A Nigerian senatorial candidate was on Wednesday shot dead and his body was burnt by attackers while on his way from a campaign rally in Enugu. The attack on Oyibo Chukwu of the Labour Party happened three days before Saturday’s general elections – the country’s most competitive in 24 years. His aides who were with him were also shot dead before their car was set ablaze with the bodies inside, local outlets report. “Our party members are being targeted for assassination by political parties that felt threatened by the rise of the Labour Party in the state and are afraid they may lose Saturday’s election,” said Chijioke Edeoga, a candidate for the governor’s seat in the state. The Labour party has not commented on the attack, but its presidential candidate Peter Obi has urged supporters to vote ” correctly, peacefully, and hopefully”.
Nigeria’s economy grew slower last year compared to 2021 owing mainly to the poor performance of the agriculture and industry sectors, official data released on Wednesday show. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the country’s Gross Domestic Product growth fell to 3.1 percent in 2022 from 3.4 percent in 2021. The NBS said the performance of the agriculture and industry sectors reduced in 2022 relative to 2021, while the performance of the services sector improved in 2022. “Although the agriculture sector grew by 2.05 percent in the reference period, its performance was significantly hampered by severe incidences of flood experienced across the country, accounting for lesser growth relative to the fourth quarter of 2021 which was 3.58 percent,” it said. The agric sector’s GDP growth rate slowed to 1.88 percent in 2022 from 2.13 percent in 2021, while industry contracted further to 4.62 percent last year from 0.47 percent. The services sector expanded to 6.66 percent from 5.61 percent.
The African Games, scheduled in Ghana in August, have been postponed until next year after an agreement between major stakeholders running the multi-sport competition. The country’s efforts have been hampered by an ongoing disagreement over marketing rights, which has delayed the completion of the required facilities. In October 2020, President Akufo-Addo announced plans to construct an Olympic-quality stadium at Borteyman for the games. Those plans were shelved in June 2021, with organisers opting to refurbish the University of Ghana Stadium, with work on the venue now behind schedule. The disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing economic challenges has also been reported as reasons for the delay. Speaking at a press conference held at another host venue, the Accra Sports Stadium, the chairman of the organising committee, Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, said the games will still be called ‘Accra 2023’ as initially planned. On when exactly the event might take place next year, he added: “There has not been any definite day.”
South Africa’s government says it will take on nearly two-thirds of the struggling state power company’s total debt of $23 billion. This comes as breakdowns at Eskom’s power plants have led to unprecedented power cuts that are damaging the country’s economy. The national treasury decision should free up money for spending on maintenance, transmission and distribution. President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster over the energy crisis earlier this month – a move which allows the government to take emergency measures to intervene. Eskom has been plagued by corruption and mismanagement. It has received more than $14 billion worth of bailouts since 2008. The latest move by the government comes as the outgoing Eskom chief executive, who was due to exit the company next month, leaves with immediate effect. On Wednesday, the firm’s board resolved that Andre de Ruyter would not be required to serve the balance of his notice period.