Facebook Shuts Down Ads For An Entire Country

Facebook has taken the unusual step of shutting down ads for an entire nation.

The social network said it has turned off ads in Thailand following the death of the country’s deeply revered king. It’s the first time Facebook has imposed an ad blackout for a whole country.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 70-year reign came to an end on Thursday when he died at the age of 88. Facebook (FB, Tech30) said in a post that removing ads is “a cultural custom” during the mourning period.

It admitted that it doesn’t yet know how long Thailand will be mourning the king, whose unifying appeal stretched across Thai society.

According to the royal palace, all government buildings will fly the national flag at half-staff for 30 days starting Friday, and all civil servants have been ordered to wear black clothing for a year.

Facebook declined to comment further on the ad shutdown. Its post said advertisers within Thailand can still run ads outside the country.

Other websites took measures to reflect the country’s somber mood. Google (GOOGL, Tech30)’s homepage in Thailand was changed to a dark-gray-and-white color scheme, although ads were still showing up for some searches.

Read More: cnn

NOUN Shuts Five Illegal Study Centres In Lagos

The National Open University of Nigeria said on Friday that it had identified and closed down five illegal study centres operating in different parts of Lagos.

The Director, Media and Information of the institution, Malam Ibrahim Sheme, explained that the decision was taken following reports from some concerned Nigerians.

He said that NOUN had to constitute a committee to monitor the activities of its study centres nationwide, in the interest of the general public.

He said, “We will continue to clamp down on the activities of such centres, whose main aim is to defraud Nigerians of their hard-earned incomes, given the economic situation in the country today.

“We just visited Lagos to monitor our centres and their operations and discovered five illegal study centres operating there.

“Anyone who wants to run a study centre must go through due process by officially registering with the institution, subject to meeting all the laid-down criteria.

“It is not by doing it illegally or by way of fraud. Those who discuss with NOUN for such purpose are given permission to do that, after meeting the prescribed requirements.”

Sheme said that all those found to have been operating the illegal study centres of the institution would be made to face legal action.

He also decried the collaboration of owners of some major schools by allowing operators of such centres to cite the centres in their institutions.

Sheme said that such school owners would also be prosecuted alongside the operators of the illegal study centres, stressing that ignorance of the law was not an excuse.

Read More: punchng

NNPC Shuts Pipeline’s Valve Over Leak

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shut a valve in a pipeline in the Niger Delta after a gas leak following an explosion, a community leader told Reuters yesterday.

Militant group, Niger Delta Avengers has claimed it blew up the pipeline.

“At around 4 a.m. we heard the loud noise of an explosion, then a sound like rain so we came out and saw gas gushing out from the NNPC pipeline,but there is no fire there now,” said Nsikak Joshua, a community leader in Ikot-Osute, the site of the blast.

Meanwhile, oil-rich Okpai in Ndokwa east local government area of Delta State, the host community of Agip Independent Power Plant, has decried the alleged abandonment of the shore protection project by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The chairman of Okpai Community Development Committee (CDC), Chief John Emordi, made the claim when he visited Mr Nnamdi Ezechi, the commissioner representing Ndokwa ethnic nationality on the board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).

Emordi lamented that that there was nothing to show for the over 50 years of oil and gas exploitation in the community and the peace the exploration companies enjoyed  while operating in the area.

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Govt Shuts Firm Supplying Militants With Explosives

The Federal Government has uncovered a firm which supplies militants the explosives with which they have been bombing oil installations in the Niger Delta.

The firm was said to have diverted 9,000 kilogrammes of nitro-glycerine explosives and 16,420 pieces of detonators to the militants for “illegal use”.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj.-Gen. Muhammed Babagana Monguno yesterday said investigation revealed that the explosives allegedly diverted by Nigerian Development and Construction Company (NDCC) based in Koko, Delta State, were being used by militants to bomb oil installations and facilities.

According to him, an inventory of the records of explosive magazines and quarries in the region, revealed the diversion of a large quantity of explosives and pieces of detonators.

 NDCC, an importer and seller of explosives, has been sealed off, and its explosive’s licence withdrawn.

The company has also been blacklisted.

Six people –  a store officer and five security operatives – have been arrested and are being interrogated, Gen. Monguno said.

He added: “Right now investigations have been conducted and I can assure you they are deeply culpable and appropriate actions will be taken. Let me once again reiterate that  any individual or company that operates outside the confines of legitimacy and legality will find himself or itself to blame.  I also want to add that the government  of the day will not listen to any influence peddler  in the society on behalf of any company that decides to sabotage national security.”

Further explaining the development, Minister of Solid Minerals Development Dr Kayode Fayemi, in a statement by his media aide, Yinka Oyebode, said: “This is in addition to the blacklisting of the company and withdrawal of its explosive licences.

“The development is sequel to investigations by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), which revealed that the company was involved in illegal diversion of about 9,000 kg of Nitro-glycerine explosives and 16,420 pieces of electrical detonators from its magazines between 2015 and 2016.”

The minister warned of manufacturers, importers, sellers and end users of explosives in the country  to desist from unprofessional sale, procurement, storage and use of explosives in line with the provisions of the Explosives Act of 1964 , the Explosives Regulations of 1967 and other extant policy directives.

The NSA also accused two companies – Notore Chemical Industry Limited and Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals – which were granted the exclusive rights to manufacture fertiliser for local consumption, of exporting the bulk of their products.

The firms granted the licence after the Federal Government banned the importation of fertilisers following discovery that certain grades of fertilisers were being used to manufacture the Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) employed by terrorists.

 Gen. Monguno said the ONSA and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also facilitated necessary importation of raw materials and ensured secured distribution networks with the objective of solving a national security problem and boosting local production of the product thereby boosting the economy.

He said the cumulative annual production of the two companies is estimated at 2.05 million metric tons while the estimated national consumption rate is 1.1 million metric tons leaving the companies with a cumulative export value of about 47 percent.

Gen. Monguno said: “However, the Office of the National Security Adviser has observed with total dismay, some unpatriotic act and abuse of the goodwill of the government. Reports of these companies have indicated that about 71 per cent of the 2.05 million metric tons cumulative annual production is being exported to the detriment of our national economy.

“This has resulted in a spike in the price of urea-based fertilisers in Nigeria with obvious implications on food security in the country.

“In view of the foregoing, I wish to categorically state that the government will continue to adhere to the rule of law, however, it must be noted that the rule of law is not akin to anarchy. Accordingly, this office will not hesitate to close and withdraw the operating licence of any company that exports products without first meeting local consumption.  This office and the Ministry will work to put in place measures to assess  production and determine exportable quantity by the respective companies.”

Monguno, who was joined by Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri  and other top officials of the ONSA, noted that due to the unpatriotic acts of the companies,  local farmers are suffering lack of fertilisers.

Credit: TheNation

Shell Shuts Trans Niger Pipeline As Avengers Strikes Again

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) group said it had bombed an ExxonMobil facility in southern Nigeria just as Shell announced closure of a key oil pipeline, in the latest blow to output.

“At about 7:30 pm (1830 GMT) the Niger Delta Avengers blow up ExxonMobil Qua Iboe 48? crude oil export pipeline,” the NDA, which has been blamed for a string of attacks on key oil and gas facilities since February, said in a statement late Monday.

The militants said international oil majors had defied its calls for a halt to exports. AFP contacted ExxonMobil but there was no immediate response. The Niger Delta Avengers wants foreign oil companies out of the delta region, arguing local people have failed to benefit from decades of extraction that has generated billions of dollars.

It also wants self-determination and political autonomy for the region. The upsurge in unrest has reduced output in oil-rich Nigeria at a time the country is reeling from low global crude prices that have hammered government revenues.

Credit: Vanguard


Lagos Shuts Down 70 Churches, 20 Mosques Over Noise Pollution

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday, shut down 70 churches, 20 mosques and about 11 hotels, club houses and beer parlours in a move aimed at reducing noise in the state.

The General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Bola Shabi, who made this known, said that henceforth, the state government would no longer allow make-shift buildings to be used as places of worship.

Shabi said: “Precisely about 70 churches, 20 mosques and about 11 hotels, club houses and beer parlours were shut and we’ve given them some directives to follow.

“We’ve been so strict now that we are not going to even allow make-shift churches in the state any longer. “What I mean by make-shift, using tents and uncompleted building, we are not going to allow that any further in the state.

“But I will strongly tell you that the level of compliance is more on the mosque area, because immediately you shut them, they instantly bring down their speakers or reduce the noise they make.’’

Shabi said that LASEPA planned to reduce noise in the state to 70 percent and to zero per cent by the year 2020. “As at today, we are only able to reduce the noise level to about 35 per cent. That is not a pass mark yet.

So, until we reach that target of 70 to 80 per cent, we will continue the enforcement. Enforcement is a continuous exercise and we have set a target for ourselves. We want to ensure that Lagos is noise-free by the year 2020. With our status as a mega city, by year 2020 we will be free of noise,’’ he said.

Credit: Vanguard

AMCON Shuts Senator Bruce’s Companies Over Debt

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria on Thursday morning sealed the Abuja premises of Silverbird Galleria belonging to Senator Ben Murray Bruce.

The galleria currently houses the Abuja studio of the Radio and Television stations of the senator as well as his other business interests.

Apart from Bruce’s companies, the seven storey building also houses other business interest of private individuals such as Shoprite, among others.

The building was sealed by AMCON through the assistance of law enforcement agencies around 8am following a court order secured by AMCON.

Conspicuously written on the fence of the building as well as other strategic locations was an enforcement notice by AMCON which says, “Possession taken by court order 26/06/16.”

Credit: Punch

Germany Shuts Down Mosque For Promoting Violence

Reinhold Gall, German’s Interior Minister of Baden-Wuerttemberg State, said a mosque in southern Germany had been shut down for promoting violence.


He said in Stuttgart (Germany), on Thursday that the Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre’s (MSM) premises were raided after authorities found it had been promoting violence and raising money for terrorist organisations.


Gall said MSM attracted a number of known Salafists, an ultra-conservative reform movement within Sunni Islam.


He said no fewer than 10 Islamists who left Germany to join jihad organisations in Iraq and Syria, were known to have passed through it.


“We will not tolerate organisations that promote violence as a means of reaching religious goals and raise money for terrorist organisations.


Meanwhile, Interior Minister, Thomas de-Maiziere, has introduced a new police unit, saying that it would be better armed and trained to combat domestic terrorism.


He said 250 officers would be added to the national police force’s special arrests unit, known as BFE.


“The new unit will be stationed at five strategic locations across the country.


de-Maiziere said Sven Lau, one of Germany’s most prominent Islamist preachers has been arrested for recruiting fighters for a militant group in Syria, as well as buying and delivering military equipment to the region.


The minister has indicated that 670 people have left the country to join Islamic State and other terrorist organisations in Syria and Iraq since 2012.




Why Lagos Shut Down 53 Churches, Mosques, Hotels

The Lagos State Government has shut down no fewer than 53 churches, mosques and hotels across the state over noise pollution and other environmental offences.

Some of the sealed worship centers were accused of converting residential apartments to places of worship, which according to the government has been constituting nuisance to other residents.

The General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, Adebola Shabi, after the exercise, said the agency had been inundated with complaints from residents and neighbours of the shut facilities.

He said, “In recent times, most of the petitions kept coming to us. It was as if we are not working at all. That was why we shut the facilities.”

Shabi explained that some of the affected facilities had been served abatement notices before the eventual closure, adding that the growing rate of establishment of worship centers called for serious regulations, especially in the areas of noise generated across the state.

He said some of the noise-making worship centers were usually makeshift structures.

Credit: Punch

Saraki Shuts Senate As Trial Resumes Today At CCT

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki has again shutdown the sitting of the Senate as his case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) comes up today.

At the end of yesterday’s sitting, Saraki said the sitting has been adjourned to November 10.

In an interview, Senator Dino Melaye said the sitting was adjourned to enable adhoc committees work on their reports.

“The sitting was adjourned to Tuesday to enable four adhoc committees complete their reports and submit next week,” he said.

Saraki was alleged to have operated foreign accounts while being the Governor of Kwara State and transferred the sum of $73, 223.28 from his GTB domiciliary account to an American Express account.

Credit: DailyTrust