President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the validity of the old ₦200 note by 60 days till 10 April. In a national broadcast on Thursday morning, the president said the old note will remain in circulation with the new ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1000 notes while all existing old ₦1000 and ₦500 notes remain redeemable at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and designated points. The Cable quoted an unnamed official with knowledge of the matter that this was the focus of a meeting between presidency officials and the leadership of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) as well as the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) until the early hours of Wednesday. This came after the Supreme Court adjourned hearing on a suit filed by some state governments to challenge the 10 February deadline set by the CBN to end the use of old naira notes till three days before the presidential elections. Seven more states – the APC-controlled Cross River, Ekiti, Katsina, Lagos, Ondo and Osun as well as PDP-controlled Sokoto, joined APC-controlled Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi who originally filed the suit as co-plaintiffs while two states – the PDP-controlled Bayelsa and Edo – were joined as co-defendants on Wednesday. Outside the court, growing anger over the cash crisis led to protests in Benue, Edo, Delta, Kwara, Ondo and Oyo.

Nigeria’s inflation rate resumed its uptrend in January 2023, hitting a record 21.82 percent, a 0.47 percent increase from December 2022’s 21.34 percent. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), food inflation surged to 24.32 percent in January from 23.75 percent  in December 2022; urban inflation stood at 22.55 percent; rural inflation, on the other hand, was 21.13 percent. Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural products, stood at 19.16 percent in January  compared to 18.49% in December. The statistics agency said inflation was highest in Bauchi (24.7 percent), Ondo (24.54 percent), and Anambra (24.51 percent), while Jigawa (19.09 percent), Borno (19.62 percent), and Sokoto (19.90 percent) saw the lowest inflation rates in the country.

Ghana’s consumer inflation slowed slightly to 53.6 percent year-on-year in January 2023 from a more than two-decade high of 54.1 percent in December 2022, data showed on Wednesday. Food inflation was up slightly to 61.0 percent in January, while non-food inflation was down to 47.9 percent, Ghana Statistical Service figures showed, with food and non-alcoholic beverages as the category that contributed the most to overall inflation. The gap between local and imported inflation narrowed in January, compared with the previous month, with prices up 62.5 percent for imported items and 50.0 percent for locally produced goods. “This suggests that the variation in the exchange rate may have contributed to the marginal drop in inflation we saw in January 2023, though we are yet to do a robust analysis,” government statistician Samuel Kobina Annim told reporters.

Seif al-Adel, a former Egyptian special forces officer and a high-ranking member of Al-Qaeda with a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head, is now the “uncontested” leader of the militant group, according to a new UN report on the organisation. Al-Qaeda has not formally named a successor for Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was believed to have been killed in a US missile strike in Kabul last year, dealing yet another blow to the organisation since its founder, Osama bin Laden, was killed in 2011. Although a US intelligence official said Zawahiri’s succession remained unclear, the United Nations report assessing risks from the group said: “In discussions in November and December, many Member States took the view that Seif al-Adel is already operating as the de facto and uncontested leader of the group.” Unlike his slain predecessors, who released fiery videos threatening the United States, the experts say Iran-based Adel planned attacks from the shadows as he helped turn al-Qaeda into the world’s deadliest militant group.