General news

Mixed feelings trail moral effect of BBN on Nigerian youths



Some concerned mothers on Sunday, expressed different  concerns over moral impact of ongoing Big Brother Naija (BBN) TV  reality show on   the children and,  especially, among   youths in the  country.

The spoke to the Nigeria News Agency bordering on the alleged  recent repeated dexual actions by some members of the house during the programme.

Some of them said that  the recent sex plays going on among the house mates had raised concerns over the future moral status of youths in the country.

The immediate past president of  the Christian Mothers at SS. Joachim and Anne Catholic Church Ijegun, a suburb of  Lagos, Mrs Josephine Eguavon,  told that the ongoing programme would implant some immoral values in most  children and youths.


“Personally, I see it as breaking  the seed moral discipline  had already planted in our youths. The Bible says,` train a child  in the way he should go and when he grows up, he’ll not depart from it`.


“For our country Nigeria, I feel when the child leaves the home front, the society that should have improved on the much the home had instilled in the child. Unfortunately  it has nothing to offer,“ she said.


According to her, the  handiwork of our leaders and those who directly or indirectly fund BBN should be censored  and see the content value more than the economic value.


A fashion designer and mother of two , Mrs Juliet Edozie,  told that the programme had no moral value, adding that it was adding more problems to the challenge of rape.

“We are trying to curb the  frequent rape cases in the country and another programme is bringing back such thoughts, it should be trashed before our children become loose,” she told

Also speaking, a pastor, Mr Tunde Awofade, said that  such programmes should be aired only late at nights when children and youths would  have gone to bed.

“It is very difficult to control what our children watch in this age of technology, the best thing is to restrict the programme to very late at night when our children must have slept,“ he told .

However, Mrs Patricia Orji, a grandmother,  described the project as a vocation rather than a moral disadvantage to the youth.

Orji, popularly called, `Ezinne` said the participants went there for economic gains and were ready to do anything that would earn them a win.

“Who will spoil, will spoil, though a few just go there to do rubbish, but nobody was forced to go ther. What about children in school, do you know what they are doing?

“These ones see it as a job that will put food on their tables; children of these days, it is the grace of God they need not to go astray  even when you lock them inside the house .

“In fact,  I don’t see anything wrong in it, who will spoil will spoil.


“Even  some married people live reckless lives, talk less of people who came out to struggle to get this opportunity and people will say it is bad,“ she said.

reports that two BBN housemates were alleged to have indulged in the immoral act on three occasions  since the reality show  commenced  about two months ago.


Edited by Peter Dada


Mixed reactions greet NOSDRA’s plan to extend mandate to downstream



Some environmentalists in Niger Delta on Thursday expressed mixed reactions on the announcement by National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to extend its regulatory mandate to the downstream sector.

Mr Idris Musa, the NOSDRA Director-General, had said that the agency would be focusing on the downstream sector to ensure compliance with environmental legislation to prevent increase in cases of pollution.

According to Musa, the agency is responsible for ensuring compliance with environmental legislation in the petroleum industry which covers the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.

He said that the upstream sector consisted of the exploration and production companies, which deal with crude oil essentially; the midstream were for refineries and depots, while the downstream was the filling stations.

However, environment stakeholders, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on the development applauded the emphasis on downstream sector.

While others said that it might lead to neglect of oilfield spills regulation.

Mr Nnimmo Bassey, a renowned environmentalist commended the move but noted that there was need for clarity between NOSDRA and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) roles in the downstream sector to avoid overlapping.

“The statements by NOSDRA are interesting. It is essential that the agency detects and responds to infringements in terms of release of hydrocarbons into the environment.

”It is, however, not clear who between NOSDRA and DPR actually regulates the sector.

“While we welcome NOSDRA’s focus on the downstream, we are concerned that the agency thinks that they have mastered the upstream territory.

“To be able to do so, the agency will require massive supply of equipment including those for overflights of oil fields and crafts for deep sea monitoring,” Bassey said.

He noted that the agency needed serious political support to penetrate the intricate web of beneficiaries from nefarious activities in the oil fields.

”This include big time oil thieves and recalcitrant and imperial oil companies,” he said.

Mr Alagoa Morris, a Bayelsa based environmental and human rights activist said that the extension of regulatory functions by NOSDRA was good but might lead to conflict with DPR.

“As good as the idea may be, some think that DPR is better saddled with facilities such as petrol stations and approval of site.

“Now that NOSDRA is showing interest, it is an opportunity to say that some stakeholders are not comfortable with the indiscriminate citing of petrol stations, especially around crowded residential areas like Yenagoa.

“Apart from residents complaining of leaks, which is dangerous there should be areas forbidden to locate petrol stations.

“Even where they ordinarily ought to be, there should be reasonable safe distances from the road and any other building. This is important to avoid stories that hurts.

“If such regulations as per acceptable distances are not there, there is need to ensure the regulations captures it in the common interest of all,” Morris said.

He said that stakeholders were not yet satisfied with NOSDRA’s role in the upstream and the intention of coming downstream was received with mixed feelings.

“Otherwise, how can Agip leave a spill point spewing crude oil since July 30, 2019 only to mobilise to site and stop it in June as it is in Kalaba community in Bayelsa state.

“The oil and gas industry is suffering regulatory capture; pure and simple,” Morris said.

Mr Inuruo Wills, an environmental lawyer and former commissioner for environment in Bayelsa said that NOSDRA needed to be well funded and equipped to deal with spills in the upstream sector.

“Downstream pollution is a tea cup compared to the ocean of oil pollution flooding petroleum host communities in the Niger Delta on a daily basis.

“NOSDRA needs to be funded and empowered on equal footing as DPR to combat Nigeria’s world record pollution from operational failures and artisanal refining.

“It is also urgent to amend the NOSDRA Act to define it as the full and superior environmental regulatory agency for the petroleum industry rather than leaving it as a mere response or reaction agency,” Wills said.

He said that the present Act had suffered from too many conceptual defects and operational gaps, frustrating the body.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take steps to relocate NOSDRA to the Niger Delta.

”Having its head office in Abuja renders it a virtual response agency instead of an actual one. It is like leaving NIMASA head office in Abuja, which will be senseless,” the former commissioner said.

However, Mr Furoebi Akene, a Surveyor and Environmental Impact Assesment expert said the move was outside the mandate of NOSDRA Act of 2006.

“It is disheartening and disappointing to hear from the helmsman of NOSDRA to leave the major responsibilities of the agency as outlined in sections 5, 6, 7 and 19 of the establishment Act 2006 and to monitor filling stations in the country.

“What then is the positions and responsibilities of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and Directorate of Petroleum Resources.

“There are incessant crude oil spills in the Niger Delta region almost on daily basis overwhelming the agency and leaving all these to shift focus on filling stations is unfortunate,” Akene said.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Grace Yussuf (NAN)
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General news

Mixed reactions trail Kaduna Govt.’s relaxation of lockdown



The government had in a broadcast on Tuesday evening, relaxed the more than two months 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. curfew, imposed on the state to contain the spread of the virus.

It also announced the re-opening of businesses and worship centres.

While some residents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , welcomed the action, others said that the time was not ripe, considering the daily increase in number of confirmed cases.

Malam Abubakar Sule, a businessman, lauded the state government for relaxing the lockdown, noting that a lot of people had gone through untold hardships during the period.

“This development will no doubt put smiles on the faces of many, especially traders and entrepreneurs, whose businesses had been grounded.

“We are concerned about the dreaded coronavirus, but life must go on,’’ Sule said.

Also, Mr David Jatau, a hotelier at Badiko area, described the decision to relax the lockdown as good news.

Jatau said that the hospitality industry in the state had suffered a serious setback as a result of the lockdown.

“With the development, the sector, including other businesses, would gradually pick up their pieces and bounce back.

“Operators of hotels will comply with the directives by the government and make available every provision for safety and prevention of the coronavirus,’’ he said.”

However, Mrs Sarah Musa, an educationist, said the government should reconsider its decision because of the increasing number of infected persons in the state.

“As much as the development has brought joy to many, we should also bear in mind that the cases, even with the lockdown, were not reducing.

“I do hope that the people, as well as the government, are prepared for any eventualities that would follow the easing of the lockdown,’’ Musa said.

Mr Odion Ideh, a health worker, also expressed the fear that there might be increase in cases.

“My fear is that our health facilities would be over stretched, and you can imagine the effect.

“In my opinion, residents should have been a little more patient until there is a remarkable reduction in cases because only the living can do business and grow the economy,” Ideh said.

Mr Gideon Musa, a cleric, commended the government for re-opening worship centres, saying that prayers would be intensified to combat the disease.

“Although people have been praying in their homes, there is need for believers to gather together for collective prayers to end this virus,” Musa said.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)
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COVID-19: Mixed feelings trail compulsory wearing of face masks in Lagos 



Some Lagos residents have expressed diverse views on the compulsory wearing of face masks in public places as directed by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the order, which took effect from April 25 after the ease of five weeks lockdown in Lagos, was aimed at curtailing the spread of coronavirus disease in the state.

Godswill Adiri, an entertainer, told NAN that it was a good step by Gov. Sanwo-Olu to have compelled Lagosians to wear face masks as it would curb the spread of the COVID-19.

Adiri said that people must wake up to the reality of the presence of the virus and join in the fight against the virus by wearing the face masks.

“The NCDC COVID-19 updates in Lagos and other states of the federation show that there are daily increases in the number of infected persons.

“Lagos has a peculiar situation because of the population and so, Lagosians must wear the face mask to save their lives.

“The order is very explicit, ‘wear a face mask in public places’.

“And I believe it’s for few hours that one will have to stay outside the home.

“I wear it and no inconveniences,’’ the entertainer said.

Agatha Ethelbert, a trader, told NAN that she complied with the wearing of face mask order as a law-abiding citizen.

Ethelbert, who sells household items in Alagbado area of Lagos, said that in her shop, she only attended to customers who wore a face mask.

“I am wearing facemask as you can see, to protect myself from contacting coronavirus disease and more so, that I am attending to different people.

“But it’s inconveniencing and makes me sweat a lot when I wear it in the shop.

“Although, I try to encourage my customers to wear their face masks, whenever I notice any customer who does not wear the mask.

An auxiliary nurse, who gave her name as Sister Chi, told NAN that face mask was a protective measure against coronavirus.

She said, the use of mask was strange and new to people outside the medical profession, but that the ravaging COVID-19 necessitated its use.

“By now, people should not complain or give excuses but should get used to wearing of their face mask in the public as required by the authorities on COVID-19,’’ she said.

According to Chi, adherence to the use of face mask, regular hand washing, use of hand sanitisers, social distancing and other precautionary measures would go a long way in keeping safe from COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Lizzy Omojuwa-Okiye, Human Resource Practitioner, told NAN that wearing of face mask has been turned to comedy as some wear it without purpose.

“Wearing of face mask should be with a mission to keep safe.

“Some people put it on for mockery, while others just put it on when they come across security agents.

“We should be convinced in our minds that it is meant for protection and not just for the fun of it,’’ she said.

Edited By: Josephine Obute/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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Oil & Gas

Mixed reactions trail FG’s deregulation of downstream oil sector



Some experts in the Oil and Gas sector have expressed concern over Federal Government’s pronouncement of deregulating the downstream oil and gas sector without a law backing it.

Prof. Wumi Iledare, the former President, Nigeria Association of Energy Economics (NAEE) told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday that government needed to back the deregulation with a new law.

“Deregulation has to be backed by dissolution or discontinuation of an existing regulation or law.

The Petroleum Act 1969 as amended, empowers the Minister of Petroleum to set the price and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Act is the enabler as from the name.

He noted that when the downstream oil sector was properly deregulated, it would be in the gazette for full implementation.

“To deregulate, there must be a regulation gazette not implied from executive order or in the front pages of the newspaper.

“You cannot have an unstructured PPPRA and Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and claim to have a deregulated downstream,” he said.

Mr Joseph Nwakwue, the Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigerian Council, argued that the government was yet to deregulate the downstream, especially as there was yet to be an amendment or change in the existing legislative framework.

“Deregulation?  That is a tall one. Do you fix prices in a deregulated market?

“To deregulate, the downstream would require change in the existing legislative framework and market structure in my humble opinion.

“We may have set the pump price at cost recovery levels but have not taken the necessary steps towards deregulating the sector.”

Meanwhile, Dr Billy Gills-Harry, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) said government should make open the terms of the deregulation to enable marketers carry out their functions in line with the guidelines.

“There is no hard and fast rule as to how a particular policy can be reviewed. Most policy is mostly an executive exercise or order.

“If the Minister of Petroleum Resources, which is President Muhammadu Buhari, is speaking through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Slyva to say that deregulation has started; we cannot fault it.

“The only thing we can say is that, what are the rules? What are the extant laws backing it? What are the situations that would   make sure that this deregulation stands?

“What would be the role of the PPPRA then? What would PEF be doing? Those are the questions,’’ he said.

According to him, the minister is not wrong if he says that deregulation has started.

“The only thing I will request him to do is to engage PETROAN and other stakeholders.

“This is because in the petroleum sector, PETROAN is a very critical stakeholder because we are the last mile in the distribution chain before the consumers get the products for their vehicles or get gas in their cylinders to cook,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Sylva had on May 14 announced that deregulation of the downstream oil sector took effect on March 19, with the reduction of the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit also known as petrol.

He said the PPPRA would continue the pricing modulation of petroleum products to protect the interest of consumers and not allow profiteering among marketers.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Grace Yussuf (NAN)
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