Daily Watch – Petrol queues to persist in South-West, Niger’s junta orders France ambassador expulsion

1st September 2023

The federal, states and local governments, shared a total of ₦4.37 trillion from the Federation Account as statutory revenue allocations between January and June 2023, according to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Ogbonnanya Orji, who announced the release of the agency’s half-year report, said total distributable FAAC allocations to the three tiers of government in the first and second quarters of 2023 stood at over ₦2.32 trillion and ₦2.04 trillion respectively. Each tier of government received more than ₦1 trillion over the six-month period. A breakdown of the revenue receipts showed that the FG received about ₦1.78 trillion (40.7 percent), while the state governments received ₦1.5 trillion (34.5 percent) and the local government councils got ₦1.08 trillion (24.8 percent).

Petrol shortages in Lagos and parts of South-Western Nigeria may persist until the end of September. The disruption is due to the closure of the System 2B pipeline, which supplies the region due to vandalism. Oil marketers have attributed fuel queues in Lagos and neighbouring states to this pipeline shutdown. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) is working to restore the pipeline by the end of September, according to a statement. However, challenges in the supply chain, including foreign exchange issues, have also contributed to the reduced availability of petrol nationally with other states set to experience shortages in the future.

Ghana’s Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has filed 39 counts of fresh criminal charges at the High Court against embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Menzgold Ghana Company Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM 1. This comes after more than 36 appearances without a trial over three years and 11 months by the accused. In the new charge sheet filed at the High Court in Accra, NAM 1, together with Menzgold Ghana Company Limited (MGCL) and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited, has been charged with a string of actions, including selling gold without a licence, operating deposit-taking institution without a licence, inducement to invest and defrauding by false pretence, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering. According to the charges, under false pretences, the accused persons took in excess of GH¢1.68 billion from customers who have not recovered their deposits. NAM 1 is expected to make his first court appearance on 19 September.

Niger’s ruling junta has ordered police to expel France’s ambassador, a move authorities in Paris said the army officers had no power to make. The visas of French ambassador Sylvain Itte and his family have been cancelled and police are instructed to expel the envoy, the junta said in a statement dated 29 August and confirmed as authentic on Thursday by its communications head. Last Friday, instigators of the coup, ordered Itte to leave the country within 48 hours in response to what they called actions by France “contrary to the interests of Niger.” It said these included the envoy’s refusal to respond to an invitation to meet Niger’s new foreign minister. French military spokesman Colonel Pierre Gaudilliere warned that the French military forces are ready to respond to any upturn in tension that harms French diplomatic and military premises.