Daily Watch – CBN to join forces with ONSA over FX, Ghana loses tonnes of cocoa to smuggling

21st February 2024

Six residents, including the ward head, Haruna Wakili, were killed when terrorists attacked Yar Nasarawa, a community in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State, Premium Times reported. Residents said the terrorists abducted about 38 residents, including women and children, and left 10 residents with gunshot injuries. They also burnt down six houses, eight commercial vehicles and shops in the community. Yar Nasarawa is less than five kilometres away from the Army Super Camp situated in Faskari. The terrorists stormed the community and blocked all entries and exits to ward off support from the military and members of the Community Watch Corps in the area. Meanwhile, the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, said reports of the military drone attack that killed at least 85 civilians in northern Kaduna in December 2023 will be released by the end of the month. “We had some delays,” the defence chief said, adding that it had been difficult getting the names of casualties.

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have forged a partnership to address the challenges posed by speculative activities impacting Nigeria’s foreign exchange market. The partnership aims to identify, thoroughly investigate, and penalise individuals and organisations involved in wrongful activities within the FX market. The collaboration, as disclosed by Zakari Mijinyawa, ONSA’s head of strategic communications, will involve a coordinated effort with key law enforcement agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU). The ONSA said the move is part of a concerted effort to safeguard Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and address challenges impacting the country’s economic stability.

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has told Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee that the company lost over 150,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans to smuggling in 2023. This was revealed by the Chief Executive Officer of the COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aido, when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee. Cocoa production has also declined due to the activities of illegal miners (galamsey) and disease attacks. He said COCOBOD was collaborating with national security and stakeholders on farm rehabilitation programmes to address the challenges. Meanwhile, the minority members of the Public Accounts Committee have called for the immediate resignation of COCOBOD’s CEO over what they describe as his inability to find solutions to current challenges.

South Africa will hold national and provincial elections on 29 May 2024, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said. The elections are expected to be the most competitive since the end of the apartheid system. South Africans will elect a new National Assembly and the provincial legislature in each of the country’s nine provinces before the National Assembly elects the president. Ramaphosa, 71, is seeking a second term as president. He has struggled to lift economic growth significantly since taking over from Jacob Zuma as president in 2018. “The 2024 elections coincide with South Africa’s celebration of 30 years of freedom and democracy,” Ramaphosa’s office said, adding that he calls on eligible voters to fully participate.