Daily Watch – 8 killed as rival militia clash in Benue, Algeria bars Niger-bound French warplane

23rd August 2023

At least eight persons were reportedly killed in Ukum Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State following a clash between rival militia groups who unleashed mayhem in Chiro and Gbeji villages. The incident happened between 21 and 22 August, when the militias were said to have engaged themselves in a killing spree. This is coming after a Livestock Guard was killed in the LGA on 20 August. According to natives that spoke to DailyPost, five persons were killed in Chitto on 21 August, while another three were killed in Gbeji on 22 August. In Osun, six people from Oyan, a town in the Odo-Otin LGA, have been abducted by gunmen while returning from the farm. The spokesperson for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in the state, Kehinde Adeleke, confirmed the incident, adding that a search-and-rescue operation was ongoing.

Out of a total ₦1.74 trillion gross revenue in July, the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) shared ₦966.110 billion to the federal, state and local governments. The total revenue of ₦1.74 trillion is a 10.8 percent decline from ₦1.95 trillion recorded in June 2023. However, the total sum disbursed (₦966.110 billion) is a slight increase compared to ₦907.054 billion disbursed in June. The total sum disbursed comprised distributable statutory revenue of ₦397.419 billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of ₦271.947 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of ₦12.840 billion and Exchange Difference revenue of ₦283.904 billion. The federal government received ₦374.485 billion, the state governments received ₦310.670 billion and the local government councils received ₦229.409 billion. A total sum of ₦51.545 billion was shared to the relevant states as 13 percent derivation revenue. The balance in the Excess Crude Account stands at $473,754.57.

The Government of Ghana is expected to settle ¢2.4 billion of the first coupon payment on bonds occasioned by the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) on 27 and 28 August 2023. Whilst the coupon or interest rates of the 27 August bonds are going for 14.13 percent and 15 percent, that of 28 August are currently priced at 10 percent and 15 percent respectively. In a related development, Mr Hanan Abdul-Wahab, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Food Buffer Stock Company, says the government has paid 85 percent of the arrears owed food suppliers. He said the government released GH¢100 million on 17 July, and also released additional GH¢80 million in August for payment. It is left with less than GH¢30 million of the arrears, which will be cleared by the end of August 2023.

Algeria has reportedly denied passage to the French military aircraft heading to Niger, as the country stands against military intervention, according to the official Algerian radio station, ENRS. However, Reuters reported that France’s army has denied it had asked Algeria to use its airspace for a military operation in Niger. In a related development, the African Union (AU) has suspended Niger from all its activities and told its members to avoid any action that might legitimise the junta. The AU Peace and Security Council said in a communique that it had noted ECOWAS’s decision to activate a standby force and asked the AU Commission to assess the economic, social, and security implications of deploying such a force.