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Nigeria cracks down on online money lenders

Nigeria cracks down on online money lenders

MACDONALD DZIRUTWE NIGERIA is cracking down on unregistered online money lenders who provide short-term loans without security at high interest, the consumer protection agency said, adding it had asked Google to remove some lenders' apps from its play store. Known as "loan sharks" for their aggressive recovery methods, the lenders charge interest as high as 45% per annum. Applicants download an app, fill a form and are asked to allow the lender access to their contacts for "risk management purposes." Millions of Nigerians who lack bank accounts or security to borrow turn to these lenders for loans starting from 2,000…
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Patriarchy persists in Nigeria – and men aren’t the only ones who keep it that way

Patriarchy persists in Nigeria – and men aren’t the only ones who keep it that way

CHRISLAND Schools on Victoria Island in Lagos was recently in the news for the wrong reasons. Nigerian newspapers – and some further afield – carried the story of an incident in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during the World School Games in March 2022. There were allegations of drug use, pornography and sex by under-aged children – four boys and a girl – representing their school in the games. The students allegedly had sex and it was recorded. The recording later went viral. Four teachers, three male and one female, have been charged in court over the incident. The teachers were…
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Nigerians feel the pinch as food prices continue to spiral. There aren’t easy solutions

Nigerians feel the pinch as food prices continue to spiral. There aren’t easy solutions

NIGERIA is grappling with rising food prices, as reflected in the spike in inflation. The annual inflation rate accelerated for a sixth straight month to 19.64% in July 2022, the highest rate since January 2017. The Conversation Africa asked economist Ndubisi Nwokoma about the spike, and what steps the government can take. How bad is the food price issue in Nigeria? The increasing cost of food in Nigeria has significantly affected the living standards of ordinary citizens. It has become a serious cause for concern. For instance, the average price of one kilogram of beans rose on a year-on-year basis…
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Nigerians who fled Boko Haram face new dangers

Nigerians who fled Boko Haram face new dangers

WHEN Aisha found out she would be evicted from her camp for displaced people in northeastern Nigeria, the only thing she knew for certain was that she could not go home to the town devastated by Boko Haram militants five years earlier. The 15-year-old is one of the millions of people driven from their homes into camps due to an Islamist insurgency that has killed nearly 350,000 people, with many now facing an uncertain future as local authorities close the makeshift settlements. "What will I be going back home to meet? Boko Haram militants destroyed our homes, our schools, our farms and…
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Toxic mix of bandits, arms, drugs and terrorism is alarming Nigerians: what now?

Toxic mix of bandits, arms, drugs and terrorism is alarming Nigerians: what now?

BANDITRY in Nigeria emerged as an isolated rural phenomenon in the late 2000s. It’s now evolved into sophisticated violent criminality, characterised by syndicates with immense reach across regions and countries. The trend of recent attacks in northern Nigeria suggest it has now become an aggravated threat, driven by a nexus of banditry, arms, drugs and terrorism. There is evidence of a tacit synergy between terrorist elements and bandits in northern Nigeria, a synergy based on tactical opportunism or pragmatism. Author AL CHUKWUMA OKOLI, Senior Lecturer and Consultant-researcher, Department of Political Science, Federal University Lafia In the early 2010s, bandits were…
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More Nigerians take up COVID shots after expired doses destroyed

More Nigerians take up COVID shots after expired doses destroyed

ABRAHAM ARCHIGA ABUBAKAR Yusuf, an informal Nigerian trader, said he was scared to get a COVID-19 shot after hearing the country had stocks of expired vaccines. That changed, however, when health authorities destroyed more than a million expired doses last month. Nigeria's vaccine rollout has slowly gained pace since then as public confidence increases and the government has assured citizens they will not receive expired doses. Nigerians like Yusuf were rattled by reports of vaccines with looming expiry dates and worried about whether the shots they would get were safe and effective, complicating the government's efforts to get as many…
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What Nigerians told us about their mental health under COVID-19 lockdown

What Nigerians told us about their mental health under COVID-19 lockdown

IN Nigeria, mental illness is highly stigmatised and mental healthcare is not widely available. Resources, facilities and health staff are in short supply and disorders may not be well understood at the primary healthcare level. LEVI OSUAGWU, Research fellow, Western Sydney University KINGSLEY EMWINYORE AGHO, Associate Professor, Western Sydney University RICHARD OLORUNTOBA, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management & Supply Chain Management Lead, Curtin University It’s been estimated that 80% of individuals with serious mental health needs in Nigeria cannot access care. With fewer than 300 city-based psychiatrists for a population of over 200 million, caring for the mentally ill…
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Nigerians refer to violence as ‘intergroup conflict’: what’s actually at play is xenophobia

Nigerians refer to violence as ‘intergroup conflict’: what’s actually at play is xenophobia

NIGERIA, a country of over 208 million people, is made up of more than 250 ethnic groups. Its history is littered with ethnic rivalry and competition. TOSIN OLONISAKIN, Social Psychologist, Ekiti State University Throughout history, preference and preservation of one’s kin or kind has been evident. The sense of ‘weness’ and ‘theyness’ has been behind devastating wars and conflicts. These conflicts have different names, including racism, xenophobia, nationalism or ethnocentrism. Nigeria has experienced such conflicts in the past and still does. But different terms are used to describe the violence. Sometimes it is called prejudice or discrimination or sometimes ethnocentrism…
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U.S. slaps more election-related visa restrictions on Nigerians

U.S. slaps more election-related visa restrictions on Nigerians

THE United States has imposed additional visa restrictions on Nigerians over election-related activities in the African nation, the State Department said, accusing them of being responsible for undermining the democratic process. The restrictions were imposed on the individuals, who were not named, "for their actions surrounding the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa State elections and in the run up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo State elections," the State Department said in a statement. "These individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles," State Department spokeswoman…
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‘Don’t be cowards,” minister tells Nigerians

‘Don’t be cowards,” minister tells Nigerians

NIGERIA’S defence minister prompted criticism yesterday for urging Nigerians not to "be cowards" and to stand up to armed bandits, while security forces embarked on a mission to rescue 42 people kidnapped from a boarding school this week. The comments by Bashir Salihi Magashi, a retired army major, came on Wednesday, hours after gunmen abducted dozens of people, including 27 students, from the Government Science secondary school in the Kagara district of north-central Niger state. The Nigeria Police Force, in a statement on Thursday, said a massive search and rescue mission was being carried out alongside the military in which…
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