BBC Launches Yoruba And Igbo services In Nigeria

Two new language services have been launched by the BBC World Service for Igbo and Yoruba speakers in Nigeria and West and Central Africa.

Their digital content is mainly aimed at audiences who use mobile phones.

Igbo is primarily spoken in south-east Nigeria and Yoruba in the south-west, as well as in Benin and Togo.

The new services are part of the World Service’s biggest expansion since the 1940s, following a government-funding boost announced in 2016 .

In total, 12 services are being launched by the BBC in Africa and Asia.

The BBC’s expansion in Nigeria – Africa’s most populous country where more than 200 languages are spoken – began last year with BBC Pidgin, which targets those who use the regional English-based lingua franca.

It is primarily an oral language, without a standard agreed written form.

The BBC Igbo and Yoruba teams have also faced challenges to standardise their written languages for modern audiences – and have sought advice from academics.

“Yoruba can be very confusing for younger readers because it has so many inflections, so we using a less complex system to appeal to them,” says Yoruba service editor Temidayo Olofinsawo.

There are very few news publications in Igbo and Yoruba in Nigeria, so it is hoped the new BBC services will be popular with Nigerians at home – and in the diaspora.

“This is the first time the Igbo language will be written and broadcast for international consumption,” says Adline Okere, editor of the Igbo service.

“Igbos are known for their entrepreneurial spirit – and they are spread all over the world,” she says.

What is on offer?

The teams will produce a twice daily bulletin of BBC Minute – an audio round-up of stories as well as news, analysis, explainers and features on the web and social media.

Image captionThe BBC Yoruba team and a language professor grapple with the finer points of style and grammar


The BBC’s head of West Africa, Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, says the focus will be on original journalism.

“Delivering content and engaging with the Igbo and Yoruba audiences in their mother tongues is authentic, exciting and refreshing,” she says.

“We have had BBC Hausa [mainly spoken in northern Nigeria] for decades and we’ve seen the impact it had with its audience.

“When we look at Nigeria we have a multicultural society and the BBC felt that it was very important to give all the cultures a platform to communicate, a platform to interact.”

Yoruba – seven things

  • Best-known Yoruba speaker is Wole Soyinka, Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet
  • More than 40 million speakers, mainly in south-western Nigeria
  • A word with the same spelling can have different meanings, for example “owo” is money, honour, hand or broom – depending on the tone
  • More people practise the traditional Yoruba religion in South America and the Caribbean than in Nigeria – as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • A thriving Yoruba film and music industry powers Nollywood
  • A famous proverb: “Ile laawo k’a to s’ọmọ lorukọ” meaning: “You should name your child to reflect your family background”.
  • is also onFacebook and Instagram

Igbo – seven things

  • Best-known Igbo speaker was Chinua Achebe, regarded as the founding father of African literature
  • Estimated to have more than 30 million speakers, mainly in south-eastern Nigeria
  • A word with the same spelling can have different meanings, for example “akwa” is bed, egg, cloth or burial rights – depending on its tone
  • An Igbo secessionist movement sparked a brutal civil war in 1967
  • The caffeine-rich kola nut is all important in Igbo culture – always offered to welcome guests
  • A famous proverb: “Onye wetara ọjị, wetara ndụ” meaning: “He who brings kola, brings life”
  • is also on Facebookand Instagram


Farting Passenger Causes Flight To Make Emergency Landing

A flight from Dubai to Amsterdam had to make an emergency landing in Vienna after a fight broke out because one of the passengers wouldn’t stop breaking wind.

The fart-induced fracas happened Feb. 11 aboard Transavia Airlines Flight HV6902 when two men sitting next to an apparently very flatulent man raised a stink about his repeated gas attacks, according to Fox News.

When the alleged perpetrator didn’t stop, his disgusted seatmates reportedly complained to the airline crew, who apparently did nothing.

Instead, the captain issued a warning to the two complainants, accusing them of noisy and aggressive behavior and making threats, according to the NL Times.

When the freedom-from-flatulence fighters wouldn’t stop griping about their fellow passenger, a fight broke out on the plane, according to the Dutch language newspaper De Telegraaf.


The pilots then made an emergency stop in Vienna and removed the complainants, but apparently not the farting man. Two women sitting in the same row as the angry men were also forced off the plane as well.

All four people reportedly shared Dutch and Moroccan ancestry, but the two women claim they were simply sitting in the same row as the men involved with the incident.

The women are now taking the Dutch budget airline to court, according to the Metro.

“We had nothing to do with the whole disturbance. We distance ourselves from that. Do they sometimes think that all Moroccans cause problems? That’s why we do not let it sit,” one of the women said, according to De Telegraaf. ”We had no idea who these boys were, we just had the bad luck to be in the same row and we didn’t do anything.”

“All I will say is that the crew were really provocative and stirred things up,” she added.

None of the passengers kicked off the plane were arrested because they had not broken any Austrian laws. However, they have been banned from flying Transavia Airlines in the future.

HuffPost reached out to Transavia Airlines, which did not immediately respond. The airline did offer this statement to De Telegraaf that was translated by the NL Times:

Our crew must ensure a safe flight. If passengers pose a risk, they immediately intervene. Our people are trained for that. They know very well where the boundaries are. Transavia therefore stands squarely behind the cabin crew and the pilots.

The airline has reportedly filed a police report about the incident in the Netherlands said it was “open to a conversation with these women.”


Culled from Huffington Post

Don’t Use Travelodge When Travelling With Your Kids….Or You’d be Branded A Paedophile

A FATHER staying at a hotel with his teenage daughter while visiting his cancer-stricken mother has blasted staff who called police and told them he was a paedophile.

Karl Pollard, 46, was forced to fend off claims he was a sex offender after booking into a Travelodge in Cheshire – only for workers to call the authorities after mistakenly believing he was grooming an underage girl.
Mr Pollard, had taken Stephanie, 14, to visit his mum, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, and checked into the hotel, near her home in Macclesfield earlier this month. But not long after arriving, the police knocked on the door of the room and levelled the baseless accusations against him.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it. It was an emotional trip already – but it was made so much worse.

“One minute I was brushing my teeth, the next I was being told I was a paedophile.”

Karl Pollard

Karl Pollard says he has yet to receive an apology from Travelodge

The pair had made the four-hour train journey from their home in south Wales to visit his mother.

He explained: “My mum has just been diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer. We’re not sure how long she has left.

“I wanted to take Stephanie down to visit her before she started treatment.” Mr Pollard, who also cares for wife Kim, 45, who has multiple sclerosis, was forced to book a double bedroom because it was the only room left.

He said: “When we arrived the receptionist gave me a weird look but I thought nothing of it.

“We went up to the room to get unpacked and ready to see my mum. It was only a 20-minute walk away – which is why I chose the hotel. “About 10 minutes later there was a knock at the door.


Travelodge in Macclesfield, branded dad Karl a paedophile
A policewoman was standing there. I thought something had happened to my mum or my wife. “But she said, ‘We’ve had a call from Travelodge, they believe you are a paedophile grooming underage girls’.”

The policewoman interviewed Mr Pollard and Stephanie separately. He said: “I explained to her that I was Stephanie’s dad. The officer had to ask her loads of questions to prove it.”

The matter was rapidly dropped, but Stephanie was left “distraught” as a result. Mr Pollard said: “My daughter was in tears. She was so scared – and thought I was going to get taken away. This has never happened to me before. It was an already traumatic trip. I was treated disgustingly.”

Karl Pollard travelling with daughter was branded a paedophile by Travelodge staff

A Travelodge spokesman said: “”We are sorry for any distress caused to Mr Pollard. We take our responsibilities towards protecting children and vulnerable young people extremely seriously. All our hotel teams are trained according to national guidelines supported by the NSPCC, which have also been approved by the National Working Group on child sexual exploitation, South Yorkshire Police and the MET Police.

In the past, proactive action by our hotel teams has helped to safeguard young people at risk. In this instance we got it wrong and we have apologised to Mr Pollard, as well as refunded his stay.”

A Cheshire Police spokesman said: “Police were called at 3pm on Thursday, February 8, to reports of suspicious activity at a hotel on Waters Green in Macclesfield.

“Staff at the Travelodge did the right thing by reporting what they believed to be suspicious activity to officers, although thankfully there was nothing untoward and it turned out to be a misunderstanding.”


Culled from

Husband Of Murdered MP JO Cox Resigns From Charities Following Accusations Of Sexual Harassment

THE widower of murdered MP Jo Cox has quit the charity set up in her memory after being accused of misconduct.

Brendan, 39, told colleagues last week he was to stand down from the Jo Cox Foundation board to protect its work.

A woman in her 30s has claimed he assaulted her at Harvard University in 2015.

But a source at the charity said: “The person described is not the Brendan we know. He is a very responsible guy.”

Mr Cox said the allegations made it difficult to concentrate on the vows he made to protect his two kids and “fight the hatred that killed Jo”.

Last night he issued a statement to apologise for his behaviour while working for Save The Children and the “hurt and offence I caused”.

murdered MP Jo Cox

He said: “While I do not accept the allegations in the 2015 complaint to the police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I acknowledge and understand that during my time at Save the Children I made mistakes and behaved in a way that caused some women hurt and offence.

“This was never malicious but it was certainly inappropriate.

“In the past I focused on disputing what I felt was untrue in the allegations, but I realise now that it’s more important to take full responsibility for what I have done.”


Culled from The Sun

First A Snake Was Blamed. Now Another Official Blames Boko Haram For More Missing Jamb Money

The Yobe State Coordinator of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board, Sanusi Atose, has blamed the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s North-East for his inability to account for N613,000 belonging to the board.

JAMB had summoned Mr. Atose to Abuja to appear before an administrative panel led by Registrar Ishaq Oloyede to explain the disappearance of the cash after he received registration scratch cards of that amount.

But in his explanation, the official, according to details of the session exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, claimed an alleged Boko Haram attack in Yobe State left him unable to account for the money.

Mr. Atose said tellers, receipts and invoices were destroyed in the attack, which he said left him with no documentation for the transaction.

Mr. Oloyede, a professor, however, dismissed Mr. Atose’s claim as another disingenuous cover-up for fraud.

“Kindly go and pay government money within one week, else you will be in trouble,” the registrar told Mr. Atose.

Also appearing before the panel, Daniel Agbor, who is the Kogi State coordinator of JAMB, said he spent N7 million his office could not account for on assisting other workers in his office, who he said were ravaged by poverty.

He also claimed that some of the cards sent to the state were stolen by unknown persons.

“The state of the state offices is such that we are in poverty and money is there with us,” the coordinator told the panel.

“You need the grace of God in the state offices not to steal money because money is tempting. We borrowed the money and I am not the only one, I will provide the list of everyone involved in the fraud,” Mr Agbor said.

“To err is human, to forgive is divine, please don’t take me to the police, please be lenient with me, sir,” he pleaded.

“If you hear that I have given up in the police cell, will you say I am sorry? I just gave birth to my first issue. Most of us are on loan, my salary is N175, 000, but when they deduct my loans, my salary remains N90,000, which is not enough for me so I borrowed from the government purse,” Mr. Agbor said.

Mr. Agbor told the panel that he paid N265,000 into an account allegedly on the instruction of the former registrar of the board.

“I was informed of missing scratch cards, but security personnel, the police and civil defence, invaded the office, retrieved the cards and they paid some money back. I informed the former registrar and he directed me to send the money to an account, which I did. I later learnt the money was transferred to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence. So that one was not calculated at all,” he said.

But the panel told Mr. Agbor his defence was untenable.

“I will give you one week from today as we speak,” Mr. Oloyede told the coordinator. “I want to see you pay everything in your custody, else I will hand you over to the police.

“Deduct the N265, 000 from the N7 million, then give us the account in which the former registrar gave you to send the money to.”

JAMB became a subject of intense media scrutiny this week following reports that an official at its Makurdi, Benue State office, Philomena Chieshe, claimed a snake swallowed N36 million government cash in her custody.


Read more at PremiumTimes

World Bank Approves Multi Million Dollar IDA Credit For Rehabilitation Of Nigeria’s Electricity Transmission

The World Bank on Friday approved an International Development Association (IDA) Credit of 486 million dollars for the rehabilitation and upgrading of electricity transmission substations and lines.

Ms Olufunke Olofon, Senior Communications Officer, World Bank, Nigeria, in a statement said that the investments would increase the power transfer capacity of the transmission network.

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grant, low to zero-interest loans for projects that boost economic growth and reduce poverty.

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, said the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project (NETP) would help address key bottlenecks in the transmission network.



“It will also improve access to affordable and reliable electricity service to citizens. The credit will also enable distribution companies supply consumers with additional power.

“Together with other investments and policy measures, the project will contribute to ensuring adequate and reliable electricity supply that is necessary for Nigeria’s continued economic development,” he said.

The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, reiterated the government’s commitment to improving power supply in the country.

“The Federal Government is committed to addressing the challenges in the public-owned transmission network.

“The financing being provided by the World Bank under the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project power sector underlines this commitment.

“The Federal Government anticipates that private sector financing in the privately-owned segments of the value-chain will complement the government’s efforts in bringing better quality service to citizens,” he said.

The NETP is part of the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) by the Federal Government.

It is a comprehensive package of policy, legal, regulatory, operational and financial interventions that will restore the financial viability of the power sector.

The measures that will be implemented through 2021 are aimed at improving transparency and service delivery and re-establishing investor confidence in the sector.

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Nigeria’s New High Commissioner to the UK Visits Nigerians in Manchester

The new high commissioner Retd Justice George Oguntade CON visited the city of Manchester for a town hall meet and greet session with Nigerians.

At the event organised by the Nigerian community Manchester, the High Commissioner was accompanied by CANUK Chairman Dr Boma Douglas, the Minister for Education, Welfare Mr Emmanuel Namah and other top mission officials. The High Commissioner was welcomed to Manchester by the Chairman of the Nigerian Community in Manchester , Mr Are Arogundade.