• Sunday, December 03, 2023
businessday logo


Five things to know to start your Monday


Bomb blast hits Jalingo

There was panic on Sunday after an explosive device suspected to be a bomb exploded in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.

According to Channels TV, the incident occurred around 9:35 pm at a location close to the First Roundabout leading to the Taraba State University, causing damage to some shops and residential buildings in the area.

Eyewitnesses at the scene of the blast claimed that the bomb was planted behind a drinking joint where residents and visitors gather to enjoy themselves at night.

“A little baby of about four years was at the shop sleeping when the wall collapsed,” said a local who does not want to be named. “Luckily, she survived it and is receiving medical attention at a hospital.”

The police have secured the area to avert another blast just in case another bomb is planted nearby.

Luckily, no lives were lost in the incident.

There is yet to be any word from the police or the state government about the type of explosive used, who may be responsible, or if another explosive is within a nearby area.

Some fear that the explosion may be connected to the Boko Haram terrorists.

Read also: Police rescue baby, kill 3 alleged kidnappers in Edo

Seven million Nigerians sue INEC

Lawyers to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Kolawole Oluwadare and Adelanke Aremo, have on behalf twenty-four Nigerians filled a suit challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over attempts to disenfranchise them and more than seven million Nigerians.

This comes after the plaintiffs complained about INEC’s failure to allow them and over seven million Nigerians adequate time and opportunity to complete their voter registration after they successfully carried out their registration online.

The plaintiffs had insisted on completing their registration so that they could collect their permanent voter cards (PVCs) and exercise their right to vote.

Only about 32.8 percent of the 10,487,972 Nigerians who pre-registered online completed the process at a physical center, according to INEC.

But in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1662/2022, filed on Friday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, and made available to the press, the Plaintiffs are seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to re-activate its continuous voters’ registration exercise to allow the Plaintiffs to complete their registration and collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).”

The plaintiffs are also seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to provide adequate facilities and deploy personnel to the registration units of the Plaintiffs to enable them to complete their registration and collect their PVCs.”

Queen Elizabeth II funeral: What the schedule for today will be like

Queen Elizabeth is set to be committed to mother earth on Monday, September 19, 2022.

The longest-serving monarch of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and leader of the Commonwealth of Nations, will be buried in Westminster Abbey after her lying-in-state for the last full day in Westminster.

The funeral is expected to attract not less than 10 million views globally.

At present, some leaders from the African continent, such as Yemi Osinbajo, the vice president of Nigeria, and others are in London to pay their last respects.

According to the Telegraph, the confirmed order of key proceedings for Monday is as follows:

Click to read more:Queen Elizabeth II funeral: What the schedule for today will be like

NASS to reduce N11.03trn budget deficit through Finance Act amendment —Senate

The National Assembly is set to reduce the budget deficit through the Finance Act amendment.

According to the NAN, the N11.03 trillion deficit proposed in the N19.76 trillion 2023 budget as indicated in the 2023-2025 MTEF and FSP will be tackled by the National Assembly via necessary amendments to relevant provisions of the Finance Act.

Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger-East), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on General Services, said this while speaking with journalists in Abuja.

The Senate had, through its Committee on Finance, at an interactive session with Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, on the 2023-2025 MTEF and FSP, decried the proposed deficit in the N19.76 trillion 2023 budget.

Sen. Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos) and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, had told heads of revenue generating agencies to evolve other sources of revenue generation to reduce borrowing and ultimately the deficit in the nation’s budget.

However, Musa said there was an urgent need to look into other areas beyond crude oil to generate revenue to fund the budget and ultimately reduce the deficit in the budgetary provision.

“The budget of this country has been in deficit, and the only thing we can do is to amend so many things in the Finance Act,” he said.

Tunisia’s central bank governor expects IMF loan deal in weeks

Marouane Abassi, the Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, said on Sunday that the country’s deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a loan request of $2 billion and $4 billion is expected in the coming weeks.

The country had requested the loans two months ago following rising food and energy costs. Amid political and social unrest, the government had approached the IMF for a bailout to enable it to service its growing budget deficit.

The current financial crisis in the country is seen as the worst financial crisis in the country’s history and is quite capable of resulting in a collapse of its public finances.

“The size is still under negotiation and I think it will be between $2 billion and $4 billion. We hope to reach a staff-level deal in the coming weeks,” Abassi told Reuters.

Last week, the government and the powerful UGTT union agreed to raise public sector wages by 5 percent, potentially easing social tensions. But they did not announce any further agreement on reforms needed for an IMF bailout. This is according to Reuters.

Abassi agreed that the restructured wage deal was part of the conditions given by the IMF to clear the way for the loan. Added to the fact that it also gave a clear view of wages’ weight in GDP in coming years.

“It will give us a clear picture of the wage mass that is expected to decline in the coming years,” he added.

Reuters also reported that Fitch Ratings said on Friday that Tunisia’s wage agreement raises the likelihood of an IMF deal.

Abassi went on to say that the agreement will not only help the country reposition itself for greater trade relations with regional partners, but will also improve trade with Japan and the rest of Europe.

“We have advanced talks with Saudi Arabia about bilateral financing,” he said.

However, the deal with the IMF has not been concluded yet as the bank insists that the little issue of the UGTT must be addressed. The bank said that for the bailout to be approved, the government must invite the UGTT, which has more than a million members and has previously shut down the economy in strikes.

Tunisia is struggling to cope with nearly 9 percent inflation and a shortage of many food items in stores due to the country’s inability to pay for some imports.