Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nigeria Commits to Delivering Safe Water, Basic Toilets and Hygiene to its People

Nigeria Commits to Delivering Safe Water, Basic Toilets and Hygiene to its People

LONDON, United Kingdom, 17 April 2014-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- A group of Sub-Saharan African leaders have pledged to work harder to reach 325 million people on the continent without safe water and 644 million without basic toilets.

Nigeria has committed to end open defecation and achieve universal access to water and sanitation by 2025.

Between 2014 and 2016, Nigeria will focus on increasing political prioritization and mobilization of financial and human resources for scaling up of successful models such as Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) towards realizing the overall vision of the sector. Within the framework of integrated WASH delivery, emphasis will be on prioritizing provision of services to ensure that all un-served population and vulnerable groups are reached; and systems put in place to ensure sustainability. This is in-line with national priorities and the principles of inclusiveness on provision of basic services towards improving the health and socio-economic wellbeing of the people.

The pledges came as representatives of more than 50 governments gathered in Washington, DC on Friday, 11 April for the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting, opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opened the 11 April meeting with warnings that the crisis in water and sanitation will hold back efforts to eradicate poverty.

“Achieving sanitation and water for all may not be cost-free – but it will set people free. Access to sanitation and water means a child free of disease, a woman free of the back-breaking chore to fetch water, a girl free to attend school without fear, a village free of cholera, and a world of greater equality and dignity for all,” he said.

WaterAid, a founding partner in the Sanitation and Water for All partnership, welcomed the commitments.

“WaterAid welcomes the pledges African governments have made at the High Level Meeting to provide safe water and basic toilets. What is crucial now will be action to deliver those promises. One thousand children in Sub-Saharan Africa die every day from this health crisis. Safe water, basic toilets and proper hand-washing with soap can save those lives,” said Barbara Frost, WaterAid Chief Executive.

New data from the World Health Organisation and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) on Water Supply and Sanitation show the massive and growing inequalities in access to safe water and toilets around the world: 748 million globally without safe water and 2.5 billion without proper sanitation. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there remain 325 million without safe water and 644 million without basic sanitation.

Of the 1 billion people around the world still practicing open defecation, 227 million are in Sub-Saharan Africa; 9 in 10 of them live in rural areas.

Safe water, basic sanitation and hygiene can prevent illness and make a community healthier and more productive. They can also prevent infant and child mortality, improve rates of education, and prevent the vulnerability that comes when women and girls tasked with fetching water must walk long distances to do so, or when they do not have a safe place to relieve themselves.

“This crisis has had a devastating impact on Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy, development, and families. But sanitation is now recognised as essential in ending extreme poverty. Our challenge is to reach our poorest and most excluded and ensure that everyone’s right to water and sanitation is met in our lifetime. These pledges from African governments are a big step towards realising a healthier and more prosperous future for our continent,” said Nelson Gomonda, pan-African programme manager for WaterAid.

In total, government ministers from 44 developing countries made 265 commitments to increase access to water and sanitation, including promises to address massive inequalities in access,  including between urban and rural residents, rich and poor, and among ethnic groups and regions.

WaterAid has made its own commitments toward a vision of reaching everyone, everywhere by 2030 with safe water and sanitation, as a founding partner in the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership of more than 90 country governments, donors, civil society organisations and other development partners.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of WaterAid.

For more information or to arrange interviews please contact:

Carolynne Wheeler, Media Officer, +44 (0)7903 117715,;
HratcheKoundarjian, News Manager, +44 (0)207 793 4909,

The official Nigerian commitments can be found here:

Notes to Editors

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.  The international organisation works in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities.  Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 19.2 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 15.1 million people with sanitation.  For more information, visit, follow @wateraidUK on Twitter or visit us on Facebook


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Zenith International Film Festival: Coming Soon!

Zenith International Film Festival is an annual independent film festival for the promotion of the best in motion picture, from script to screen; where the most ambitious filmmakers will meet the most ambitious film distributors from all over the world. Participation is strictly by application and competition is only by official selection and only 20 films will be selected by the international jury.
The inaugural annual Zenith International Film Festival will be launched in Lagos before the end of 2014. We may not be the first and we may not be the biggest, but our mission is to be among the best international film festivals in the world.
More details will be announced later.

For inquiries, contact: Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Muslims in Northern Nigeria Created their Frankenstein's Monster Boko Haram

How Muslims in Northern Nigeria Created their Frankenstein's Monster Boko Haram

Frankenstein is an all time classic gothic novel of British Author Mary Shelley and has been adapted for both theater and motion picture and also simplified for children’s literature and very popular among English speaking communities all over the world since the publication in 1818. And since Victor Frankenstein’s monster got out of control and turned against him, many of such similar tragic occurrences have become analogies of the creature.

Northern Nigeria is under the siege of the blood thirsty Islamic terrorist cult the Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad (Arabic: جماعة اهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد‎ Jamāʻat Ahl as-Sunnah lid-daʻwa wal-Jihād) popularly known as Boko Haram founded by the late Mohammed Yusuf in 2002 and has attacked and killed over 13, 000 people so far. The cult is now led by Abubakar Shekau and linked to other jihadist groups outside Nigeria such as the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). But the Boko Haram is committing horrifying atrocities that even the dreaded Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen of Somalia and Al- Qaeda have not committed by massacring innocent school children, kidnapping and Molesting school girls and older women in the Sharia states of northern Nigeria and the state of emergency declared in those states has failed to stop the insurgents who recently killed over 100 people with a car bomb at the Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja early morning of Monday April 14, 2014 and then the following day kidnapped 200 pupils at a Girls Secondary School in Chibok, a border town between Borno and Adamawa States and the Joint Task Force (JTF) of the Nigerian Armed Forces allowed them to escape without stopping them with military helicopters or planes.

These horrifying and terrifying atrocities have left millions of Nigerians petrified and wondering how Nigeria degenerated to this hellish state. But most of us forget that Muslims in northern Nigeria created their Frankenstein's monster Boko Haram over the years whilst the Nigerian government was watching and did nothing to stop it.

Have we forgotten how many innocent Igbos and non-Muslims who were attacked and murdered by Muslims in different incidents at many parts of northern Nigeria and these murderers were never prosecuted and in fact, many of them were later sponsored on pilgrimages to Mecca for their Hajj by the Nigerian government with public funds from our oil money.

Have we forgotten the Igbo man who was mobbed and beheaded by Muslims, because they alleged that his wife insulted their prophet by using pages from a discarded Koran to wipe the anus of their child? They paraded the severed head on their streets whilst their Imams, Emirs and Sultans nodded in approval and the murderers were never arrested or prosecuted.
What of the innocent female Christian school teacher who was invigilating an examination at a secondary school in Gombe state when she was mobbed and lynched by Muslim secondary school pupils accusing her of desecrating the Koran , reported by the BBC News on Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 19:44 GMT.

The list of the heinous crimes committed by Muslims in northern Nigeria is too long to mention all the cases here. But lest we forget, that on Wednesday, September 12, 2001, a day after the horrifying four coordinated terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda on the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Muslims in northern Nigeria took to the streets and celebrated their victory over the superpower USA; and many of them marched with posters of Osama bin Laden; a Muslim film crew made a movie “Ibro Usama”, in which Osama bin Laden was mimed by Rabilu Musa, a popular comedian and also stickers and posters of Osama bin Laden were displayed all over northern Nigeria, and 'Osama' became the most popular name for newborn sons.
See 9/11 in Nigeria: Translating Local into Global Conflicts by Johannes Harnischfeger

When all these abnormal and demonic religious rituals were going on, all the Muslims in Nigeria were still smiling, clinking glasses and sipping tea and wine, because the victims were non-Muslims until their Frankenstein's monster metamorphosed into Boko Haram and then turned against them. Now they are scampering from pillar to post and are at their wits end on how to escape from their worst fears as the nightmares are getting worse before their very eyes day by day. And I am afraid that the worst is yet to come.
Their Frankenstein's Monster Boko Haram is out of control.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, a prize winning Nigerian writer and author of In the House of Dogs, Bye, Bye Mugabe, Nollywood Mirror and other books.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

British Museum To Host VIP Premiere of "Invasion 1897" in August

 Lancelot Imasuen has confirmed that the British Museum will host the VIP Premiere of his Centenary epic “Invasion 1897” on August 16, 2014 in London, with the Art Exhibition of the famous Benin bronze artworks in the British Museum where the famous Iyoba Bronze Head of Idia, the first Queen Mother of Benin Kingdom (from the 16th century) is kept with hundreds of the over 2, 500 Benin bronze art works looted from the palace of Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi (1888–1897), during the British Punitive Expedition in 1897.

“Invasion 1897” has been endorsed by the Benin monarch, Oba Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopolo Erediauwa 1, Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, Edaiken N'Uselu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Italy and of the Benin Royal Dynasty Trust, Sir. Chief (DR) Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of the Benin Kingdom, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) and the Obong of Calabar, HRH Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V who recently welcomed the Crown Prince and his royal entourage of prominent Benin chiefs, Lancelot Imasuen and others to his palace in Calabar and they visited the last home of Oba Ovonramwen where he died in 1914 whilst on exile in Calabar, the first Nigerian capital city as the the seat of Government of the Niger Coast Protectorate, Southern Protectorate and Oil River Protectorate during British colonial rule.

Oba Ovonramwen and his family in Calarbar.

The Crown Prince and his Royal Dynasty Trust also requested from the Obong of Calabar a special dance troupe to accompany him to the United States, where he will be a Special Guest Speaker at this year’s edition of the annual Arts and Culture Expo/Award, holding in Atlanta from May 2-3, which will showcase Nigeria's cultural exhibitions, hospitality and with a Tourism Investment Symposium. The dance troupe is expected to present a cultural display to celebrate the culture of the community that hosted Oba Ovonramwen in Calabar, Cross River state.

Lancelot Imasuen on location in London during the making of "Invasion 1897" in 2013.

The VIP premiere at the British Museum will be followed by the public premiere at the Odeon Cinema in London with a road show on the highlights of the historical film.

"Invasion 1897" will also premiere in Brasilia, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, in Toronto, Canada and in over 30 other countries and including a nationwide school tour of over 25 polytechnics and universities in Nigeria.

§"Invasion 1897" has an international cast, including famous British actors Garett  Mort, Rudolph Walker, Charles "Chucky" Venn, Annika Álofti, Hannah Raehse-Felstead, Tim Robinson, Rob Spackman, Patrick Thompson and Keith Davinson and the top Nigerian actors include Segun Arinze, Charles Inojie, Nosa Ehimwen, Paul Obazele, Leo Mezie, Mike Omoriegbe as Oba Ovonrawmen, Idiata Otiagbe and the late Justus Esiri in a cameo role. 


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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Nigeria is Largest Recipient of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa

 Nigeria is the largest African economy and that is a fact and established as Africa's Economic Powerhouse.

Nigeria’s new economic position validates the hard work that people across Nigerian society continue to put into an economy that is the largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa.

According to UNCTAD, in 2011 Nigeria generated the fourth highest return on foreign direct investment globally. On avergae foreign investors made a 36% return on their investment.

Foreign investors and their local partners are making windfall profits out of the Nigerian economy.

Based upon new GDP calculations, current GDP per capita is around $2.938, which means that the average Nigerian is almost twice as well off as the average Indian, roughly equal to the average Moroccan, slightly less well off than a Swazi citizen and almost two and a half times worse off than an average South African.

Above all, Nigeria’s economic supremacy represents a large responsibility for the government. Not only in spearheading broad-based national development, by improving basic infrastructure. But also in showing economic leadership for the African continent as a whole.

To this end, the Nigerian government has started to make a concerted effort to boost domestic power generation capacity and more than doubled power generated in the space of 8 months, according to the Nigerian ministry of power.

Improving transportation links across the country is also another key ingredient in converting wealth into development.


Photo Gallery: NIGERIA, Africa's Economic Powerhouse

Nigeria's new status as Africa's largest economy puts the spotlight on Nigeria as a key engine for regional progress. The photo gallery assesses the relationship between the economy and security in Nigeria, and assesses how this impacts security in Africa as well.

LONDON, April 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The latest photogallery on the Nigerian economy from Think Security Africa, profiles Nigeria's economy and assesses the inter-relationship between economic issues and security in Nigeria. Furthermore, Nigeria's status as the leading economy in Africa highlights the role that Nigeria will play in boosting economic and social security in Africa. The photogallery assesses key economic data provided by UNCTAD relating to Nigeria, and explains that the Nigerian economy continues to be the single largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa, and in 2011 it was the economy yielding the fourth highest return on FDI globally.

Despite this good news, the vast majority of Nigerians are still waiting to benefit from the profitability of Nigeria's economy. For this reason economic issues pose a key challenge for security in Nigeria. In 2013 Nigeria was ranked 153 (out of 186) on the UNDP's Human Development Index. The photogallery looks at the day-to-day impact of infrastructure challenges for the majority of Nigerians, focusing on challenges with electricity and basic infrastructure. It also explains how the Nigerian government is responding to these challenges.

"There is no definitive way to establish the relationship between security and development, however it is not possible to ignore the fact that the most persistent threats to security in Nigeria are occurring in the least developed regions of the country," says Adunola Abiola, founder of Think Security Africa.
Nigeria's terrorism challenges have become regionalized, for this reason translating economic power into national development is not only important for security in Nigeria, it is also important for security in Africa as a whole.

The gallery can be viewed at:

Think Security Africa (TSA) is an independent think tank specializing in security in Africa. The core mission of TSA is to improve understanding of security in Africa, and engage in objective research into the causes and potential solutions to insecurity across Africa. TSA's resources are used by governments, inter-governmental organizations, journalists and business to assist with their Africa-focused missions.

SOURCE Think Security Africa
CONTACT: Joel Tavon, Think Security Africa, +44 203 287 0008

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

100 Citizen Journalists Mobilized for Community Health in the Niger Delta

 Knight International Journalism Fellows Babatunde Akpeji and Cece Fadope with Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, aka "Orikinla Osinachi", Publisher/Editor of Nigerians Report Online, Nollywood Mirror, Nollywood Digital and other publications in print and electronic media.

Over 100 citizen journalists are being trained to use mobile phones to report on vital health issues affecting people in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
The project was launched by Babatunde Akpeji, a Knight International Journalism Fellow with the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C and  funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, and is affiliated with the African Health Journalists Association, a PanAfrican organization based in Lagos, Nigeria.

 Cece Fadope talking to the participants in one of the training sessions.

 A participant receiving a Samsung Galaxy S5 from Declan Okpalaeke.

Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, aka "Orikinla Osinachi", Nigeria's most powerful Citizen Journalist and founder of Citizen Journalists Association of Nigeria (CJAN) joined the citizen journalists in their last training workshop of the Vital Voices for Health program, which is now part of the HALA Nigeria Project on  Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Aldgate Congress Resort Hotel, Abacha Road, GRA in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

A participant receiving a Samsung Galaxy S5 from Cece Fadope.

The training was organized by Mr. Babatunde Akpeji. Babatunde Akpeji, a Knight International Journalism Fellow who is building a network of citizen journalists to cover health in Nigeria’s Delta region, an area rich in resources but wracked by severe poverty. The citizen journalists use mobile phones to send information to media organizations in Lagos and Abuja, ensuring better coverage of health problems related to poverty and environmental concerns. Through this program, major media organizations will greatly expand the amount of information they bring to the public about the Niger Delta, and marginalized communities will gain a voice in the media. During his fellowship, Babatunde also mentors health journalists in the Nigerian capital Abuja. These include journalists at Daily Trust, the most prominent newspaper in Northern Nigeria, where a previous Knight Fellow, Sunday Dare, established a weekly health section.

The following are the names of the citizen journalists who have benefited from the training so far:
1.  Tivie Gideon
2.  Charles Ukorebi
3.  Assim - Ita Bernedette
4.  Uche Doris Ogadinma
5.  Jona Gbemre
6.  Odey Sunday
7.  Efanga Alali
8.  Keziah Clifford
9.  Akiri Murphy
10. Christabel Ene
11. Blessing Orijos
12. Prince Barbs Pawuru
13. Uba Ibegwura
14. Christopher Clifford
15. Akpotu Monday Ziworitin
16. Tontiemotei Yeiyei
17. Fineface Dumnamene
18. Elder Dandy Mgbenwa
19. Ikechukwu Cyprian Ahaka
20. Barigha Inango Mercy
21. Letam Noble Bere
22. Williams I. Bitere
23. Damian Gbogbara
24. Grace George
25. Esther Ndeesor
26. Ifedishu Marian
27. Maclean Ayebakuro
28. Leraka Nuka Martins
29. Memesi Ogaga
30. Nduka Agunyai
31. Needom Emmanuel
32. Nornubari Kote
33. Osimini Eugene
34. Owolo Santus
35. Santus Nubari Gift
36. Ogori Michael
37. Walter Destiny Biolagha
38. Christopher Keni Ogbudu
39. Jack Jackson
40. Eso Oyenike Lenient
41. Yahaya Otaru Abdullahi
42. Imonima Oghenero Goddey
43. Olajumoke Aderonke Moradeyo
44. Adeuga Adedunmola
45. Akhihiero Ojeisemi
46. Oluwayemisi Akindejoye
47. Isijola Kikelomo
48. Daniel Edobor
49. Tietie Osagie
50. Hayble Morrison
51. Odofin David O.
52. Olorunfunmi Oludayo Samson
53. Emefiele Efom Miriam
54. Isabor Dorcas
55. Owolabi Bunmi
56. Falokun Success Desayo
57. Alasa Zekeri Ikelebe
58. Aiyede Femi Thomas
59. Olakoyenikan Oluwaseun


“Hala Nigeria: Many Voices, Better Lives,” an unprecedented project that brings together five Knight International Journalism Fellows to pool their expertise, will increase public engagement and amplify citizen voices in health news in Africa’s most populous country.

The project, which means “Speak Out, Nigeria,” is using new digital tools to spur citizen engagement and promote data-driven reporting to take advantage of Nigeria’s new open data movement. It is also organizing public events around key health issues and engaging citizen journalists to expand coverage into neglected regions.

The fellows are collaborating with a wide range of partners, including media organizations, academic institutions and health experts. Partners include:

Code4Nigeria, an open data initiative that connects government, media and civil society to ensure greater transparency and accountability by making official data available to the public.

Hacks/Hackers Lagos, a group of journalists and technologists who build and adapt tools that newsrooms can use to increase transparency and accountability. It will offer data boot camps and hackathons.

African Health Journalists Association (AHJA), a Pan-African network of journalists who cover health problems, policies and services. AHJA provides resources and training opportunities for health journalists across the continent.

Four members of the team are based in Nigeria:

Declan Okpalaeke, a veteran health journalist and trainer who is co-founder and director of AHJA. He serves as the lead editorial strategist and media trainer for Hala Nigeria. He will supervise a nationwide health story contest that will reward the best stories that engage the public. The top prize: Technology fellows will be embedded in the winning newsrooms to train journalists to use the latest digital and data tools.

Oluseun Onigbinde, the project’s lead innovator. He is creating and adapting digital tools to enhance public engagement. Onigbinde also is leading training workshops to ensure that journalists make the best use of new tools and resources. He is also linking journalists to technologists to promote ongoing collaborations that result in innovative media coverage of health problems and services.

Cece Fadope, a media consultant with extensive expertise in building partnerships and managing projects. She is leading a “listening campaign” to survey citizens, journalists and civil society organizations about their health priorities, enabling the project to focus on the issues that matter most to Nigerians. She also is organizing public events such as town hall meetings in collaboration with media organizations and other partners.

Babatunde Akpeji, a multimedia journalist who has built a vibrant citizen journalist network in the Niger Delta. He will expand the network, give its members new tools to engage other citizens, and connect their work to the broader Hala project.

The Fellows work in close collaboration with Knight International Journalism Fellow Justin Arenstein, who is based in South Africa and serves as chief digital strategist for ICFJ and for the African Media Initiative, based in Kenya. Arenstein was instrumental in launching Code4Africa in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa, and guided the creation of Hacks/Hackers chapters in 13 African countries. He has also launched the African News Innovation Challenge, a contest that provided funding for projects across the continent that are changing the way media organizations use data, engage citizens, tell stories and sustain themselves financially. The Knight Fellows working on the Hala Nigeria project are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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