The Department of State Services (DSS) has opened an investigation into foreign exchange received and their subsequent allocation to customers by each deposit money bank in the country and the involvement of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The investigation comes at a time when CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele has come under the agency’s radar. According to BusinessDay, the banks’ CEOs have been given a deadline of Wednesday, 18 January to provide detailed information about the privileged individuals and companies that have been given foreign exchange allocations since 2017. Specifically, the CEOs are to provide a schedule of the Import & Export forex allocated to the individual banks from 2017 to date. The said schedule should be broken down into the amount allocated to the bank, the name of the individual customer and/or beneficiary/beneficiaries and the basis/criteria for the allocation. The banks’ CEOs must also say who authorised and who carried out the allocation whether it is the CBN and/or the deposit money bank itself. Emefiele resumed duty after his annual vacation abroad. Bank spokesperson Osita Nwanisobi said he will chair the first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the year on 23 & 24 January.

Nigerian inflation surprisingly dropped to 21.34 percent in December 2022 despite the Christmas and New Year festivities from 21.47 percent in November, the first in 11 months. According to the latest Consumer Price Index report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday, the rate drop was still a 5.72-point increase on the 15.63 percent recorded in December 2021. Food inflation fell to 23.75 percent in the same month from 24.13 percent in November. Meanwhile, compared to the corresponding period of 2021, the rate increased by 6.38 points from 17.37 percent. According to the NBS, the rise in food inflation was caused by increases in the prices of bread and cereals, oil and fat, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, and other food products. Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood at 18.49 percent. The highest increases were recorded in the prices of gas, liquid fuel, passenger transport by air, vehicle spare parts, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, and solid fuel. Headline inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Bauchi (23.79 percent), Kogi (23.35 percent), Anambra (23.13 percent), while Taraba (18.98 percent), Osun (19.09 percent), and Kwara (19.18 percent) recorded the slowest rise.

Gunmen attacked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State. This follows a similar attack in Imo State which led to the killing of a local security man. According to media reports, the Enugu attack claimed the life of a policeman on duty. INEC spokesperson Festus Okoye confirmed the incident in a statement, stating that it occurred around 9.12 pm on Sunday. The statement said the report of the incident was made by the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Chukwuemeka J. Chukwu. He said the security gatehouse was razed but the attackers could not gain access to the main building due to the rapid response from the Police and Army personnel from the 82 Division. It was gathered that a policeman, who sustained injuries, is receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.

Somalia’s government-led forces have captured an al Shabaab stronghold on the Indian Ocean coast, the defence minister said on Monday, in one of their most significant victories since launching an offensive against the Islamist group last year. The forces took the port town of Harardhere as well as the nearby town of Galcad in central Somalia’s Galmudug region, Defence Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur said in a broadcast on state-owned television. Harardhere was a major base for pirates hijacking merchant ships until 2011. It was later taken over by al Shabaab, which first rose up against the government in 2007 before pledging its allegiance to al Qaeda. The long-running insurgency by Al Shabaab has contributed to an acute food crisis in Somalia. Also on Monday, government forces, acting jointly with militias and regional forces from Galmudug and forces from the neighbouring region of Puntland, captured Eldheere, another town in Galmudug, a senior Puntland forces officer, Mowlid Mahad, told Reuters.