Electronic payment transactions hit ₦123.8 trillion in the first three months of 2023. The industry data reported a surge in the volume of 2.5 billion, which is by far the highest three-month volume of NIP transactions reported in the last 11 years since the CBN implemented its cashless policy. BusinessDay analysis shows that mobile transfer also rose during the period under review to 672 million from 111 million. The Point of Sale (PoS) data reported a 37.5 percent rise to 387 million in the first three months, from 281 million in the corresponding period. In terms of value, transactions performed using the PoS channel increased to ₦2.8 trillion from ₦1.8 trillion, accounting for a 52.2 percent increase in the period under review. In a related development, Nigeria’s external reserves fell by $112.78 million in two weeks to $35.42 billion, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s figures have revealed. Figures obtained from CBN on the movement of external reserves showed that the reserves fell to $35.53 billion as of the end of 30 March 2023.
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won re-election in the keenly contested gubernatorial election in Adamawa State. Fintiri polled 430,869 votes to defeat Aishatu Dahiru, popularly known as Binani of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who got 398,788 votes. Earlier on Tuesday, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, ordered the Commissioner of Police on election duty in Adamawa State, Mohammed Barde, to withdraw from the state with immediate effect. The Commissioner of Police in charge of Gombe State, Etim Equa, was ordered to proceed to Adamawa State for election security of the keenly contested supplementary governorship poll. The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, made the revelation while addressing pressmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
Forty-eight million people in West and Central Africa will face acute food insecurity in the coming months, United Nations humanitarian agencies warned on Tuesday. The number of people without regular access to safe and nutritious food is projected to hit 48 million during the June-August lean season, according to a regional food security analysis by the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), humanitarian agency OCHA, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and children’s agency UNICEF. That is driven in part by the plight of the south of the Sahara Desert including Mali and Burkina Faso, which are battling an Islamist insurgency. A record 45,000 people in the Sahel are expected to face catastrophic hunger, a level just short of famine, according to the agencies. Fighting has cut off food supply routes in parts of the Sahel and other conflict hotspots around Lake Chad and in the Central African Republic, said Alexandre Lecuziat, the WFP’s senior Emergency Preparedness and Response Advisor. Overall, WFP faces a $900 million deficit this year in the region, he said. The forecast food shortages mean around 16.5 million children under five face acute malnutrition this year, according to the analysis.
Sudan’s rival commanders agreed to a 24-hour ceasefire from Tuesday evening, after pressure from the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over fighting that has engulfed the capital Khartoum and saw shots fired at a US diplomatic convoy. The ceasefire was due to start at 6 pm. (1600 GMT) and will not extend beyond the agreed 24 hours, Army General Shams El Din Kabbashi, a member of Sudan’s ruling military council, said on al Arabiya TV. Early on Tuesday, gunfire echoed across the capital Khartoum accompanied by the sound of warplanes and explosions. Residents in the neighbouring cities of Omdurman and Bahri reported air strikes that shook buildings and anti-aircraft fire. Fighting also raged in the west of the country, the United Nations said. In a video verified by Reuters, fighters from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) opposing the army could be seen inside a section of the army headquarters in Khartoum. The fighters did not appear to control the sprawling site, a Reuters reporter in the capital said.