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Press Review

Weekly Press Review: 15-22 February 2024

23 February 2024
Reading time: 16 minutes
Regional News

Nigeria, Chad lose soldiers as MNJTF ‘aggressively’ bombard scores of terrorists on Lake Chad. Source: PRNigeria.

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has significantly stepped up its clearance operations within the Lake Chad basin, aiming to strengthen free movement and rejuvenate economic activities across the region. This initiative has led to an encouraging trend, with multiple terrorists surrendering and the interception of a major arms haul meant for insurgents’ use. From 10 to 20 February, all the 4 Sectors of MNJTF recorded various successes which portrayed the surge in troop’s effectiveness through surrender of terrorist elements, offensive operations and curbing of arms smuggling.

 ‘ECOWAS is making efforts to get across to Niger’: Nigerian defence chief / Source : Aljazeera

On Saturday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold a summit in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, to discuss the exit of three member states and a constitutional crisis in a fourth.

The withdrawal of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso from the regional bloc in January has heightened concerns over the possible spread of insecurity in the Sahel to other parts of West Africa.

Niger: Authorities default up to almost $520 million in debt payment. Source :

The West African monetary union debt management agency UMOA Titres on Monday said Niger has missed a debt payment of 13.4 billion CFA francs ($22 million). The amount brings the total default to some $519 million since a July coup and its suspension from regional financial markets.

In a statement, the West African debt management agency said that Niger had failed to make a repayment of the principal which was due on Feb. 16 and owing to sanctions imposed by the conference of heads of state and government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (known by its French acronym, UEMOA).

“This situation is carefully monitored by UMOA-Titres in collaboration with the institutions concerned,” the statement added.

[[Nigeria’s Yakubu Gowon, the last living founding father of ECOWAS calls for its rescue |

Former Nigerian head of state, Yakubu Gowon who was one of the founders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for the lifting of sanctions on coup-hit countries ahead of an emergency heads of state meeting in the region.

Gowon on Wednesday in Abuja Nigeria’s capital warned ECOWAS was “threatened with disunity”. “Neither my generation nor current or future generations will forgive the break-up of our community ” the 89 year old said in an open letter to the Heads of State and the ECOWAS member states.

” I call on all West African leaders to immediately consider implementing the following measures: the lifting of all sanctions imposed on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger [four countries ruled by transitional powers, following military coups, editor’s note]; the withdrawal by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger of their notice to leave ECOWAS; the participation of ECOWAS’s 15 heads of state in a summit to discuss the community’s future, security and regional stability. ”

Peace and Security

Nigeria’s defence chief accuses nations withholding arms sales over abuses of ‘double standards’. Source :

Nigeria’s defense chief expressed frustration Tuesday with what he called the “double standards” of some countries that won’t sell his military weapons because of human rights concerns.

Gen. Christopher Musa’s comment underscores one of the biggest challenges for Africa’s most populous nation in combating a deadly and complex security crisis, from the Islamic militant insurgency in the northeast to the dozens of armed groups targeting travelers and communities in the northwest and central regions.

Troops eliminate 286 terrorists, rescue 122 hostages in 1 week. Source : Yerwa Express News (

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), says troops eliminated no fewer than 286 terrorists, apprehended 244 others, and rescued 122 kidnapped hostages in different theatres of operation across the country in the last one week.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, made this known while giving update on the operations of the armed forces on Thursday in Abuja.

Bubba said the troops also apprehended 83 perpetrators of oil theft and denied the oil thieves of the estimated sum of N2.5 billion during the week under review.

He added that the troops recovered 587 assorted weapons and 7,943 assorted ammunition comprising, 207 AK47 rifles, 56 locally fabricated guns, 17 pump action guns, 10 locally fabricated pistols, 22 dane guns, and 10 IEDs among others.

Nigerians protest over high cost of living.  Source :

Large crowds marched through the center of Ibadan, in the country’s west. According to government statistics, the inflation rate in January rose to 29.9%, its highest since 1996, mainly driven by food and non-alcoholic beverages.

“This country is bleeding, this country is hard, this country is angry. People are suffering. No one can afford three square meals, even two square meals in our dear country today again. Inflation on all goods. Inflation of foods, inflation of cement, inflation of cloth, inflation of motors (cars), inflation of bikes, inflation of transportation from one point to another. That’s why we come out for a peaceful protest,” Sodiq, an artisan said.

Zulum unveils counterterrorism curriculum for Borno Islamic schools. Source :

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has unveiled a unified curriculum for Islamic schools aimed at countering violent extremist ideologies and preventing young people from being radicalised by terrorist groups.

Borno is one of the hardest hit states by Boko Haram insurgency, which began in Maiduguri around 2002.

The fundamentalists group, known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād, preached against Western education as depicted by its name, Boko Haram (Western education is unlawful).

Bandits Kill 7, Injure Baby, Raze Property In Katsina. Source :

Bandits numbering over 20 have stormed Nasarawa Faskari and Ruwan Godiya in Faskari LGA, killing seven people, injuring a year-old baby and many others late on Monday night.

According to the locals, the bandits also torched houses, shops and all the vehicles in the village.

A resident, Sabiu Abubakar, whose wife and one-year-old baby were receiving treatment at Funtua General Hospital, said it was a surprise attack that left the people shocked and traumatized.

How High-Profile ‘Kidnapper’ Was Nabbed In Kano – Air Force. Source:

Operatives of the Nigerian Air Force deployed at Durbunde in Takai Local Government Area of Kano State have successfully arrested a 35-year-old “high-profile kidnapper”, Isah Abdul.

The arrest was carried out at about 6.30pm on Monday, following credible intelligence on the hideout of the notorious kidnapper and his boys.

According to the Director Public Relations, Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet, preliminary investigation revealed that Isah Abdul and his gang were responsible for the abduction of one Yakubu Ibrahim Tagaho, popularly known as “Sarkin Noman Gaya,” on 6 April 2023, from his residence in Tagaho Village in Takai Local Government Area.

Borno govt, partners host parley with traditional rulers over peace – Source : Yerwa Express News (

Borno State Ministry of Information and Internal Security in collaboration with Peace Ambassadors Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment, PACHE and British Council has announced the commencement of community town hall meeting with traditional leaders in Borno State.

The announcement was made in a statement issued by the ministry of information and internal Security on Monday evening.

According to the statement, the meeting will hold on Wednesday, February 21 at Dujima Hotel, Shehu Laminu Way, Bolori Roundabout, Maiduguri by 9:00am.

Bandits Kill 10 In Benue, 2 Cops in Zamfara, Burn Houses in Niger. Source:

Ten people have been killed in attacks on four villages in Apa Local Government Area of Benue State.

The attacks, which happened within the space of three days, also displaced hundreds of residents, who are now taking shelter in the local government headquarters.

The state governor, Hyacinth Alia, however, accused some indigenes of the state of inviting foreign herders, who are wreaking havoc in many communities.

Meanwhile, in Zamfara State, two police officers were gunned down when bandits attacked Zurmi town.

Another set of bandits burnt over 30 houses and scores of cattle during an attack in the Allawa community, Shiroro Local government area of Niger State.

Military will not interfere with Nigeria’s democracy, call for intervention unpatriotic – CDS – Source: Yerwa Express News (

Gen. Christopher Musa, the Chief of Defence Staff, says the military is happy and better under democracy, hence will not act against a democratically elected government.

Musa gave said this during his operational visit and inauguration of facilities at Headquarters 6 Division of the Nigeria Army, in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

He emphasised that the country’s democracy was achieved through great efforts, saying calls for a military intervention by some Nigerians were unpatriotic.

“People making such calls for a military takeover do not love Nigeria.

“We want to make it clear that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is here to protect democracy.

“We all want democracy; we do better during democracy, and so, the armed forces will continue to support democracy,” he said.

According to him, those advocating a coup d’état are adversaries, who do not have the country’s best interests at heart.

Hike in food prices: Dikwa residents threaten moving to terrorists camps –  Source: Yerwa Express News (

Many residents of Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno have raised serious concerns over the hardship they are going through, especially in feeding their families given the recent nationwide hike in prices of commodities.

The town is suffering from severe food shortages as result of collapse of livelihoods since the Boko Haram crisis disrupted economic activities.

The guaranteed source of food supplies in relatively large amounts is the state government.

This morning, the residents threatened to collaborate with, as well as move to Boko Haram camps, as they said they cannot withstand the severe hunger.


Hardship: Customs begins distribution of seized food items to poor Nigerians – Source: Yerwa Express News (

The Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, has begun distribution of seized food items to Nigerians to help mitigate the current hardship in the country.

Speaking at the flag-off of the exercise in Lagos on Thursday, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Wale Adeniyi, said that the Federal Government ordered the distribution of the seized food items.

Mr Adeniyi said Customs was working with other agencies to distribute the seized food items directly to needy Nigerians.

Mr Adeniyi said that Nigerians would require verifiable National Identification Number, NIN, to benefit from the gesture.

YERWA EXPRESS NEWS learned that the residents, including IDPs, protested in the town, saying that the survival options available to them presently are limited.

Zulum approves food palliative for 100,000 vulnerable families – Source: Yerwa Express News (

Prof.Babagana Umara Zulum, the Governor of Borno has approved the distribution of food palliatives to the residents of Maiduguri and Jere Local Government Areas.

The Governor announced this development on Thursday at the Borno State Government House in Maiduguri while meeting with the ward working committee, traditional rulers elders and community leader of the two LGAs.

The government reiterated commitment to ensuring the welfare of Borno’s citizens, particularly families struggling to access basic neccessities in the face of rising food prices and economic challenges.

He said about 100,000 households will benefit from the palliative distribution.

Davido commits ₦300 Million for Nigerian orphanages | Africanews

Grammy-nominated Nigerian musician Davido has announced plans to donate a sum of “300 million naira to orphanages around Nigeria as my yearly contribution to the nation details of disbursement tomorrow.”

Davido made this revelation in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

The pledge on Tuesday, February 20 is an outcome of the Adeleke Foundation founded by Davido in 2022 with the help of other charitable organisations, in a bid to help vulnerable children.

In July 2023, he announced the foundation donated over 200 million to orphanages in the country and 13,818 children benefited from it. He also promised to donate some more money in 2024.

Mobilization and economic development

Nigeria: Naira drops further on official and unofficial markets to hit record lows. Source:

Nigeria’s currency naira on Monday fell to record lows on both the official and unofficial markets on while stocks posted their biggest one-day fall in more than a year.

The latest comes as Africa’s largest economy experiences crippling dollar shortages though the country’s apex bank chief Governor Olayemi Cardoso has said that foreign exchange liquidity is improving.

Niger: Authorities default up to almost $520 million in debt payment | Africanews

he West African monetary union debt management agency UMOA Titres on Monday said Niger has missed a debt payment of 13.4 billion CFA francs ($22 million). The amount brings the total default to some $519 million since a July coup and its suspension from regional financial markets.

In a statement, the West African debt management agency said that Niger had failed to make a repayment of the principal which was due on Feb. 16 and owing to sanctions imposed by the conference of heads of state and government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (known by its French acronym, UEMOA).

“This situation is carefully monitored by UMOA-Titres in collaboration with the institutions concerned,” the statement added.

Nigerian ex-President Muhammadu Buhari’s signature forged to withdraw $6m. Source: africanews

Nigeria has appealed to Interpol for assistance in apprehending three suspects accused of orchestrating a $6.2 million theft from the central bank. The funds were reportedly siphoned using forged signatures, including that of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Authorities suspect collusion between the suspects and Nigeria’s former central bank chief, Godwin Emefiele. Emefiele, already facing trial on 20 charges, including the illicit receipt of the stolen funds, maintains his innocence while out on bail.

Emefiele’s trial marks a significant anti-corruption effort under President Bola Tinubu’s administration, which began last May.

ALGON, EFCC Vow To Tackle Corruption In LGAs. Source:

The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in partnership with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vowed to tackle obvious graft across all the 774 local government areas across the country.

The two organizations said they have resolved to achieve the aim by training a cross-section of critical officials working in the third tier of government at EFCC Training Academy, Karu, Abuja on how to ensure transparency at the grassroots.

Briefing journalists at a press conference, the consultant to both organisations, Ephraim Okechukwu, explained that the move became imperative considering how corruption has continued to spread at the grassroots.

Parliamentary System Should Start From States. Source :

Recently, the National Assembly announced its intention to kick-start another round of constitutional amendments. Committees have been set up by the two chambers. As a result, 60 members of the House of Representatives, cutting across party lines are promoting three bills that will scrap the Presidential system of government and revert the country to the Parliamentary system of government, which held sway in the First Republic by 2031.

Some of the reasons advanced by the members are that the Presidential system is too expensive and the executive, who is not directly accountable to the people, is vested with enormous powers. To show their seriousness they have embarked on advocacy visits, with the residence of an elder statesman and business mogul in Kano their first port of call.

Climate Change: ECOWAS Urged to Proffer Solutions to Halt Poor Communities’ Forced Relocation. Source :

The Minister of State for Environment, Dr Iziaq Adekunle Salako, has tasked the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the need to proffer solutions to climate change in West Africa, saying lack of solutions means that their communities will become poorer, food security jeopardized   b   and their rural populations forced to relocate.

He noted that relocation was already happening in many of the countries, saying, “It is a fact that the population of climate migrants and environmental displaced people is rising in our sub-region.”

Mambilla: Tinubu Advised to End 14-Year FG/Sunrise Case. Source:

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been advised to end the 14-year-old logjam between the federal government and Sunrise Power and Transmission Company as part of his concerted efforts to overhaul and revamp electricity supply across the country.

In April 2003, the federal government awarded a contract for the construction of a 3,960 MW Hydro-Electric Power Plant in Mambilla, Taraba State, to Sunrise Power Transmission Company, a local content partner in consortium with North China Power Group on a 30 – 490 years build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.

Shettima: We’ve Uncovered 32 Routes for Smuggling Food Out of Nigeria. Source:

The Federal Government has uncovered 32 routes through which food items are smuggled out of the country.

Hoarding and smuggling have been identified as factors worsening the hardship in the land as they fuel increase in cost of commodities.

The government has sought different measures to tackled the trend.

Speaking at a conference on Public Wealth Management held in Abuja, on Tuesday, Vice President Kashim Shettima said on the midnight of Sunday, 45 trucks loaded with maize were intercepted while making their way to neighboring countries.

Cement Manufacturers Taking Advantage of Dollar Rise – Minister. Source:

Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, has accused cement manufacturers of taking advantage of the Nigerian currency fall against the dollar to hike cement prices.

Daily Trust reports that on Monday, naira plummeted further against the United States dollar across both the official and unofficial markets.

According to data published on the FMDQ website, the local currency closed at N1,598.54/$1 at the official market on Monday as against N1,537.96 recorded in the previous market last Friday.

Senate Kicks as Nigeria Loses N17trn To Tax Waivers. Source:

The Senate Committee on Finance on Monday frowned at the N17 trillion the federal government lost to tax waivers within the last five years.

It urged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to suspend the tax waivers and substitute it with a rebating system.

Nigeria’s Foreign Investment Dropped By 80% In 2023. Source:

Foreign investment into Nigeria dropped by 80 per cent to $3.9bn in 2023 from the $5.3bn that was invested in the country in 2022, analysis of a report of Capital Importation into Nigeria has shown.

The report which was released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria attracted $1.1bn in Q1 2023, $1.03bn in Q2, $654.6m in Q3 and $1,08bn in Q4.

In 2022, $1.57bn was imported into the country in Q1, which reduced to $1.53in Q2. It further went down to $1.15bn and $1.06bn in Q3 and Q4 respectively.

Naira hits all-time low, trades N1,825 to dollae. Source.platformsafrica

Naira, Nigeria’s unit of exchange, dipped to an all-time high on Tuesday, trading at N1,825 to a dollar.

This is despite efforts by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to disrupt the activities of perceived manipulators and speculators.

The anti-graft agency has earlier raided the well-known Abuja Zone 4 market, shooting at Bureau De Change operators to stop the naira’s rapid decline.

FG threatens tp open borders for cement importation. Source:

The Federal Government says it might open the borders for cement importation if manufacturers of the product fail to bring down the cost.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, issued the threat on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with Cement and Building Materials Manufacturers.

The meeting was summoned to address the astronomical increase in the cost of cement nationwide.

The minister expressed concerns that in the past couple of months, the country had witnessed a recurring alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials.


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