Friday, July 12, 2024

Poultry farming sector hit by inflation in Nigeria

Nigeria's poultry farming sector is experiencing widespread problems. Rising costs of feed, drugs, and production have led to the closure of 30 percent of farms within just six months.


Nigeria violated human rights during police brutality protests

A regional African court has ruled that Nigerian authorities violated the rights of protesters during mass demonstrations against police brutality in 2020.

The protests, dubbed End SARS, called for disbanding the Special Anti-Robbery Squad after allegations of torture, extortion and extrajudicial killings.

A coalition of human rights activists and organizations sued in late 2021. Applicants Obianuju Udeh, Perpetual Kamsi and Dabiraoluwa Adeyinka alleged severe human rights violations by state agents as they put down the street protests.

In its verdict issued Wednesday, a three-member panel of the Court of Justice - linked with the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS - determined that Nigerian authorities had used disproportionate force in their response to the protests.

The panel said security agents had violated the African Charter on Human and People's Rights as well as several international human rights laws.

Bolaji Gabari, lead counsel representing the applicants, welcomed the verdict.

"Justice is finally achieved and obtained. ... What we were really looking for was to get an affirmation that this really happened," Gabari said. "This judgment just affirms what we have been saying. The other applicants that came forward initially considered their safety and withdrew."

The ECOWAS court ordered the Nigerian government to compensate each applicant with $6,400, or about 10 million naira; to investigate the rights abuses; and to show progress on holding offenders responsible within six months.

The court also stated that the use of live rounds against protesters at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020, caused fear, and that the Nigerian government did not present evidence refuting those allegations.

Authorities have not responded to the court ruling, and a national police spokesperson did not take VOA's calls for comment.

But human rights groups like Amnesty International and some activists welcomed the court’s decision as a significant victory for human rights in Nigeria.

Nelson Olanipekun, a human rights lawyer and founder of Citizens' Gavel, a civic organization that seeks to improve the pace of justice delivery through the use of technology, said, "The ECOWAS court judgment came at a right time, especially now that Nigerians are going through tough times. And there's also a regional move where Africans largely are recognizing their power as citizens. For example, what happened in Kenya — people demanding accountability from their government — was also similar to what happened during End SARS."

Olanipekun said, however, that more work needs to be done.

"What is the next move? Since End SARS, even though the police have tried, there has been reoccurrence of incidents of police brutality in the country," he said. "It has not abated. There's no sufficient accountability and oversight over government organizations. Also, the Nigerian court has been weak, inefficient and corrupt. They're not independent enough."

Thousands of young Nigerians poured into the streets in October 2020 to demand the dissolution of the SARS unit, but the protest soon expanded to call for better governance before it was forcefully quelled on October 20.

Last October, Amnesty International said at least 15 End SARS protesters languished in a Lagos jail while activists marked the third anniversary of the protests. 

By Timothy Obiezu, VOA

Nigeria unions meet president in push for new minimum wage

Nigeria’s labour unions told President Bola Tinubu on Thursday that soaring prices and a weakening currency were biting hard as they pushed for a new minimum wage they say will help cushion workers from the worst cost of living crisis in generations.



Labour unions suspended a strike in early June to give negotiations on the new minimum wage a chance but a failure to reach an agreement could prompt unions to call for new action.

Leaders in Nigeria are mindful of deadly riots in Kenya that forced the government to backtrack from raising taxes and are trying to balance between appeasing restive workers and borrowing more to meet wage demands.

Any major disruptions to economic activity could tip over an economy struggling with tepid growth, low production of oil, its main export, and high cost of living.


The government is offering a monthly wage of 62,000 naira ($40) but unions want 250,000 naira ($160) and have asked authorities to roll back increases in gasoline and electricity prices. The last minimum wage was agreed in 2019.


The labour leaders said they had agreed some issues with Tinubu, which they did not disclose, and added that they would reconvene another meeting in a week.

Related story: Nigeria strike: ‘My monthly pay won't buy a bag of rice’

Nigeria Customs Intercepts N270m Weapons At Lagos Airport

Less than 48 hours after announcing interception of a container laden with arms and ammunition illegally imported into the country from Turkiye in Onne Port, Rivers State, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has announced another interception of cache of arms and ammunition at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA), Lagos, worth N270million.

The consignment, which was intercepted at the cargo section of the MMA, was also imported from Turkiye with one suspect in custody.

According to the Customs boss, military hardwares and accoutrements were also intercepted by the Airport Command of NCS.

He said, “on 19th June, 2024, the MMA 2 command deployed personnel to man all exit points and conducted examination on all consignment due to the intelligence available to us and upon examination a parcel with number 235/587737755 which originated from Turkiye was intercepted.

“The consignment was exterminated from the rest and it was gathered that 55 pieces of Tomahawk semi automatic short gun was Intercepted with one suspect arrested.”

LEADERSHIP had on Monday reported that at Onne Port in Rivers State, the Service intercepted a 40-feet container with number MAEU165396, which contained pump action rifles and ammunition worth N4.17billion.

It was gathered that based on the number of risk factors associated with the importation, it became a subject of interest for the Customs Service and that led to thorough examination of the container which revealed that the container contained 844 units of rifles and 112,500 pieces of live ammunition imported into the country from Turkiye. 

By Yusuf Babalola, Leadership

Related story: Nigeria Seizes Massive Cache of Weapons Smuggled in Container from Turkey

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Video - Low life expectancy in Nigeria blamed on healthcare

Statistics from the World Bank show that life expectancy in the West African nation is only 54 years. Health experts are calling on increased funding for public health facilities across the country.