Borno, Kaduna, four other states to suffer worse insecurity, economic hardship in 2024 –W’Bank

Persistent insecurity, armed conflict, and deteriorating livelihoods will continue to affect local government areas in Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara states, and the far north of Adamawa State in Nigeria until May 2024, the World Bank has predicted.

This is as it disclosed that poor macroeconomic conditions are restricting access to agricultural inputs in the country.

This is set to affect cereal production in the country. The global bank revealed this in its latest ‘Food Security Update.’

Estimated cereal production for the 2023/24 crop year is expected to be 76.5 million tons in West and Central Africa, which is a two per cent decrease from the previous season, but a three per cent rise from the average for the last five years.

Chad, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria are expected to contribute the most to this decline.

The Bretton Woods institution said, “Projections indicate a decline in production from last year in Chad, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. This decrease is attributed to dry spells during the growing season and insecurity that limited access to cropland in Chad, Mali, and Niger and to poor macroeconomic conditions that have restricted access to agricultural inputs in Nigeria.”

While overall, most of the sub-region’s areas will remain in the minimally food insecure (category from November to May 2024, some areas are classified as stressed and some in crisis.

It added, “Over the same period (November to May 2024), Crisis (IPC Phase 3) conditions, mainly caused by persistent insecurity and armed conflict, and deteriorating livelihoods, are projected to affect the following regions:

“Nigeria: Local government areas in Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara states, and the far north of Adamawa state.”

The other places this will affect include places in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, and Niger.

In its latest update, the World Bank noted that between August and November, many low- and middle-income countries were battling with high inflation.

It stated, “Information from the latest month between August and November 2023 for which food price inflation data are available shows high inflation in many low- and middle-income countries, with inflation higher than 5 per cent in 61.9 per cent of low-income countries (no change since the last update two weeks ago), 76.1 per cent of lower-middle-income countries (3.9-percentage-point decrease), 50.0 per cent of upper-middle-income countries (no change), and 57.4 per cent of high-income countries (2.6-percentage point decrease).”

It noted that the most-affected countries are in Africa, North America, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia. It further highlighted that in real terms, food price inflation has exceeded overall inflation 74 per cent in 167 countries.

In November, Nigeria’s headline inflation rose to 28.20 per cent while food inflation soared to 32.84 per cent.

(Punch)

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Borno satisfied with security situation, closes IDP camp as 100,000 returned home

Amidst reported threats by terrorists to attack Monguno in northern Borno State, Governor Babagana Zulum, has announced the closure of the Internally Displaced Persons camps in the Government Senior Science Secondary School, Monguno.

The closure of the Monguno camp brings to about 13 the IDP camps that the state government has closed since 2018.

The Monguno IDPs camp, about 120 km from Maiduguri, housed over 100,000 IDPs drawn from parts of Kukawa, Nganzai, Marte and Guzamala LGAs displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The PUNCH recent investigations revealed that following a systematic flow of arms and fighters from the Sahel ISIS to lend more strength to ISWAP around the Lake Chad basin, the terrorists have marked Monguno, Marte and Abadan, all in northern Borno, for decisive attacks.

However, Zulum, apparently satisfied with the level of security and peace restored at some of the communities, said the closure of the Monguno IDPs camp was to pave the way for the rehabilitation of the school to facilitate the resumption of academic activities.

Zulum was on an inspection visit at the camp to assess the extent of destruction resulting from the Boko Haram attack and the prolonged use by internally displaced persons.

He stated that the IDPs would be relocated to occupy the 1,000 resettlement houses built in the town for citizens affected by the over one-decade-old Boko Haram insurgency.

Monguno’s 1,000 houses are part of the housing intervention that forms over 10,000 resettlement houses constructed by Zulum’s administration since 2019.

The governor also noted that IDPs who were from communities and villages that attained relative peace would be returned, particularly those from Kekeno, Mile 90 and Yoyo, among others.

“We will return those of you from communities which have attained relative peace, everyone that is willing to return will be provided with a resettlement package to pick up the pieces of their lives,” Zulum said.

(Punch)

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Furore over death of Borno commissioner at guest house

The recently appointed Borno State Commissioner for Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, and Resettlement (RRR), Engr. Ibrahim Idriss Garba, passed away at his Guest House in 777 Housing Estate in Maiduguri, the state’s capital yesterday morning.

The cause of the Commissioner’s untimely death is shrouded in mystery. While it is suspected that a heart-related ailment might have been the cause, there are also rumours of poisoning.

In response to the tragic incident, the Borno State Police Command has launched an “urgent investigation” into the circumstances surrounding the Commissioner’s death.

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, made this announcement in a statement released to the press yesterday.

Gusau said the state Commissioner of Police had visited the residence where Engr. Garba passed away in Maiduguri yesterday. The news of the commissioner’s death left Governor Zulum in deep shock.

The late Engr. Ibrahim Idriss Garba previously served as the Governor’s Special Adviser on Special Projects before his appointment as the Commissioner of RRR at the beginning of Governor Zulum’s second term.

The governor expressed his condolences, stating, “May Allah forgive the commissioner’s shortcomings and admit him into Aljanna.”

The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the commissioner’s death continues as the community mourns the loss of a dedicated public servant.

(Nation)

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Police arrest husband for killing 24-year-old wife in Borno

The Nigeria Police, Benue State Command, on Friday confirmed the arrest of two suspects, Adamu Ibrahim and Bukar Wadiya for allegedly killing one Fatima Alhaji-Bukar, a 24-year-old housewife.

Alhaji-Bukar was a resident of Dikechiri, Bayan Gidan Dambe area of Maiduguri metropolis, Borno State.

This is contained in a statement signed by the spokesperson of the command, ASP Sani Kamilu, and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri.

According to him, the deceased was married to one Adamu Ibrahim who was the prime suspect in the matter.

“On October 18, 2023, one Adamu Alhaji Ibrahim of Dikechiri Bayan Gidan Dambe area Maiduguri went to Gwange Division, accompanied by one Bukar Wadiya, conveying the body of a woman whom he claimed to be his wife and sought for an emergency help from the police”.

“The husband, who claimed to be a staff member of a commercial bank in Maiduguri, came back from work at about 5:00 p.m. and found the deceased lying down in a pool of her own blood”.

The Police spokesperson explained that preliminary investigation revealed that before the incident, the couple had some domestic disputes over an alleged extramarital affair by the husband at their matrimonial home.

He maintained that the house where the incident happened was secured and during search, some exhibits were recovered including one short pestle, a bag, rope, a rug carpet stained with blood, knife, and Honda vehicle, and a mucus-stained pillow.

Kamilu said that there was no evidence of constructive breakage or entry into the house and only the husband has the key to the house.

He said that the husband and Bukar Wadiya were both arrested as prime suspects, noting that a discreet investigation was ongoing for subsequent prosecution.

(Tribune)

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Repositioning Borno’s healthcare now or never – Zulum

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum has said that with three professors now in charge of Borno’s health sector, it is either the sector is repositioned now or never.

Zulum stated this on Friday when he received the Health Minister, Prof. Mohammed Ali Pate, at the Council Chamber of the Government House in Maiduguri. 

“I told my team yesterday that this is the right time to reposition the health sector. If we cannot do it now, then we should forget about it because the Commissioner of Health (Babagana M. Mallum) is a Professor, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospitals Management Board (Bukar Kullima) is a Professor, the Coordinator of the State Primary Healthcare Agency (Mohammed Arab Alhaji) is a Professor, and above all you the Coordinating Minister of Health is also a Professor,” Zulum remarked. 

He added, “If these people (three Professors) can not make the needed repositioning in the health sector in the next three or four years, insha’Allah, honestly speaking, I don’t think we can get it right any time soon”, the governor said. 

Zulum noted that his administration will ensure it provides the needed support and political will to address problems affecting the health sector. Stressing that the over decade Boko Haram crisis has destroyed over 40% health facilities across the state.

“I want to assure you that this administration is ever ready to provide the leadership and the political will to drive the health sector to the best we can offer,” he said. 

The governor highlighted the gains recorded in the health sector within over four years of his administration which included construction, reconstruction and equipping of about 200 primary and post-primary health centres and provision of medical facilities and consumables, in addition to free drugs for maternal health care and children below the age of five across the state. 

Zulum commended the Federal Ministry of Health and parastatals under it for their support to the government of Borno State. 

“It is pertinent to acknowledge support from the Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC and Partners. The collaboration has been very remarkable and we can only crave more support.” Zulum said. 

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Health, Professor Mohammed Ali Pate, commiserated with Governor Zulum over the demise of Professor Emeritus, Umaru Shehu, who died in Maiduguri on Monday. 

The minister, who was accompanied by the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shu’aib and other officials, expressed gratitude to the governor for his support to federal Government-owned health institutions in Borno, particularly the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. 

The minister’s visit at the Government House was attended by Borno’s Deputy Governor, Umar Usman Kadafur, Senator Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Senator Kaka Shehu Lawan among other top government officials. 

(Vanguard)

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Sokoto, Borno, Nasarawa least expensive states in Nigeria – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics says Sokoto, Borno and Nasarawa are the least expensive states to live in Nigeria.

NBS disclosed this in its August Consumer Price Index data released on Friday.

According to the data, Sokoto recorded 20.91 per cent, Borno 21.77 per cent, and Nasarawa 22.25 per cent, recording the slowest rise in headline inflation year-on-year.

In contrast, Kogi, Lagos, and Rivers are the most expensive states to live following NBS’s August inflation data.

Kogi State recorded the highest inflation rate, which stood at 31.50 per cent, followed closely by Lagos at 29.17 per cent and Rivers at 29.06 per cent.

DAILY POST recalls Nigeria’s headline inflation rate rose to 25.80 per cent in August.

(Daily Post)

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FG’s N5bn subsidy removal palliative to states is a loan – Report

The relief aid given to the states by the federal government to cushion the effects of the removal of the petrol subsidy is a loan, TheCable can report.

Earlier, the federal government announced a N5 billion relief package for each state of the federation, including the federal capital territory (FCT).

Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, who spoke on Thursday at the end of the national economic council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima, said the palliative would enable state governments to procure 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize and fertilizers to cushion the effect of food shortage across the country.

However, in a memo to governors entitled “Re: Distribution of Palliatives – Terms of FG Facility”, Asishana Okauru, director-general of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), said states might opt out of the offer and return a sum of N2 billion already given to them.

“I have been directed by the Chairman, H.E. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to forward the terms of the facility as follows,” Okauru said in the memo.

“Facility size: N4,000,000,000.00
Loan (48%): N1,920,000,000.00
FGN Grant: (52%)
N2,080,000,000.00 Beneficiary each state government
Tenure: 20 months
Interest Rate: Nil
Moratorium: Three months
Repayment Mode: Monthly
Repayment Amount: N120,000,000.00
Security Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO)

“Your excellency is invited to note that this offer is optional and states that do not wish to participate may opt-out and refund the N2 billion already disbursed to them.”

(Cable)

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