Stories written by Sam Olukoya

Nigeria Struggles to Care for its Adolescents Living With HIV

HIV among teenagers is devastating families in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, where AIDS has become the No. 1 killer of adolescents.

Crisis of Poverty and Inequality in Oil rich Nigeria

With a production capacity of over 3 million barrels of crude oil per day Nigeria is Africa’s top crude oil producer and the continent’s largest economy. But Nigeria’s wealth has only benefited a privileged few while majority of the citizens remain poor. Poverty and inequality in Nigeria have increased crime rate and heightened crisis including the insurgency of the terrorist group Boko Haram.

AIDS Is No. 1 Killer of African Teenagers

Two years ago, Shola* was kicked out of the family house in Abeokuta, in southwestern Nigeria, after testing HIV-positive at age 13. He was living with his father, his stepmother and their seven children.

Nigeria Wakes Up to its AIDS Threat

Tope Tayo’s marriage broke up 11 years ago after she tested positive for HIV. Her angry and embarrassed husband took away their only child. Three months later, when the one year old boy tested positive, the husband dumped him with Tayo and absconded.

Time for Nigeria to Curb its Own Emissions

Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. A significant percentage of this pollution takes place in the Niger Delta region thanks to the existence of multination oil companies and the activities of hundreds of illegal refineries where local people process stolen crude oil.For a country that is at the receiving end of the environmental impact of climate change, there is a growing sense that this West African country should curb its emission of greenhouse gases. Private initiatives and effective legislation are likely to play crucial roles in Nigeria’s drive to curbing its emissions.

Time for Nigeria to Curb its Own Emissions from IPS News on Vimeo.

Nigeria – From Sticks and Machetes to Rocket-propelled Grenades

Nigerians are beginning to adjust to the sad reality that they live in a country where suicide bombers and terrorists could be lurking around the next corner thanks to a ready supply of advanced weapons smuggled through the country’s porous borders. 

Lack of Funds Hampering Nigeria’s Fight Against Climate Change

Nigeria experienced its worst flooding which left a trail of destruction in 2012. Meteorologists are forecasting more flooding this year but, beyond warning those who face flooding, the government has not done much to move them as it lacks the money to relocate them.

In Ajegunle, a low-lying slum in Lagos, flooding is also disrupting the economic activities of women Credit: Sam Olukoya/IPS

NIGERIA: Fearing the Floods – Sleeping with One Eye Open

The women of Makoko, a low-lying slum close to the Lagos Lagoon along Nigeria’s Atlantic coast, always sleep with one eye open. Many live in fear that when they go to sleep at night they will wake to flooded homes and business.

West African farmers see climate changing

Women in West Africa have over the years relied on fishing and farming as their traditional source of income. But as Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos, changing weather patterns caused by climate change have put their livelihood under threat.

NIGERIA: A Deadly Case of Mistaken Identity

The worst day of Olaniyi Emiola’s life was Mar. 17, 1998. At least it was for Olaniyi Emiola, 22, the spare motor parts trader. For Olaniyi Emiola, the armed robber, it was a lucky escape as another man with the same name had been wrongly sentenced to death for a crime he committed.

The bombing of the U.N. building in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, claimed 23 lives and wounded 81 people on Aug. 26.  Credit: Chris Ewokor/IPS

NIGERIA: Lax Security Reason for U.N. Bombing

Security experts say that unless something is done to regulate the high level of illicit transactions and proliferation of commercial explosives in Nigeria, scenes like the United Nations suicide bombing will become more frequent.

NIGERIA: Refined Oil Shortage Continues for Africa’s Largest Producer

"We are suffering in the midst of plenty." That was how Nelson Ilemchi summed up his plight as he spent an entire day queuing to buy kerosene. Since January Africa’s largest producer of crude oil has been experiencing a protracted nationwide scarcity of the refined product.

Explosions Greet Nigerian President’s New Term

Bomb blasts hit a military base in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi on Sunday, killing ten and injuring more than a dozen just hours after the swearing in ceremony of President Goodluck Jonathan in the capital, Abuja. News reports also said three others died in a bombing in Zuba, just outside the capital.

Makoko, Lagos: Microcredit is helping women take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities. Credit:  Sarah Simpson/IRIN

NIGERIA: Women Giving Each Other a Hand Up

In an open space near her home in Makoko, a crowded suburb of the sprawling city of Lagos, Latifat Agboola sits in the midst of bags of charcoal, attending to her customers. Some of them call her "the charcoal woman with the dirty job, but she sees herself as a businesswoman on the rise.

/UPDATE*/: Violence Threatens Nigerian Elections

Nigeria's staggered general elections have been postponed after the Independent National Electoral Commission was unable to deliver voting materials to polling stations in time. Campaigning for the polls was overshadowed by pre-election violence including bombings and gun attacks on campaign rallies, politically-motivated assassinations and violent clashes between members of rival parties.

Campaign billboards in Kano. Credit:  Aminu Abubakar/IRIN

Violence Threatens Nigerian Elections

As Nigerians go to the polls on Apr. 2, pre-election violence has raised fears the elections will not be free and fair. The campaign period has featured bombings and gun attacks on campaign rallies, politically-motivated assassinations and violent clashes between members of rival parties.

An armed Ijaw militant in Tombia, near Port Harcourt the Niger Delta's principal city. Credit:  George Osodi/IRIN

Niger Delta Demands for Justice Undaunted by Decades of Violence

Nigerian environmental rights groups have been making the case for the expulsion of oil companies from the Niger Delta in the southeastern part of the country at the World Social Forum in Dakar.

Health System Failing Nigeria’s Youngest Citizens

Despite some progress, Nigeria is lagging behind its peers in reducing deaths among children under five. The mortality rate remains worryingly high for newborn infants - 700 children less than 28 days old die in the country every day.

Environmental damage in the Niger Delta: will a new law at least trade jobs exchange jobs for devastation? Credit:  Dulue Mbachu/IRIN

NIGERIA: New Law to Promote Locals in Oil Industry

"This bill seeks to address the compelling need for us as a nation to have indigenous participation in the industry." With these words, Nigeria’s acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Bill into law.

2004 photo of Ijaw militants in a Niger Delta village. Credit:  George Osodi/IRIN

NIGERIA: No Oil Company Will Know Peace in the Creeks

Three flow stations in the oil-rich Niger Delta have had to be closed after a pipeline was sabotaged, according to Royal Dutch Shell.

Niger Delta militants with hostages in 2006: a campaign of kidnapping and attacks on oil installation has crippled Nigeria's oil exports. Credit:  Gretchen Wilson/IRIN

NIGERIA: Slow Start for Niger Delta Amnesty

Nigeria’s president Umaru Yar’Adua is embarking on an ambitious move to end armed insurgency in the country’s oil-rich Niger Delta region.

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