The death toll in Tuesday’s attack on communities in the Mangu Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State has risen to 85 as the search for missing persons is still ongoing in the affected districts. The National President of the Mwaghavul Development Association, Joseph Gwankat, made the revelation while speaking to journalists on Wednesday after a security meeting at the palace of the traditional ruler in Mangu. Gwankat noted that several communities were attacked simultaneously by suspected herdsmen, leading to killings as well as the burning of houses and destruction of farmlands in the affected communities. The meeting was convened with security chiefs, district heads and government officials led by the Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden, to address the security challenge in the LGA.

Total assets of the Nigerian banking industry rose by 25.12 percent in one year to ₦77.59 trillion as of the end of February 2023. The Central Bank’s Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability Directorate, Aishah Ahmad, said, “key industry aggregates also continued year-on-year upward trajectory, with total assets rising by 25.12 percent to ₦77.59 trillion in February 2023 from ₦62.01 trillion in February 2022, while total deposits rose to ₦49.36 trillion from ₦39.38 trillion over the same period. Industry credit also increased by ₦4.98 trillion between end-February 2022 and end-February 2023, with significant growth in credit to manufacturing, general commerce and the oil & gas sub-sectors. Notably, this impressive increase was achieved with a continued decline in the non-performing loan ratio.

The International Monetary Fund’s executive board approved a $3 billion, three-year loan programme for Ghana, allowing for an immediate disbursement of about $600 million. The IMF said in a statement that securing timely debt restructuring agreements with external creditors would be essential to successfully implement the Extended Credit Facility loan aimed at helping Ghana overcome immediate policy and financing challenges. The Fund also said the new loan would help mobilise additional external financing from development partners and provide a framework for completing its debt restructuring. “The next step is for the Official Creditor Committee to agree with the authorities the specific modalities of how official creditors intend to deliver debt relief consistent with Fund-programme parameters,” the IMF said on its website, adding that authorities were also engaging with private creditors to seek relief on their external debt.

Efforts to combat armed groups linked to ISIL (ISIS), al-Qaeda and others have failed to stop their expansion in Africa’s Sahel region, a senior United Nations official has warned. Without greater international support and regional cooperation, the instability will increase towards West African coastal countries, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Martha Pobee, told a Security Council meeting. “Resolute advances in the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and organised crime in the Sahel desperately need to be made,” said Pobee. “The devastating effects of the continuing destabilisation of the Sahel would be felt far beyond the region and the African continent,” she added. Pobee criticised the international community, saying a lack of consensus among donors and partners left the joint force without sufficient funding and other needed support to become fully operational and autonomous, so it could have “the capacity to help stabilise the Sahel region.”