The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said that the volume of petrol supplied to marketers has dropped by 50 percent from July last year. IPMAN deputy president Zarma Mustapha said this during an interview on a local broadcast station on Friday. According to him, the country is in a complex situation owing to the unsustainable burden of subsidies that the government is carrying. Mustapha said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, the sole petrol importer, has been hitting hard on the scarcity of funds from the FG. Due to the shortage in funds, he said that marketers do not receive the usual supply of petrol at the loading ports. According to him, the NNPC, on 29 November 2022, said it had a national PMS stock of over 2 billion litres, equivalent to over 30 days of sufficiency. However, Mustapha theorised that the lingering presence of queues at fuel stations across the country might be due to the high subsidy costs. He said, “the cost of bringing the products to the public is not going to be achievable at the former price.”

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed the outbreak of diphtheria disease in Lagos and Kano. It gave assurances that the agency is responding to the situation which has reportedly killed about 25 persons in Kano alone. “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has responded to reports of diphtheria cases in Lagos and Kano States and is monitoring the situation in Osun and Yobe States where cases are now being picked up,” the agency said in an advisory last Friday. “In addition to clinically suspected cases, there have been laboratory-confirmed cases and the NCDC is working with State Ministries of Health and partners to enhance surveillance and response to the outbreak.

Ghana’s Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has sworn in members of the first-ever Independent Tax Appeal Board (ITAB) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) with a charge to establish a strong tax dispute resolution system to support revenue mobilisation. The 11-member Board was established in line with the Revenue Administration Amendment Act of 2020. He was confident that an ADR mechanism would boost investor confidence and reduce time spent litigating for both taxpayers and tax administrators. The establishment of the ITAB, Ofori-Atta indicated, would provide a cost-effective means of resolving tax disputes for both the GRA and the taxpayers. Mr Ofori-Atta said the ITAB would help to improve Ghana’s tax-to-GDP rate of 13 percent, which is one of the lowest in the sub-region, despite the concerted efforts of the tax authorities.

Burkina Faso’s junta government, on Saturday, ordered French troops to depart the country within a month. National broadcaster RTB announced the decision, citing the official government press agency. Agence d’Information du Burkina said the actual decision to end the deployment of French troops on Burkinabe soil was made last Wednesday. Hundreds demonstrated in the capital Ouagadougou on Friday, chanting anti-France slogans and calling upon the French army to leave the country. Some of the tensions have to do with the perception that the French military presence has done little to improve security in the conflict-torn country. The decision comes five months after France pulled its last remaining troops from neighbouring Mali after nine years of operation, after falling out with the authorities. Though the number of French forces in Burkina Faso is far smaller than it was in Mali — 400 special forces, compared to more than 2,400 in Mali — the announcement adds to growing concerns over a rise in Islamist insurgency.