President Bola Tinubu has signed the Student Loan Bill into law. An aide to the president, Dele Alake, disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Monday evening. The bill will enable Nigerian students to access loans at interest-free rates. The PUNCH reported that the Students Loan Bill recommended two years imprisonment or ₦500,000 fine or both for students who default in repayment or anyone found aiding defaulters. The piece of legislation passed second reading at the House of Representatives on May 25, 2023. The bill, which was sponsored by Gbajabiamila, was titled ‘A Bill for an Act to provide for easy access to higher education for Nigerians through an interest-free loan from the Nigerian Education Bank established in this Act to provide education for Nigerians and other purposes.’
After a midweek protest across Nigeria last week, ride-hailing drivers returned to work on Monday. The resumption happened despite drivers saying ride-hailing companies had not met their demands. TechCabal reported two key members of the Amalgamated Union of App-based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON) as insisting that continuing the strike was unreasonable because many drivers require a daily income to survive. In the wake of the fuel subsidy announcement, Bolt, for example, increased its base fare from ₦650 ($1.4) to ₦800 ($1.7). Uber increased its from ₦700. ($1.5) to ₦800 ($1.7) while LagRide instituted a 16.6% increase. AUATWON is demanding all ride-hailing companies to institute a 200% increase with ₦2,000 ($4.3) as the new base fare, a position which corporations like Uber and Bolt have rejected, as well as a reduction in commission fees from 20% to 10%.
Ghana regained its spot as the largest African gold producer, pushing South Africa to second place. The country lost the spot to South Africa in 2021 following a significant fall in output during the year. According to Joshua Mortoti, President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, the country recorded a 32% surge in gold production in 2022. The country’s gold output rose significantly from 2.8 million ounces in 2021 to 3.7 million ounces last year, primarily on account of boosted output from both existing large-scale and small-scale gold mines. The contribution to the country’s overall gold output by the large-scale mining sector rose higher significantly by 13% year-on-year to 3.1 million ounces in 2022. The output from the sector totalled only 2.7 million ounces of gold in 2021. In mid-2021, the Bank of Ghana launched a domestic gold purchasing programme to augment its foreign reserves with a view to doubling its gold holdings in its foreign exchange reserves portfolio.
Thousands of Sudanese refugees who fled to Chad to escape fighting in their country could be cut off from humanitarian and medical aid during the approaching rainy season, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Monday. More than 100,000 people have fled across the border to Chad since conflict broke out in Sudan in April, and numbers could double over the next three months, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) warned earlier this month. MSF’s Head of Mission in Chad, Audrey van der Schoot, said the flooding that usually occurs during this time of the year could isolate refugees and host communities in Chad’s eastern Sila region and other areas that share a border with Sudan. Rains will also bring a higher risk of waterborne and infectious diseases given poor access to clean water and sanitation, she said.