The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the old ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1,000 banknotes remain legal tender till 31 December 2023. “In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the Rule of Law Principle that characterised President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, and by extension, the CBN’s operations as a regulator, Deposit Money Banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of 3 March 2023,” acting CBN spokesman Isa Abdulmumin said in a statement on Monday. In a related development, cashless transactions dipped to ₦37.67 trillion in February 2023 as Nigerians continue to grapple with failed and delayed cash transfers. This was a 4.83 percent fall from the ₦39.58 trillion recorded in January, according to new data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System on Monday. The data revealed that e-payment gateways were used 901.46 million times, a 41.29 percent increase from 638 million in January. Despite an increase in usage, the total value of cashless transactions fell in February, indicating an increase in the number of failed transactions. The NIBSS has not updated its efficiency platform portal, which states the number of failed transitions and more, since 2020.

Nigeria spent at least ₦2.4 trillion to import raw materials from other countries in 2022, according to data collated from Foreign Trade Statistics of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The data also showed that Nigeria exported raw materials to the tune of ₦ 1 trillion, leaving a deficit of ₦1.4 trillion. Statista reported that raw materials imported into Nigeria amounted to over ₦1.9 trillion ($4.6 billion). In 2020, around ₦1.4 trillion worth of raw materials (about $3.4 billion) was imported. This followed the upward trend observed since 2018. According to the NBS data, major imports during this period included cane sugar from Brazil, odiferous substances from Ireland and Swaziland, as well as milk preparations from Ireland and Malaysia.

New Patriotic Party (NPP) aspirant Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, says he wants to be Ghana’s president because he wants to serve as flagbearer. He noted that Ghana’s current hung parliament is a testament to how broken the party is. Speaking to JoyNews, he said the party’s poor performance in the 2020 elections would have to be remedied and he is the man for the job. “As you saw in the 2020 elections… now we have a 137, NDC has a 137. We came from 169, we lost a net of 36 constituencies. And the puzzling thing is given the first term of [President] Akufo-Addo where there was no Covid and… with the growth of the economy, one would have thought that Ghanaians would actually give us a pat on the back by voting for even higher numbers than 2016… we nearly lost parliament.” Earlier in the day, the former agriculture minister launched his NPP bid at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).

US Vice President Kamala Harris will spend a week in Africa at the end of March, as it deepens its outreach to the continent amid global competition, notably with China. “The trip will strengthen the United States’ partnerships throughout Africa and advance our shared efforts on security and economic prosperity,” said a statement from the vice president’s spokesperson, Kirsten Allen. Harris’ plans follow visits by first lady Jill Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is going this week and President Joe Biden is expected to be in Africa later this year. She will be in Ghana from 26-29 March, and then in Tanzania from 29-31 March. Her final stop is Zambia, on 31 March and 1 April. Allen said the vice president’s agenda will include promoting democracy, climate adaptation, women’s economic empowerment and food security.