On Monday morning, flight operations across airports in Nigeria were temporarily suspended as Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) officials embarked on a strike action before calling it off. In a letter signed by the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, NAHCO management and observers, it said following a joint meeting held between the aviation unions and the NAHCO management, the strike was called off following agreements being reached on salary increment and staff welfare. The agreements in the letter stated partly that “negotiations on staff welfare will commence on Wednesday, 25 January 2023 and all negotiations will be concluded within the week. All staff should resume work immediately and no staff would be victimised as a result of the strike action.” Aviation unions last week gave a five–day strike notice to NAHCO management citing slow progress in salary review negotiations. The company had asked that accelerated negotiation be continued in February to enable the company to stabilise from the financial effect of recent promotions.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it realised over ₦10 trillion in tax revenue in 2022, a new record. In its 2022 Performance Update report, the agency said this figure meant it achieved 96.7 percent of its ₦10.44 trillion set target for the year. “The FIRS, in the year 2022 collected a total of ₦10.1 trillion from both oil (₦4.09 trillion) and non-oil (₦5.96 trillion) revenues as against a target of ₦10.44 trillion, Companies Income Tax contributed ₦2.83 trillion, Value Added Tax contributed ₦2.51 trillion; Electronic Money Transfer Levy contributed ₦125.67 billion and Earmarked Taxes contributed ₦353.69 billion,” it stated. Non-oil taxes contributed 59 percent of total collections while remittances from oil taxes stood at 41 percent. The ₦10.1 trillion is exclusive of tax incentive waivers which amounted to ₦1.805 trillion.
Ghana’s public officials have been called out for misappropriating funds dedicated to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The 119-page Ghana audit service report on the government’s pandemic expenditure for the period from March 2020 to June 2022 highlighted irregularities in the management of the GH¢21,844,189,185.24 (over a billion US dollars) mobilised to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Among them was the payment of an unapproved risk allowance at the Ministry of Information. It appeared that “senior management staff and other supporting staff of the Ministry paid themselves a total amount of GH¢151,500.00 as COVID-19 risk allowance for coming to work during the lockdown period.” That went against “presidential directives and without approval from the office of [the President’s] Chief of Staff.” Only frontline health workers were to receive an additional allowance of 50 percent of their basic salary per month for March, April, May and June 2020. The authorities also failed to take delivery of some COVID-19 jabs, worth US$81.87 million, it paid for.
Eritrean forces have been leaving towns in the war-torn region of Tigray, locals told AFP, as the United States hailed a pullout seen as key to a landmark peace deal. On the ground in Tigray, locals told AFP that convoys of Eritrean troops have been leaving the towns of Shire and Adwa, although some soldiers remained. “I saw some Eritrean forces leaving Shire towards the northeast. I don’t know if they’re making a full retreat,” said one resident, speaking on condition of anonymity. Another local confirmed having seen a convoy of trucks, buses, tanks and artillery pieces rolling out of town. However, he said some Eritrean soldiers were still “walking the streets and around the markets.” The withdrawal has not yet been confirmed by peace deal signatories or the agreement’s observation mission.