Friday, June 29, 2012

Why is the flood in Lagos not "going away"? Ignorance or Apathy?

Lagos is flooded. Yesterday it took me some three hours to get home from school. A journey that takes thirty minutes, if not less. Everywhere was blocked! Traffic, flood, more flood!!

Since it is raining season, we have all programmed our minds to spend more hours on the FLOODED road these days.

It is incredible how we forget what raining season is like in this part of the world until it swings by. Or until the media remind us with reports about a house collapsing here or motorists stranded there.

"Two die as floods paralyse Lagos" the Punch newspaper reported today. But these kind of reports... do they still have the same level of impact? Because as soon as the raining season is over, we all forget the agony the season brought and move on with our unhealthy culture of littering the street, blocking the drainage directly or indirectly.

As usual, there are those blaming the government for failing to be proactive in carrying out their responsibilities-- including failing to build good drainage system. There are those calling on the government leaders to rescue them from flooded streets. BUT then, when are we, as individuals, going to start taking responsibility?

For a start, stop littering your corner. Stop building houses without a proper drainage plan. Construct those gutters well on your street!

This fire brigade approach to solving challenges in our society is not sustainable. Prevention they say, is better than flood cure! If you want to have a peace of mind during the raining season, then plan well from the dry season.

The border between Lagos and Ogun State

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Idea, Money or People?

It is always an interesting debate. So, which do you think is the most important? Idea, money or people? :-)

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, Founder Smallholders Foundation: 
Ideas, money to drive the idea, then you get people to drive the idea. The mission of The Smallholders Foundation is to tackle extreme poverty and hunger among rural small farmers by boosting small scale agricultural production, the only way to kick start and support self sustaining growth and employment in rural areas. For more information about Smallholders Foundation, please visit the website
Read the full interview here (2010)

Ashish Thakkar, founder and managing director of Mara Group

Idea is the most important and then I would rank people. Without an idea, money means nothing. Obviously you need capital to make it happen, which you can structure with the right idea and people.
Read the full interview here (2012)

Image via

Bank of America Returns As National Presenting Sponsor of the Courage in Journalism Awards

Washington, D.C. – The International Women’s Media Foundation is pleased to announce that Bank of America will act as National Presenting Sponsor of the Courage in Journalism Awards for 2012.

This is the seventh year that Bank of America has worked with the IWMF to recognize outstanding bravery in the field of journalism and commitment to freedom of expression, providing crucial reinforcement for the IWMF’s work.

“Bank of America’s partnership has been truly invaluable; their dedication to the IWMF’s mission has made our work possible,” said IWMF Board Co-Chair Katty Kay.

This year’s Courage Award winners are Reeyot Alemu of Ethiopia, currently imprisoned on charges of terrorism after writing critiques of her country’s government; Asmaa al-Ghoul of Palestine, a blogger and freelance writer who has received death threats for her commentary on the culture and politics of Gaza; Khadija Ismayilova of Azerbaijan who was blackmailed and threatened after her investigation into charges of malfeasance against members of the Azerbaijani president’s family and Zubeida Mustafa of Pakistan, who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In its role as National Presenting Sponsor, Bank of America fortifies its support of a free press and recognizes the importance of women journalists around the world who face extraordinary challenges to report the news.

“Strong leaders are critical to economies and social fabric of regions and communities around the world,” said Anne Finucane, Global Strategy and Marketing Officer, Bank of America. “For years, the IWMF has recognized the important work of female journalists as they struggle to bring important news to light for us all. We are immensely proud to be associated with this organization and this group of remarkable women.”

Founded in 1990, the IWMF’s mission is to strengthen the role of women in the news media worldwide. The IWMF network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information, visit

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interested in eradicating acute student poverty?

Culled from my post on Youth-Skill-Work

No students’ loan. No students’ loan in this part of the world where I grew up. If you want a good education, then you must be ready to pay for it. I’m oblivious of any existing government loans. Okay, they award scholarship, it trickles down to the bottom of the pyramid. Only a handful of people get those. That does not eliminate the fact that funding is still a big issue where qualitative education is concern.

I almost jumped out of my seat when I first read Ayodeji Abiola’s articles about how to get the big money into Higher Education System in Nigeria (applicable to the rest of Africa as well). In series, the writer shed interesting light on the challenges of funding high ed, how it affects the quality of graduates churned out into the labour force and of course suggested ways to tackle the challenge by encouraging government-private partnership in getting the big money into higher education. He also added the need for students not to seat on their hands and wait for the big money from private sector. As a matter of fact, we can all work while we study, or can we not? That is the first step in eradicating acute student poverty while sharpening the entrepreneurial/work-experience. It is a win-win.

Here are my favourite quotes from Ayodeji’s articles:
Who should pay for higher education?
“Presently, post-secondary education has become elusive to many citizens for various reasons. These reasons usually include cost and inadequate spaces at the schools. ”

“…if quality education is important for quality job performance and by extension the economy; if majority of students in our higher educational institutions are largely unable to access quality education; if this lack of quality is partly but significantlyhinged on poor funding occasioned by low earning by the public institutions, perhaps employers, particularly the ones with deep pockets who are major beneficiaries of education should consider paying for higher education.”

Ways that employers (organizations, corporations, etc) should pay for higher education in Nigeria:

"All over the world, including developed nations, corporate organizations fund and support education through investments in educational research that benefits their operations. In the case of Nigeria, most multinationals, operating in the country do little of these within Nigeria. Rather, they expend the bulk of their research budget in institutions at their home countries, usually in North America, Europe and Asia and periodically send few of their workers who require on-the-job training to those facilities for training and research. Science and Technology education in Nigeria will benefit immensely if these facilities were to be sited in Nigeria. Rather than an exodus of Nigerian students, foreign students may find Nigeria’s institutions attractive for their studies. The economic growth of any nation including Nigeria is tied to the quality of her workforce.

“The creation of sustainable student jobs on campus should be a major concern for advocacy by student unions, parent associations, academic staff unions and other educational stakeholders. This is because it will not only help reduce students’ poverty; it is also a great way to foster students’ personal and professional development. Students who are able to work and earn on campus while studying will also develop time management capacities, budgetary skills in addition to the job-specific skills. In fact, on graduation, such students would have built enviable Curriculum Vitae that prospective employers will cherish. This is also a great way to create entrepreneurs out of fresh school graduates rather than 100% job seekers. Institutions of higher learning are one of the great places to build and nurture entrepreneurship…”

Click here to read more

Image via chargrilled

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Re: Omawumi's If you ask me [I'm your mother but we share the same father]

Recently, my brother played Omawumi's "If you ask me" and we had some long conversation on what kind of father will so abuse his daughter. While thinking aloud, he started the first seven lines in what I've laid out as a poem below. I added the remaining seven.

Imaginary: The abused girl is making sense of her predicament, explaining to her inquisitive child why grandpa is also "daddy,"

I am your mother
but also your sister.
We share the same father.

I mean,
Your grandfather is your father.
Your grandmother is your step-mother,
and your aunties are your step-sisters.
Only the word cousins make sense in this nonsense.
We are one big happy family to the world.

Don't grieve with me,
my world caved in
the night it all began.
All nights are like the first night,
It will remain so because I have no voice.

The Music By Omawumi

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Africa's Youth Apply Now for YALDA Conference, October 2012 in West Africa!

The 4th Biennial conference for Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa will hold from the 4th to 7th October at the Lagos Business School, Victoria Island Campus in Lagos, Nigeria.

Interested in attending? Please visit the website to apply!!!! Space is limited!!!! Deadline is 31st of July!!!

Please forward link to all your friends, members, groups who would benefit from this conference!!!

Facebook: YALDA International

Brief Conference Overview:
Africa has recently established itself as the new global investment hub and is experiencing unprecedented growth rates that will continue for years to come. With more young people in its population than any other continent, Africa’s inability to effectively incorporate the economic participation of its youth poses immense social challenges.

There has been wide recognition that encouraging entrepreneurship and a culture of self-sustenance amongst African youth is the strongest weapon in the battle against rising youth unemployment rates. At YALDA we also believe in harnessing the potential of Africa’s youth. All over Africa young minds are brimming with solutions to the continent’s most pressing issues, and it is essential to give these youth the avenues and resources to successfully bring these ideas to fruition in their respective countries and communities.

We are excited to have you at this year’s YALDA conference to not only gain an understanding of the opportunities in Africa, but to empower you to lead visible and ground-breaking change on the continent. This will be done through an entirely new and more interactive format consisting of five techniques:

· providing a platform for idea generation

· idea refining and planning workshops

· industry specific idea presentations to expert panels

· resources exhibition

· networking sessions.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Young People in Cross Rivers State! Don’t Miss The Bridge Leadership Foundation’s Career Day Event!!

 If you are based in Cross Rivers State and its environ, you don’t want to miss this!!!  :)

Here is a news release on what the Career day is about:

The Bridge Leadership Foundation (TBLF) has announced its 2nd Edition of Career & Founder’s Day event scheduled to take place on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at the Cultural Centre, Calabar, Cross Rivers State, Nigeria.

The theme for this year is Talent, Leadership &  Entrepreneurship.

The Career Day seeks to inspire and empower young people in choosing the right career paths and making informed decisions. The aim of the event is to provide a platform for young Nigerians and graduates who are; seeking to enter the job market, at the start of their career or aspiring to be entrepreneurs, to learn from accomplished entrepreneurs and professionals (home and abroad) that have made major achievements in different sectors in the society.

Adopting the TED-talks format the event will be a charged exchange of ideas and knowledge that will focus on leadership in Career and business, the essence of innovation and sustainability. 

The welcome address is to be delivered by The Ag. Director of TBLF/Lead Consultant, of ThistlePraxis Consulting, Mrs. Ini Onuk.  She will be joined by young Africans who have made tremendous achievements in the fields Information Communication Technology (ICTs), Media, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security as well as Gender advocacy.

The full line up of speakers include:

Idris Bello - Program Director at Wennovation Hub,Nigeria and President Oxford University African Society, United Kingdom

Grace Nanyonga - Founder, Grana Fish Supplies Ltd, Uganda

Tobias & Titus Igwe - Founders, Speedmeals Mobile Kitchen, Nigeria

Esther Agbarakwe- Environmental Sustainability Advocate, Population Action International, USA

Nnaemeka Ikegwonu – Executive Director,The Smallholders Foundation, Nigeria

Steve Harris – CEO, EdgeEcution, Nigeria

Emmanuel Etim – Directorate of Science and Human Resources, Science and Technology, Africa Union Commission, Ethiopia

“We are excited about all the young people we are bringing for the Career Day event, we are gathering some of the best and brightest young minds in Africa to share their personal and professional experiences with their peers. We are adopting a peer –to- peer approach because we know when young people communicate with each other, they listen more, assimilate more and become more ignited to challenge the status quo. Hence, we intend to assist young people connect the dots between Talent, Leadership and Entrepreneurship through this year’s event” Says  Esther Eshiet – Programmes Officer at TBLF

For more information, please contact Esther on 08105738992 or Antigha on 08185582531. Email:, Download the Mentoring Programme’s Report at:

About The Bridge Leadership Foundation
The Bridge Leadership Foundation (TBLF) is a non-profit leadership and capacity development Foundation committed to building generations of young people educated to become compassionate, entrepreneurial and engaged citizens who are empowered to take responsibility for their own lives and for making a difference in the world.

The Foundation seeks to address gaps in the provision of practical leadership models for young people and thus provides a platform designed to inspire, motivate, train, mentor and empower young people to achieve their best.

In eight months, TBLF has concluded a hugely successful Career Day- attended by over 3000 young persons, Graduate Employability Training (GET) for 80 graduates and started an Opportunity Facilitation its GET Alumni, as well as organized a FIFA Franchised Football project for Youth leaders in Cross River State where 3 of finalists will be representing Nigeria at the Homeless World Cup in Mexico, 2012.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Please Ignore the get rich quick emails!!! password theft and phishing :(

Hi everyone!

I just got an alert from a friend about some weird email being sent from yahoo email account!

That email account has been hacked into!

Please don't click on any of the urls. Just click delete. It is a terrible thing some people just sit in their houses or in their holes to perform these destructive acts of password theft and phishing.

Ignore all irresponsible get-rich-quick messages.

If you want money, work hard and smart and your reward will be sweet! God'll bless this life style! I will NEVER send you an email asking you to click on a url or visit a website to make money INSTANTLY!!

THANKS for understanding.

I apologize again for the spam messages flooding your inbox(es).



Thanks everyone who emailed and called about this.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Influence- Chapter Two

The influence of motivation on Journalist's productivity. That is the topic of my thesis :-) I'm so excited about it. I initially picked something on social media and its influence on readership pattern of youth.

"Media Organisation Management"- a course I took last semester- stirred my interest in carrying out a further study on how the management structure of a media organization affects the productivity level of Nigerian Journalists.

The productivity level of a journalist is measured by his/her job performance. Often, we hear journalists complain that they are poorly paid. But they stay on the job anyway. Are they really poorly paid? What else motivates them to stay on? What demotivates them? Is monetary reward important? Maybe appreciation and recognition? Maybe not? What are the critical issues media organizations should be addressing if they want the best out of journalists?

I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks of study, study and more study. Theories, case study et al.

Trust me, I am taking the media junkie's tips on writing a good academic essay to heart :-) Chapter two, chapter four and five should come off easily, once you get past chapter one of course!

 :-) Just musing 

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

International Women's Media Foundation @IWMF Launches First-Ever Environmental Reporting Program in the Philippines

In its inaugural reporting program in the Philippines, the International Women’s Media Foundation will partner with news organizations to transform coverage of environmental issues.

Myriad environmental problems – such as pollution, deforestation, and climate change – directly threaten quality of life in the Philippines, yet these issues receive inadequate news media coverage. In addition, much of the reporting being done lacks depth and excludes the voices of those most affected by environmental degradation, especially women.

To address this critical coverage gap, the IWMF will offer its first-ever Environmental Investigative Reporting Fellowship. The IWMF announces the new program today on World Environment Day.

During the year-long fellowship, 10 journalists will receive advanced training and coaching to produce innovative reports about environmental problems and solutions, incorporating women’s role in and perspectives on environmental issues. Each will complete 3-4 investigations for their news organizations. Through the IWMF fellowship, these journalists will become environmental reporting specialists.

Selected fellows include: Kristine L. Alave, contributing writer for GMA News Network and reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer;Keith Bacongco, a journalist for MindaNews; Bernardino Balabo, host of a program on 90.3 FM Radyo Bulacan and correspondent for the Philippine Star and Pilipino Star Ngayon; Riziel Ann Cabreros, producer for “PIPOL on ANC,” a news magazine program on ABS-CBN News Channel; Rouchelle Dinglasan, a producer for GMA News; Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, a journalist for; Marilou Guieb, writer for the BusinessMirror and the Women’s Feature Service; Purple Romero, reporter for Rappler, a social news network;Anna Valmero, assistant producer with, an online magazine; and Rhodina Villanueva, reporter the Philippine Star.

Funded by Dole Food Company Inc., the environmental reporting program will draw on the IWMF’s proven training model, which features long-term, transformative training, empowerment of women journalists and a commitment of institutional support from top management of local media companies.

Founded in 1990, the IWMF is the only nonprofit organization working exclusively to strengthen the role of women in the news media worldwide. The IWMF has conducted programs in 25 countries, and its network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information, visit