Nigeria / by Alistair Galloway

In governmental affairs, the Nigerian government formally requested $3.5 billion in emergency loans from the World Bank and the African Development Bank to fill the impending budget shortfall. The Nigerian parliament lost hundreds of copies of the 2016 budget from the parliament building, causing a delay in passing the controversial procurement plan supported by President Buhari. The Nigerian governmental anti-corruption investigation has estimated that many individuals in former President Goodluck Jonathan's government stole $6.8 billion from the government treasury during his administration. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) requested $500 million from its members to address the refugee crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency. The British government is preparing to dispatch an additional 35 troops to help train the Nigerian military in their fight against Boko Haram. In security affairs, a pair of suicide bombings in Chibok killed at least 12 people on 27 January. Nigerian villagers along the border with Cameroon claimed in mid-January that Cameroonian troops indiscriminately killed civilians, while the Cameroonian military denied these accusations. A group of Nigerian separatists hijacked a merchant ship and kidnapped a number of the ship’s officers, bringing them into the interior of the country. In economic affairs, the fight against Boko Haram continued to have negative effects on the Nigerian economy as bomb attacks on pipelines forced the closure of two refineries - attacks on the oil industry cost the government nearly $2.4 million per day. The Nigerian National Oil announced a $1.34 billion loss for the last fiscal year. Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu called for an emergency meeting with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to address low oil prices as the price of crude oil dropped to $30 per barrel by the end of the month. Nigerian President Buhari addressed the African Union Peace and Security Council and pledged that Nigeria would fulfill its $100 million contribution to the Multinational Joint Task Force currently combating Boko Haram. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned the Nigerian government of the dangers of restricting foreign exchange and offered technical and other assistance to deal with the economic downturn.