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Nigeria noise clampdown sees 70 churches closed

The figure dwarfs the 20 mosques and a dozen pubs, hotels and clubs also being shut under the clampdown in Lagos, south-west Nigeria.

Adebola Shabi, general manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, said: "It's a great menace. Studies have shown that noise levels affect the amount of violence and affect our health."

Authorities have been acting on noise complaints from neighbours by holding a meeting of stakeholders to discuss noise limits and, if concerns persist, the establishment in closed.

Many people speaking to the Associated Press said they were afraid to lodge complaints.

Sculptor Charlie Chukwu, who has not yet officially complained, said Christian hymns at night and calls to prayer during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan have been disturbing him.

He said: "I have a church and mosque on my street and they're in competition to see who can be louder. When the Muslims bought a small speaker, the Christians bought an even bigger one."

"If you call the authorities, then you are seen as the anti-Christ, against religion, and you become the enemy on the street."

Picture: Illustration only.

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