Daily Watch – Tinubu wades into DSS-EFCC spat, Boko Haram kill 8 in northern Cameroon

31st May 2023

The presidency’s media office has urged the public to relax on panic-buying that has ensued as a result of President Bola Tinubu’s inauguration speech announcing the removal of the fuel subsidy. A tweet from the office read: “The public is advised to note that President Bola Tinubu’s declaration that “subsidy is gone” is neither a new development nor an action of his new administration. He was merely communicating the status quo, considering that the previous administration’s budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last for only the first half of the year.” This was corroborated by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) which said it had enough petroleum products to meet the country’s demand. Fuel queues returned to Nigerian cities Monday as many motorists scrambled to get petroleum products hours after Mr Tinubu’s speech.

Reports have emerged of the Department of the State Security Service (DSS) preventing officials of the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from gaining access to their office in Ikoyi, Lagos. Premium Times cited an unnamed source that the spy agency blocked the whole building and placed an armoured tank at the front of the building. Both agencies, according to reports, have been at loggerheads with each other over the ownership of the building. The Punch reported a presidential directive directing the DSS to “immediately” vacate the building, saying the “issues between the two important agencies of government… would be resolved amicably.”

Ghana is expected to reach a moderate risk of debt distress by 2028, the International Monetary Fund has disclosed in its Staff Report on the country. It pointed out that the bulk of the domestic debt restructuring process has however been completed. According to the Fund, this also means that the programme is fully financed during the first 12 months with good prospects for the remainder of the programme. Ghana suspended external debt payments to official bilateral and external commercial creditors since December 2022 and has, therefore, been accumulating arrears to these creditors. All of this is putting pressure on the cedi which surged to the world’s top-performing currency over the last two weeks in part because of the IMF deal. The local currency lost about 9% in value last week to the US dollar in the retail market to reverse the previous week’s gains. It traded at an average of ¢11.50 to the American greenback in the retail market, about ¢10.97 on the interbank market and almost ¢12 at the forex bureaus.

Extremist fighters killed eight people including soldiers in multiple attacks in northern Cameroon on Tuesday, a regional official said. Boko Haram fighters killed three customs officers, three soldiers and two civilians in separate attacks in the towns of Mora and Zigage on the border with Nigeria, said regional governor Midjiyawa Bakari. “The Boko Haram fighters are in huge numbers along the border with Nigeria and we are counting on collaboration between the military and civilians to stop this new wave of attacks,” he said. Several people were wounded and have been hospitalised, Bakari said.