EASTER: FRSC opens diversion spots on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

By SDNonlime

Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on Thursday opened diversion spots on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for easy movement during the Easter celebration.

The Sector Commander Lagos Corps Commander, Olusegun Ogungbemide with his Ogun State counterpart Corps Commander, Ahmed Umar, held a meeting with officials of the Federal Ministry of Works led by Engineer Adebote at the FRSC Mowe command where it was agreed that critical corridors on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway should be opened for free flow during the Easter.

After the meeting, the team inspected the level of work at the construction site on the expressway and it was unanimously agreed that all diversions at the constructions spots should be opened from Thursday 14th April till Tuesday 19th April, 2022 for easy and seamless movement by motorists plying the road since there will be high influx of vehicles traveling in and out of Lagos during the festive season. 

Olusegun Ogungbemide used the opportunity to inform the public that FRSC Lagos is ready to provide the necessary safety and traffic control needed by motorists during the Easter special patrol as over 2000 personnels (both Regular and Special Marshals), 57 patrol vehicles, eight Bikes, three Ambulances, two Tow trucks, seven Breathalyzers would be deployed on major highways in Lagos State, to monitor, control traffic, and clear obstructions along critical route within the state during the Easter Special Patrol exercise.

The Special patrol, involving regular and special marshals, which kicks off on Wednesday 13th April, 2022 till Wednesday 20th April, 2022 will focus on Overloading, Speed limit violation, tyre violation, light sign violation among others. 
FRSC Lagos Sector Commander admonished road users to play their role by obeying rules and also cooperate with the FRSC officials and sister agencies along the critical corridors in ensuring free flow of traffic and a crash free celebration”.

He also advised the public to always call the FRSC toll free number 122 in case of any emergency on the highway.

Celebrating Akin Akingbulu, Community radio advocate at 65

-By Funmi Falobi-

He is renowned for his contribution to the development of broadcasting media and inclusion of disability in Nigeria media. Dr. Akin Akingbulu, an expert in media and communication development, is the Executive Director, Institute for Media and Society (IMS), a media/communication support non-governmental organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria.

It was an event of encomium and outpouring of commendations for the change agent at a quiet colloquium in honour of Akingbulu as he turns 65 on 4th April, 2022. The virtual event attracted academia, media experts and civil society organisations.

From Professor Ayo Ojebode, Department of Communication and Language Art, University of Ibadan, Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos, Dr. Fasiku Gbenga to Mariam Menkiti, Dr Tade Ogidan, Mr Lanre Arogundade, Jake Epelle, Anike Ade Trasure, and his childhood friend, Fasalejo Emmanuel and a host of others, it was all good commendation to Akingbulu’s contribution in the area of community radio in Nigeria and democratising communication education in the nation.

Described as humble and proactive personality, “It is great that Dr. Akingbulu is being celebrated. The life of activists and development advocates is usually modest and often go without much celebration. That must change and is changing by this gathering. Dr. Akingbulu and everyone present here, know that the years of activism and development is not where it ought to be. On this note we at the WFD wish him most wonderful and energetic years ahead,” said Adebowale Olorunmola, Country Representative, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).

No doubt, Akingbulu’s contribution in training media practitioners in ensuring inclusion for Persons with Disability (PWD) cannot be over emphasised. Today, the story is changing gradually.

“On behalf of the community of disability in Nigeria, we celebrate this icon, researcher, full of humility, integrity, love of God and his family.

“You fought with us to achieve disability in media space; advocate for employment of PWD in media organisations; bring to the consciousness of NBC the issue of disability and inclusion of PWD in media programming.

“Your work, policy will remain in the sand of time. The world celebrates you sir,” said Jake Epele, President, Albino Foundation.

Akingbulu works as a consultant in areas of media health and pluralism, media/communication policy, political communication as well as capacity building for civil society and government institutions. He has consulted for the Government of Nigeria and international institutions at home and abroad.

He has been the Coordinator of the Initiative on Building Community Radio in Nigeria and the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition since 2003. He was a member of the Working Group appointed by the Government of Nigeria to draft a Community Broadcasting Policy for the country in 2006.

The communication expert has conducted research and published on issues in the media and communication sector.

He worked in the education and youth development institutions of the public sector; in the media with Independent Communications Network, publishers of The News, and PM News titles, and the Independent Journalism Centre (IJC), Lagos.

He holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Education: Bedrock of women empowerment

-By Funmi Falobi-

Mairo, popularly known as Yanrinya would have loved to become a nurse. She yearned to be educated, so her dream of being a nurse who would work in a hospital, where she would care and treat patients. Unfortunately dream never came to fruition.


No thanks to her father, who never saw a reason to educate a female child. To him, any girl above the age of 10 should be preparing to get married or even be in her husband’s house.

“When I was in Primary 4, my father told me to stop schooling. He told me there were suitors who were interested in having me as a wife. This didn’t go down well with me, and so I insisted I wanted to continue schooling. My father would not have it,” Yarinya, the first born of 10 children recounts.

Due to her insistence and intervention from her father’s boss, Yarinya, an indigene of Kano, managed to complete her primary education.
At that point, her father then said he had had enough of her in the home.
“I cannot have a girl menstruating in my house like her mother does every month.” Baba Yarinya was fond of saying.

“Of all the intending suitors, many of who were my father’s age mate, I did not find anyone I could relate with. I insisted he should at least allow me finish my Junior Secondary School.
He still refused. He then ordered me to be hawking akara (bean cake) for my mother. After a while, we switched to selling moin-moin.
This I did till I clocked 19. Fortunately, I met a young man I liked. And though today, I am a wife and mother, but I could not pursue my ambition because I did not go to school,” she lamented.

Just like Yarinya, many girls/women are being hindered from pursuing their dreams due to culture, stereotypes, discriminations and biases.

In Africa, many communities still believe that women should be seen and not heard, due to the patriarchy nature in place.

The story is not different in Nigeria, the most populous black nation. Culture and stereotypes still remain great challenges to women/girls education and affecting women in harnessing their full potential in politics, business, family, professions and society at large.

“In Nigeria, there is still the issue of early marriage.
Some cultures believe that girls should be groomed to be wives and mothers, so do not need formal education for these roles.

“We also have the challenge of religion: Religious beliefs that men are more important than women, so men should be more educated,” Franca Okpiaifo, Education Consultant disclosed.

Adding, “When there is insufficient funds in a family, the education of the male child is selected above the female child. Illiterate parents: do not see the importance of a girl child education,” she said.

According to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) report, worldwide, 129 million girls are out of school, including 32 million of primary school age, 30 million of lower-secondary school age and 67 million of upper secondary school age.

The report also reveals that only 49 percent of countries have achieved gender parity in primary education. At the secondary level, the gap widens: 42 per cent of countries have achieved gender parity in lower secondary education, and 24 percent in upper secondary education.

In countries affected by conflict, girls are more than twice as likely to be out of school than girls in non-affected countries.

A recent World Bank study estimates that the “limited educational opportunities for girls, and barriers to completing 12 years of education , cost countries between US$15 trillion and $30 trillion in lost lifetime productivity and earnings.”

According to a recent report, more than 41,000 girls under the age of 18 marry every day. “Putting an end to this practice would increase women’s expected educational attainment, and with it their potential earnings.

The report estimates that ending child marriage would generate more than $500 billion in benefits annually each year.

In Nigeria, 10.5 million children are out of school which is the highest rate in the world according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).The figure indicates that one-third of Nigerian children are not in school, and one in five out-of-school children in the world is a Nigerian.”

The discriminations and stereotypes against women accessing education is evident as there are few women in leadership positions in Nigeria. Research also reveals that when women and girls are educated, nations also benefit as they contribute to national growth.

*You can see a widened gender gap in the society. Less educated women are less willing to embrace family planning. High population of women have lower incomes while girls do not have the requisite knowledge and skills to compete in the labor market. Education empowers women,” Okpiaifo remarked.

‘We need to strengthen awareness about education of women and girls. When people don’t know their rights, it’s a problem. We need to seriously increase the level of awareness in the country. It is not only men that are expected to go to school and make it in life. We will be limited if women don’t go to school,” said Professor Oluwatoyin Osundahunsi, Dean, Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

The university don explained that there is need for women and girls to know their rights and pursue it.

” We should speak to the right people – the girls themselves. When they are not informed, there is little or nothing we can do. There should be a forum or fora where they will get the means to go to school.

“We need to speak with parents using strong women who are successful in the society.

“Cultural background is another problem. We need a lot of work to do in the society, so that we can reduce lack of education for our girls,” she said.

Consequently, the Professor of Food Science and Technology bemoaned the fact that many girls are not in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics discipline.

“A lot are studying certain courses but we need to speak to them. The number of those in STEM area is always low,” she declared

In 2003, Nigeria adopted the Child Rights Act to domesticate the Convention on the rights of the child which include access to education.So far, 28 states, including Sokoto, have domesticated the Act into law, with nine remaining. The States that have yet to domesticate the Act are Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Yobe, Kano and Zamfara States.

Despite the Act, implementation is still a big challenge in the states to ensure access to education for girls.

“Thee Act is not an isolated case. The problem we are suffering from is not good policies but implementation; we don’t enforce our policies.

“On the part of government, it should solicit, encourage parents and advocate. Government can render financial support in the are of school uniform, fees, SSCE payment to parents There may be need on the part of the government to enforce. What is the essence of the Act or policy if we are not using it?” The university don queried.

Professor Osundahunsi expressed that the girl child educated today will become educated woman tomorrow urging government to be proactive about it.

Photo image: GPE/KELLEY LYNCH

CEE-HOPE unveils Nnimmo Bassey conference hall

By sdnonline

A Non-governmental organisation, Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE) has named its hall after the renowned environmentalist, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey in recognition of his contribution to humanity.

Speaking at the unveiling of the hall in Lagos, CEE-HOPE Executive Director, Betty Abah said the gesture was to appreciate the environment activist for his support to CEE-HOPE.

According to her, Bassey, aside being her boss is also a major supporter of the organisation’s activities.

“He contributed to the shelter which is serving as refuge for violated women in their marriages. He is part of the advocates in Makoko and Monkey Village. God has really used him for us and I believe it is not an accident naming this hall after him. He has taught me a lot about humility, being humble inspite of his achievements,” she said.

In his response, Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) who came in company of his wife, Evelyn, commended the management and staff of the organisation’ for the work they are doing in affecting lives.

“CEE-HOPE is not only about advocating, but making things happen. Aside women and children, the organisation has covered social scope of advocacy.

” Betty stands for truth. Truth is truth. She stands for the oppressed. We don’t have doubt about what CEE-HOPE stands for and doing. This is also our calling to help children of mother earth,” he said

Commending the leading environmental activist, Makoko prince, Ade Oluwatobi said, “we are grateful to Dr. Bassey for his support to Makoko children and fishermen. Everybody appreciates you.”

Russia-Ukraine War: Parents happy to receive daughter

By Funmi Falobi

The ongoing Russia/Ukraine war is already having its toll on citizens and foreign nationals in Ukraine. The hostilities associated with the crisis is a growing concern as it is impacting the socio-economic life of the citizens and countries with nationals are already evacuating their citizens in order to save them from falling victims of the fatalities that is associated with war. The situation is also now causing humanitarian issues as lives and property are being destroyed and people are being displaced.

Nigeria has joined the rest of the world to evacuate her citizens while some individuals were able to facilitate their own escape from the war torn region.

“The experience has not been a palatable one but I thank God I arrived safely.” These were the words of Wuraola Mustapha, a medical student in Ukraine who arrived Nigeria on Monday, January 7, 2022.

Recounting how she was able to leave the war zone, she noted it was a scary experience even as she was assisted through the night amidst the hostilities to cross over into Hungary from where she was granted access to connect Lagos. “We travelled through the night by train through the region where there was shooting and bombing” she said, speaking to sdnoline.net
“We were told to put off our phones so we don’t attract attention. It was not a palatable experience” she added.

View Wuraola’s video @

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19iDLzXjBQdNUbnjjSFY4nCZrdbdexyd4/view?usp=sharing

It was therefore a moment of joy for Mr Bolaji and Mrs. Olushola Mustapha when they received their daughter, Wuraola, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

Due to the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war, her studies was put on hold and like every other citizen, her safe return to Nigeria became paramount to her parents

“I couldn’t sleep, I think of my daughter all the time. I have to watch television all the time to get information about happenings in Ukraine” Mrs Mustapha recalled. “Today , I am happy to see my daughter,” she said.

Russia invasion of Ukraine has halted every activity including education. Ukraine is home to many foreign students but with the ongoing war, the safety of nationals becomes imperative.

View Wuraola’s video @

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19iDLzXjBQdNUbnjjSFY4nCZrdbdexyd4/view?usp=sharing

FOI Act: Desk Officers debate setting up online platform

By sdnonline

As part of efforts to ensure the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011, Desk Officers from various federal public institutions will meet at a two-day workshop in Abuja.

The programme which commences on February 1 – 2, 2022 will discuss the establishment of an online FOI Platform to enable the desk officers share information, ideas and experiences.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), will deliver the keynote address at the workshop, which will also have in attendance, the National Coordinator of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Nigeria, Dr Gloria Ahmed, who is also the Director of Special Duties at the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, as well as Mr. Gowon Ichibor, the Head of the FOI Unit at the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The workshop, which will have representatives from over 60 public institutions, is being organised by the International Press Centre (IPC) in collaboration with Media Rights Agenda (MRA)) and the FOI Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice. It is funded by by the European Union (EU) under component 4b: Support to Media of the EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Project.

According to the organisations, the overall objective of the workshop is to improve compliance by public institutions with their duties and obligations under the FOI Act, as well as to ensure more effective implementation of the Act through the creation of an interactive online platform for FOI Desk Officers of public institutions to enable them share good practices and learn from each other’s experiences as they oversee implementation by their respective institutions.

Mr. Lanre Arogundade, IPC’s Executive Director, noted that “The creation of an online platform, in addition to facilitating shared learning, experience sharing and best practice application in the implementation of the FOI Act, will also provide an opportunity for FOI Desk Officers of public institutions to be updated with the latest developments on freedom of information, and facilitate collaborative resolution of challenges.”

MRA’s Executive Director, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, who is also a member of the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the OGP in Nigeria, said “We strongly believe that this initiative, which is starting with this workshop, and will be followed by other activities, will lead to significant improvements in the implementation of the FOI Act thus contributing to the fulfillment of Nigeria’s commitments in its OGP National Action Plan regarding improved compliance with the FOI Act.”

Climate change: FishNet Alliance reiterates commitment to support Makoko Fishermen

By Sdnonline

FishNet Alliance has reiterated commitment in working towards addressing the challenges being faced by fishermen.

Nigeria’s renowned Environmental activist and the Director of Health of Mother Health Foundation (HOMEF), Dr. Nnimmo Bassey made this known during a visit to Makoko, a Lagos fishing community and Nigeria’s largest informal settlement, alongside some prominent fishermen from Senegal; Ibrahim Thiam from Rosa Luxemberg Foundation-West Africa, Cheikh Faded Wade, Adama Faye and Demba Diatta who are members of the FishNet Alliance.

Bassey, who noted that climate change has made fishing difficult in recent times, stressed that the situation is the same in different parts of the country and the world at large.

He stressed that FishNet Alliance, as an Africa-wide network of fishers engaged in and promoting sustainable fishing in line with ecosystem limits, is committed to providing the needed support to address the challenges that fishermen are faced with.

“Fishing is becoming more difficult especially for those whose livelihoods depend on it. As a result of climate change, the ocean is becoming more salty thereby making fishing more difficult and some areas where construction works of huge buildings are taking place have also contributed to this problem,” he said.

The famed environmentalist thereafter noted that one of the ways is to create awareness for people who are into fishing to let them know they are not alone in this. “There would be a need to increase the number of memberships in the group giving opportunity for other fishermen to join, visit other places and create awareness of what FishNet Alliance offers its members especially on welfare matters.”

Also addressing the fishermen, Ibrahim Thiam, a representative from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, corroborated that the fishermen community in Senegal also face similar challenges because majority of the people take fishing as a profession and now, they are faced with challenges of making ends meet.

The delegates also visited the Better Life Fish Market at Makoko to interact with fisher women and other traders.

Coordinator of FishNet Alliance in Lagos, Apostle Akintimehin Claudius, while speaking at the meeting, expressed his gratitude to Dr. Bassey, the Executive Director of CEE-HOPE Nigeria, Ms. Betty Abah and guests from Senegal for finding it worthy to come to their aid at a time like this.

IDPs: Muffled voices seeking succour

By Funmi Falobi

The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria, as a result of insurgency, flooding, ethno-religious conflict, communal clashes and recently, banditry has been on the increase.

While the Sub+Saharan Africa accounts for 10.762million IDPs, Nigeria has the third highest number of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa. In 2020, the country had 2.7 million IDPs according to statistics.

A report which covers the period from June to July 2021 shows that Nigeria, has 2.182 million IDPs and reflects the trends from the six states of the North Eastern part of the nation – Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.

Many of the IDPs live in various camps across the country, while some live in slums in deplorable conditions. They are voiceless in their own society. Though they have rights as budgeted for -rights to education, food, shelter, water, health; etc., but how are they benefiting from these rights?

“One thing that comes out for me is basic education. After shelter, food, is education. While in camps they don’t need formal education but could be arranged there with the use of Corps members,” said Mrs. Kemi Adeyeye, Executive Director, Humanity Family Foundation for Peace and Development (HUFGPED).

Speaking at a consultative/media parley on ‘Advancing IDPs Issues” with support from World Association for Christian Communications (WACC) President, Journalists for Christ (JFC) International Outreach, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin charged journalists to report issues affecting internally displaced person’s in the country saying, “JFC does things that are communication rights and humanitarian issues of IDPs. Journalists should do more in the area of reporting their issues.”

Recounting her experience, Laila Isaac, an internally displaced person (IDP) in Nigeria had to take refuge in Lagos State with her family.
Laila and her husband and seven children fled Gombe State, when their lives became threatened on account that her husband, a Muslim, married her, a Christian, and later converted to Christianity. She later became the breadwinner of the family, when her husband had an accident and as a result of broken leg, the responsibilities of catering for the household, rested on her

“We have to run away from home so that we will not be killed. They want to kill my husband and so we ran to Lagos.”

‘I face many problems. We live in a shanty home with the children. We live in the slum with about 200 people who are also displaced from their homes. We don’t have anything,” she said.

Laila, like other displaced person’s in Nigeria, are going through a lot of challenges and living in a society, where their plights are not even felt. Many do not reckon with them in the society because they are not aware of their plights.

“I came to Lagos when I lost my father because there was nobody to help . I worked as a cleaner to help my siblings back home in Kaduna State,” Regina Samuel, another displaced person’s said, while recounting her ordeal in the hands of her employer in Lagos.
According to her, she had worked for a year as a cleaner without payment, only to be told that the person who brought her had collected the salaries upfront.
She later got employment with sesor, where she wss being paid N25,000, out of which she sends N20,000 to her siblings in Kaduna State for their upkeep, while she keeps N5,000.
Regina took in for a man who was assisting to meet her needs. “I had to move in with the father of my baby who is assisting me. Government should help us so that things will work for us,” she said.

While stating that there are IDPs in Lagos state even though many are not aware, Ms. Chinagorum Okoro, Communication Officer,, Sesor Empowerment Foundation said many IDPs live in unconducive settlement in Lagos.
According to her, the organisation provides skills acquisition and soft loans to help the IDPs.

“As an organisation, we take care of their medical needs. We want to see how we can work with HMO to lessen medical care, schools for children. They need help, life is not easy for them

*Water, shelter and food are problem. Relief materials are being hijacked on the way and don’t get to them. A lot of them don’t have anywhere to turn to. There are IDPs in Lagos who need help. If Lagosians open their hearts, if government opens its minds, they will know that there are displaced people in Lagos who need their help. Journalists should help to change the mindsets of people towards IDPs,” she said.

For John Okocha, a documentary storyteller and social worker, there is need for psycho-social support that would lead to change of mindsets.

‘Emerging issues in IDPs camps are the same story but how do you tell the story, who do we tell the story? He queried.

“The mentality has not changed. The moment you are displaced, you become second class citizens in your own country.

‘How do you change the mentality of someone who has been raped severally, abused, lost parents? I have seen a 12 year old girl who could dismantle an AK-47. Another little girl carried her little brother and both fell on the ground in the camp.

“For northerners, education is a whole lot. You need to work on their mindsets for them to embrace education. You need to gain their trust to make them talk.”

Corroborating the need for skills acquisition, Adeyeye said, “We need to teach them skills on how to generate money for their families. Major complaint of IDPs is lack of water in their communities of resettlement. My concern is how safe are they when they go back to their original communities? Have we really stemmed the Boko Haram insurgency?”.

… Putting people at the centre of development and facilitating inclusiveness and sustainable initiatives.

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