest. He added that the Boko Haram terrorists seized four gun trucks and other weapons of ISWAP and set them ablaze.
Nigeria’s central bank slashed the daily withdrawal limit from automatic teller machines in a bid to boost digital payments in Africa’s most populous country. The Central Bank of Nigeria capped the maximum customer withdrawal at ₦20,000 naira a day, down from the previous limit of ₦150,000, according to a circular sent to lenders on Tuesday. Weekly cash withdrawals from banks are restricted to ₦100,000 for individuals and ₦500,000 for corporations, and any amount above that limit will attract a fee of 5% and 10%, respectively, the central bank said. The action is the latest in a string of central bank orders aimed at limiting the use of cash and expanding digital currencies to help improve access to banking. In Nigeria’s largely informal economy, cash outside banks represents 85% of currency in circulation and almost 40 million adults are without a bank account. The bank last month announced plans to issue redesigned high-value notes from mid-December to mop up excess cash and it’s given residents until the end of January to turn in their old notes. The bank also plans to mint more of the eNaira digital currency, which was launched last year but has faced slow adoption. In rules that take effect on 9 January, the Abuja-based bank banned the cashing of checks above ₦50,000 over-the-counter and set a limit of ₦10 million on checks cleared through the banking system. Cash withdrawals from point-of-sale terminals have been capped at ₦20,000 daily.
The Senate on Tuesday passed for second reading a bill to amend the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Act to regulate the processes of granting corporate tax holidays, import duty waivers and investment incentives to investors and businesses in Nigeria. The bill, sponsored by Senator Yahaya Abubakar Abdullahi (PDP, Kebbi North), seeks to whittle down the powers of the federal government to unilaterally grant tax holidays and incentives to businesses. It seeks to create a new Section (9) in the FIRS Act to mandate the tax agency to secure legislative approval of the National Assembly in granting new or renewal of corporate tax incentives and waivers. The proposed amendment states that all requests and applications for parliamentary approval shall be referred to the Senate and the House of Representatives for necessary scrutiny. “Such requests and applications for parliamentary approval shall stipulate clear conditions and justification for granting tax waivers and investment incentives,” it said. Senator Abdullahi, in his lead debate, said the bill became imperative due to leakages and loopholes in tax collection and remittances to the government amid revenue shortfalls and a high public debt profile.
Ethiopia has redeployed federal troops to quell violence in the populous Oromia region which has been stricken by repetitive attacks by armed groups. Amhara militants have been blamed for the latest attacks that have left dozens dead and thousands displaced in Anger Gute and Kiramu border towns in the East Wollega zone bordering the Amhara region. However, the Amhara community, a minority in the area, blame a group affiliated with the Oromo OLA rebels for the deadly attacks. Among the dead in Kiramu are a local judge and members of a regional police force. Local authorities say there is an urgent need for humanitarian aid as haphazard roadblocks put up by armed groups have hampered movement in the region. The state-funded Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission says it is investigating the atrocities committed in the region. Violence in Oromia, the home region of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has been overshadowed in the last two years by the war in Tigray.