Nigeria spent 96.3 percent of revenue on debt servicing in 2022 from 83.2 percent in 2021, which shows how the fiscal deficit has worsened the nation’s public debt stock, the World Bank has said. The World Bank said in its Macro Poverty Outlook for Nigeria, April 2023 report, that in 2022, the cost of the petrol subsidy increased from 0.7 percent to 2.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Low non-oil revenues and high interest payments compounded fiscal pressures. “The fiscal deficit was estimated at 5 percent of GDP in 2022, breaching the stipulated limit for federal fiscal deficit of 3 percent. This has kept the public debt stock at over 38 percent,” the multilateral institution said. The World Bank forecasts Nigeria’s fiscal and debt pressures to increase if the petrol subsidy is not phased out in June 2023, as envisaged in the 2023 budget.
Nigeria granted provisional approval to Oxford University’s R21 malaria vaccine, on Monday, making it the second country to do so after Ghana last week. The approvals are unusual as they have come before the publication of final-stage trial data for the vaccine. “A provisional approval of the R21 Malaria Vaccine was recommended, and this shall be done in line with the WHO’s Malaria Vaccine Implementation Guideline,” the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said. “While granting the approval, the Agency has also communicated the need for expansion of the clinical trial conducted to include a phase 4 clinical trial/Pharmacovigilance study to be carried out in Nigeria,” NAFDAC’s director-general, Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, said in a statement.
Development Bank Ghana (DBG) has secured $70 million to implement a Partial Credit Guarantee scheme to help banks and financial institutions to adequately assess and manage risk. The World Bank is offering $50 million, while Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) will provide $20 million for the establishment of the Partial Credit Guarantee (PCG) subsidiary of the Bank. The DBG Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kwamina Duker, announced this at the DBG and Ghana Association of Banks programme: “We are excited to announce that the Partial Credit Guarantee subsidiary is scheduled to commence operations in the third quarter of the year. This timely launch will provide our Partner Financial Institutions with an additional layer of support, allowing them to better manage risks associated with loan defaults while continuing to serve the Small and Medium Enterprises sector effectively.”
Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, on Monday, said Egyptian troops held in Sudan were merely there to conduct exercises with their Sudanese counterparts and not to support any of the warring parties. After clashes erupted across Sudan between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the army on Saturday, the RSF shared a video they said showed Egyptian troops who had “surrendered” to them in the northern town of Merowe, about halfway between the Sudanese capital Khartoum and the border with Egypt. In a speech broadcast by Egyptian state television after Sisi chaired a meeting of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces late on Monday, the president said he is in contact with the RSF to ensure the safety of Egyptian soldiers in Sudan. RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, told Sky News Arabia TV that the Egyptian soldiers were safe, and that the RSF had provided them with food and water and was ready to facilitate their return. Sisi said Egypt was in regular contact with the Sudanese army and the RSF to “encourage them to accept a ceasefire and spare the blood of the Sudanese people.”