About 729 ballot boxes, 243 voting cubicles, and 256 election bags were among election materials destroyed as gunmen carried out a coordinated attack in the Idemili South LGA offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday morning. Anambra’s Resident Commissioner (REC) Dr. Queen Elizabeth Agwu reported the incident to INEC headquarters, according to a statement released by spokesman Festus Okoye. Other items destroyed in the early morning assault include 11 megaphones, an electric power generator and large quantities of indelible ink and liquid gum. However, INEC said the Permanent Voter Cards kept in a fireproof cabinet were not affected and assured that elections would still hold in the area. According to Okoye, “the destruction appears to have been coordinated as the Nnobi Police Station in the LGA was similarly attacked”. INEC had recorded over 50 attacks on its facilities across 15 states in the last four years, with this being the third attack in Anambra.
MTN Nigeria reported its highest profit after tax deductions in five years amounting to ₦359 billion in 2022, a 20.2 percent increase from ₦299 billion in 2021, on the back of accelerated network investment and growth across all revenue lines. Its total revenue grew to ₦2.01 trillion for the period that ended December 2022, up 21.6 percent from ₦1.65 trillion in 2021, on the back of a 64.1 percent spike in the digital revenue segment and a 46.9 percent increase in its data revenue segment. Revenue generated from digital services grew to ₦22.04 billion in 2022 from ₦13.44 billion in 2021, while revenue derived from data services surged to ₦764 billion in 2022 from ₦520 billion in 2021. “We accelerated the coverage and capacity of our 4G network in response to the rising data traffic (which increased by 5.2 million in the year), bringing 4G population coverage to 79.1 percent (up by 8.7pp). 4G traffic now constitutes 79.5 percent (up by 9.7pp) of the total traffic on our network,” CEO Karl Toriola said.
Ghana’s Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson has accused the Bank of Ghana (BoG) of printing more than ¢50 billion in a year and causing the country’s galloping inflation. Earlier this week, the central bank increased the monetary policy rate by 100 basis points, moving the rate from 27% to 28%. The Bank hopes this move will tame inflation and deal with the cedi’s flip-flopping. In a tweet, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson who until his appointment as Minority Leader was the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee claimed that the central bank is in breach of the Bank of Ghana (Amendment) Act. “Inflation is at 54.1 percent & Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) is now at 28 percent! We are here largely because BoG has so far printed over $50bn in one year & depleted net international reserves to record lows as of end-December 2022.” The Minority Leader promised to hold those responsible for this accountable.
Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud hosted a summit with his Kenyan, Ethiopian and Djibouti counterparts to discuss a joint military offensive against al-Shabaab. The four Horn of Africa leaders are due to discuss a coordinated military offensive against the al-Qaeda linked group, which has been waging an insurgency in the troubled country for more than 15 years. President Mohamud has declared an “all-out war” on jihadists upon taking office in May 2022, rallying Somalis to help flush out members of the Islamist group. Stringent security restrictions are in force in the Somali capital, including the suspension of all commercial flights into Mogadishu. A 20,000-strong African Union force has been drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya, with troops deployed in southern and central Somalia. Its goal is to gradually reduce troop numbers to zero by the end of 2024 with security to be assumed by Somalia’s army and police.