Thousands of people have fled Cameroon’s violence-hit anglophone regions into neighbouring Nigeria in recent weeks, the UN said Tuesday, adding it was preparing to help 40,000 refugees from the unrest.
The UN refugee agency and Nigerian authorities have so far registered some 2,000 Cameroonians who have fled into southeastern Nigeria since October 1, while another 3,000 were awaiting registration.
Even more people are believed to be trapped in forests on the Cameroonian side.
“We are preparing to help up to 40,0000,” UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told AFP, stressing though that the number of people fleeing into Nigeria could easily surpass that figure.
French-speaking Cameroon has a large anglophone minority which comprises around a fifth of its population of 22 million.
Gathered mainly in two regions, many English speakers say they suffer inequality and discrimination.
Resentment has fuelled a breakaway movement that on October 1 issued a symbolic declaration of independence for the putative state of Ambazonia, prompting a crackdown by President Paul Biya’s security forces that left dozens dead and many injured.
UNHCR said it was helping Nigerian aid workers distribute relief items in Nigeria’s Cross River State, including 40 tonnes of food, mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets and hygiene kits.
The agency warned that the new refugee crisis came at a time when Nigeria and Cameroon were already grappling with one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
Some 2.5 million people in the Lake Chad region have already been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has killed at least 20,000 people since 2009.
In the latest attack blamed on the Islamists, at least 20 people were killed in a series of attacks in Cameroon and Nigeria on Monday.
Source: ( AFP )
2020 Finance Bill Exempts Minimum Wage Earners From Tax: Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that the recently proposed 2020 Finance Bill will exempt workers earning the minimum wage from paying tax.
Buhari disclosed this on Monday in a speech delivered virtually by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the opening session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit Group Conference themed: “Building Partnerships for Resilience.”
“We are proposing in the new Finance Act that those who earn minimum wage should be exempted from paying income tax,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
“These provisions which complement the tax breaks given to small businesses last year will not only further stimulate the economy but are also a fulfilment of promises made to take steps to help reduce the cost of transportation and the impact of inflation on ordinary Nigerians.”
Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has revealed that Nigeria would emerge from recession in the fourth quarter of this year or by the first quarter of 2021.
Speaking on Monday at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab said the current recession would be short-lived.
She blamed COVID-19 for the current recession, saying it followed the pattern across the world where many countries had entered an economic recession.
“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth,” Ahmed said.
Court Remands Nigerian Senator, Ali Ndume, In Prison
Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial district has been ordered on Monday by a federal high court to be sent to prison.
The order follows his inability to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, whom he stood as surety for in his corruption and money laundering trial.
The high court, sitting in Abuja was presided over by Justice Okon Abang and ordered Senator Ndume to be remanded in Kuje correctional centre.
Justice Abang, however, gave three conditions upon which Ndume can regain his freedom namely payment of N500m bail bond into the Federation Account of the Federal Government and present evidence of such payment in court or the FG sells the property situated in Asokoro, Abuja which Ndume pledge as security for the bond and present evidence of sale and payment of the N500m realised into the Federation Account or he (Ndume) produces Maina, who is believed to have now jumped bail, in court.
Shortly after the pronouncement by the Judge, Senator Ndume was led away from the courtroom by security operatives.
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