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President Patrice Talon of Benin to head West Africa’s sub-regional body, WAEMU

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In the push for greater regional integration with unified external tariffs in the West Africa sub-region, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) has appointed President Patrice Talon of the Republic of Benin as its new head.

The sub-regional bloc is made up of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte D’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

President Patrice Talon would be the first President of Benin to head the sub-regional institution. He will take office in one month during a virtual summit, according to Benin’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aurelien Agbenonci.

The minister said, “his mandate will be placed under the sign of a desire for reform and good governance, in a spirit of permanent consultation with the other heads of state. His intention is not to give lessons to anyone.

Talon’s appointment was agreed upon on Friday by heads of respective member states during a joint summit of WAEMU and the Economic Community of West Africa State (ECOWAS) in Accra.

President Tallon takes over from Roch Christian Kaboré, former head of state of Burkina Faso who was ousted from office in a coup in January 2022.

Speaking about his appointment, Benin’s Foreign Minister stated that Benin had also requested its minister of economy and finance to also head the ministerial council of the union.

This according to Benin will improve cohesion and also speed up initiatives by the union.

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Politics

Congo DR: Days after foiled coup, parliament elects speaker  

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The national assembly of the Democratic Republic of the Congo elected Vital Kamerhe, whose residence was severely attacked on Sunday, as speaker in a postponed vote, a crucial step towards establishing a government five months after a presidential election was taken.

As the country’s second-in-command, Kamerhe is a close supporter of President Felix Tshisekedi and holds the speaker position. A total of 371 members of parliament who participated in the polls on Monday supported Kamerhe’s bid for speaker. In addition, MPs scheduled six more lower house seats for voting.

The election makes it possible for Congo to form a cabinet, which hasn’t been done since Tshisekedi won a second term in the December 2023 presidential election although President Tshisekedi appointed Judith Suminwa as the first female prime minister of Congo in April.

Tshisekedi caused the vote to be postponed from May 18, which was the original date. Congolese security personnel claimed on May 19 that they had thwarted a coup attempt and stopped an attack on Kamerhe’s residence in the heart of the country’s capital, Kinshasa.

According to Michel Moto Muhima, a spokesman for Kamerhe, the attack claimed the lives of two guards.

With at least 90% of the 500 elected seats in parliament held by Tshisekedi’s alliance, the Sacred Union, holds a majority. In 2018, Kamerhe, 65, ran with Tshisekedi for president.

Kamerhe has previously held the positions of deputy prime minister of the economy and chief of staff to Tshisekedi. A graft investigation resulted in his incarceration in 2020.

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Nigeria’s Tinubu orders 47 ministers to present scorecards

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Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu, has ordered his ministers to give their performance reports to Nigerians about his first anniversary in office.

The low-key first-anniversary commemoration will be celebrated by sectoral media briefings by the 47 federal ministries beginning on Thursday (today), according to Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, who made this announcement during a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday.

Senator George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and Abubakar Bagudu, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, joined Idris at the media briefing on Wednesday.

On March 1, 2023, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, announced that Tinubu had won the 2023 presidential contest.

With 8.7 million votes, Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress candidate, defeated PDP contender Atiku Abubakar, who received 6.9 million votes, and Labour Party candidate Peter Obi, who received 6.1 million votes.

The President said on November 1, 2023, that the ministers in his cabinet would only be allowed to stay in their positions based on performance, which would be evaluated every quarter, at the start of a three-day cabinet retreat for ministers, presidential advisers, permanent secretaries, and top government workers.

“If you are performing, nothing to fear. If you miss the objective, we’ll review it. If no performance, you leave us. No one is an island and the buck stops on my desk,” said the President.

Before the evaluation, on January 24, 2024, at least 140 officials received training from the Central Delivery Coordination Unit, the organization in charge of the assessment, on how to monitor and evaluate the performance of federal ministries, departments, and agencies.

In an April interview with the media, Hadiza Bala-Usman, the head of the CDCU and the President’s Special Advisor on Policy Coordination, confirmed that the organization has received performance reports from at least 20 of the 35 ministries. She clarified that a collaborative approach involving the ministers, public, and business experts will result in the assessment report.

Bala-Usman said, “Our submission is for the first quarter. So, the first quarter has just ended, and we have initiated the assessment process. The ministers have all been asked to submit their performance based on the deliverables.”

She stressed that ministers would be assessed “Based on what is out there in the public space. They would write to say, ‘Based on every deliverable you have given me, this is what I’ve done within the first quarter of the year.’

“Through the Citizens Delivery Tracker app, Nigerians will also say, ‘this is what we’ve seen the minister do’ and they would aggregate it.’’

To lower inflation, stabilize the economy, and draw in foreign investment, the Tinubu administration has carried out several important reforms. He brought a stop to the corrupt fuel subsidy system, which resulted in increasing gasoline and transportation expenses, food inflation, and suffering for the entire nation. The government gave the agriculture sector significant funding to combat food inflation, including N200 billion to increase agricultural production and guarantee food security.

But his reign has also ushered Nigerians into its worst cost of living crisis in decade, thus questioning the effectiveness of the reforms

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