Edo’s government on Wednesday announced the arrest of two traditional rulers and five others in connection with the 7 January 2023 kidnap of over 20 train passengers at Igueben station, who were waiting to board from Igueben to Warri in Delta State. The State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Osa Nehikhare, who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Benin City said the two remaining victims had been rescued from the kidnappers’ den. Nehikhare, who did not mention the names of the two traditional rulers, said that with the rescue of the last victims, the dust raised by the Igueben train station has finally been laid to rest. He said the seven arrested suspects are currently undergoing investigation at the state police command headquarters. The state government had previously threatened to wield the big stick on traditional rulers who harboured criminal elements.

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) shared a total of ₦990.189 billion to the three tiers of government, as Federation Allocation for the month of December 2022. The total revenue distributable for the review month was drawn from the statutory revenue of ₦707.756 billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) of ₦233.277 billion, exchange gain of ₦24.841 billion and ₦24.315 billion from Electronic Money Transfer Levies (EMTL). The Federal Government received ₦375.306 billion, the States received ₦299.557 billion, the Local Government Councils  (LGCs) got ₦221.807 billion, while the oil-producing states received ₦93.519 billion as derivation, (13 percent of Mineral Revenue). Gross revenue from VAT for December 2022 was ₦250.512 billion, which was an increase distributed in the preceding month. The communiqué added that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as of 17 January 2023 was $473,754.57. Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) recorded significant increases, while import duty decreased considerably. oil and gas royalties and excise duty increased marginally,” it added.

Ghana’s producer price inflation slowed to 52.2% year-on-year in December from 78.1% the previous month, statistics service data showed on Wednesday. Consumer price inflation accelerated to 54.1% year-on-year last month, data released last week showed, driven by rising fuel, utilities and food costs. International reserves have dwindled to less than two months of import cover. Anthony Krakah, head of the statistics service’s industrial statistics division, said the steep decline in month-on-month producer inflation could bode well for next month’s headline inflation figure. “Consumer inflation is likely to decline if the cedi stabilises, but we don’t know for sure,” Krakah told Reuters. The troubled cedi saw rapid appreciation against the dollar in December after a staff-level agreement for a $3 billion IMF support package was reached at the start of that month. It has since fallen back towards record lows. 

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi has said the M23 rebel group had not fully withdrawn from areas it seized in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, accusing the militia of faking an agreed pullback of its forces. Regional leaders brokered an agreement in November under which the Tutsi-led group was meant to withdraw from recently seized positions by 15 January as part of efforts to end a conflict that has displaced at least 450,000 people and sparked a diplomatic crisis between Congo and neighbouring Rwanda. “Despite the international pressure, the group is still there,” Tshisekedi said during a panel session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “They pretend to move, they act like they are moving, but they’re not. They’re simply moving around, redeploying elsewhere, and they stay in the towns that they have captured,” he said. His comments were the most outspoken from the Congolese authorities on how they view the peace deal implementation. “President Tshisekedi has only this to say. It is the government that does not respect the ceasefire, it also continues to arm armed groups,” said Lawrence Kanyaka, an M23 spokesman.