Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Making Local Governance Work - press conference

THE ORDERLY SOCIETY TRUST…For the Common Good.

The Orderly Society Trust invites journalists and members of the public to the press launch of their landmark project- Making Local Governance Work.

The Orderly Society Trust-OST was established in 2007 to nurture and support institutions, ideas, values, practices and conventions, which support order in the society.

In line with the organization’s objectives, OST, in partnership with the Ford foundation and Human Development Initiatives, is conducting a nation wide research and advocacy campaign aimed at building capacity amongst local government officials, promoting civic participation and inspiring accountability and transparency from local government officials.

The project kicked off in January this year. Initial surveys have been undertaken in Ibadan North and Ido Local Governments in Oyo State and will continue into 2010.

Journalists are invited to attend the press briefing at 11a.m on Thursday April 2nd at The Elias Centre on 4a Ademola Street, Off Awolowo Road.

“This is an important project for us because the local government is the closest tier of government to the people and a significantly neglected arm of government. Through this programme we intend to highlight the good practices in local government and the everyday challenges they face on ground. Another aspect of our work will be to share the findings of our research with both policymakers and the public to initiate a discussion on local government. We anticipate that our strategic partnership with the media in disseminating our research findings will provide key input to local government policy reform,” says the Programme Coordinator- Lanre Shasore.

For press accreditation for the briefing, please call 01 2793453
Or by email to info@orderlysocietytrust.org

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Cassava Republic Press one of the top 10 brands to watch in 09, according to Monocle magazine






















From the January 2009 edition.

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ABUJA LITERARY SOCIETY HOSTS WALE OKEDIRAN

Abuja Literary Society Hosts Okediran Friday 3rd April 2009 7pm at Transcorp Hilton

Outgoing National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Wale Okediran is the guest writer at the monthly Guest Writer Session of the Abuja Literary Society at the Transcorp Hilton.

Wale Okediran will read from his most recent publications – The Weaving Looms and Tenant of The House, a fictional political satire.

The Weaving Looms was shortlisted for the 2008 Wole Soyinka Prize For African Literature. His poems have been published in several anthologies in the USA and in Africa. He has ten novels to his name, several of which have won prizes: The Rescue of Uncle Babs, published by Mcmillian won the 1998 ANA/MATATU Children’s Prize; Dreams Die At Twilight, published by Malhouse Press made the Longlist for the 2004 NLNG Prize For Fiction; while Strange Encounters won the 2005 ANA Prize for fiction. His new novel, Tenants of the House, a fictional analysis of his tenure in the National Assembly, is due out before the end of the year.

Dr. Wale Okediran who was at different times, the National Treasurer, National Secretary-General and presently National President of the association in the last four years was a member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives from 2003-2007. Some of his other published works include After The Flood and The Boys at The Border.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Daddy

A critique of the RCCG brand, here.

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Will Connors writes Lagos

In Slate (part 1 of 5), here.

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Mimi Mimi






















Nice online magazine and blog for African women.

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Conflict resolution in Akwa Ibom

An interesting case study of how donor assistance can support rural conflict resolution in Nigeria, here (PDF download).

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Fulford on Achebe and Nigeria

Here. Fulford waits for the new African novel, without any reference to recent writing from anywhere on the continent. Lazy so-and-so. His sentence "Today, Africa awaits a young version of Achebe who can condemn all those forces that so callously betrayed the promise of his continent." is about as insightful as writing "Today, Canada awaits a new leader who will give significance to this vast yet irrelevant country."

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Roots

Research is really not that difficult is it? How come Judge Hatchett's people end up pronouncing Hausa "Oosey"? And why do they show an image of a Fulani woman when talking about Yoruba women? Is it just a case of the rest of the world being too far away from America's shores to bother with properly, or the peculiarity of the American accent that everything non-American must get mangled? And how do they work these things out with any degree of accuracy anyway? Might it not be a bit of a scam, cashing in on African-American's desire for African belonging and authenticity?

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nigerian Art starts to attract big money..













Piece on Nigerian art in the FT today. The above piece is, of course, an El Anatsui, Professor of Art at UNN.

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NEXT on Sunday, today

Interesting lead story, here. Mario Garcia discusses today's paper at the top of his blog, here.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Toni Kan reads from his new collection of poetry, tomorrow

At Antill 2.0
Date: 29 March 2009
Time: 15:00 - 20:00
Location: Picolo Mondo
Street: 19B Idejo Street, off Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Susanne Wenger obit..

Has finally appeared on The Guardian. Here. Its not a particularly good obituary (and not a patch on Soyinka's here), and features the word "Yoruban" which is a more than a bit odd. Thanks JG for the link.

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On the use of acronyms, rule number 1


1. Do not turn your acronym into a swear word. Its not cool and will confuse your message.

Photo by OO (GRA Ikeja).

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Nigeria population issues

The Today Programme (Radio 4) reports from Lagos on the problems caused by rapid population growth. Listen again here (segment began at 08.30 this morning). Nigeria's population has doubled in the past two decades, and is set to double again (to over 300 million) in the next twenty.

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China shouts, South Africa jumps and dances

China has told the South African government to deny the Dalai Lama a visa. South Africa complies. I wonder if Zuma is going to carry on in this weak-willed manner? What a sharp contrast with Nigeria, which invited the Dalai Lama without any fuss. I wonder if this signals a varied picture of African relations with China?

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Unilag Gurls (the original Jenifas) - Parental Advisory

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West Africa Investment Forum, end of the month

From March 30th to April 1st, in Abuja. Plenty of grand fromages will be there. Web page here, download the programme here.

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Nigerian pop music gets a thumbs up..

A positive spin on the music I love to hate - Nigerian derivative hip-hop/R&B drivel - in the Mail & Guardian, here.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

2009 African Economic Forum, NYC - 27/28 March 09

FEATURES OF THE 2009 AFRICAN ECONOMIC FORUM
Keynote Speakers:
**Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of the World Bank
**Dr. George Ayittey, Economist, Activist and President of the Free Africa Foundation

Featured Speaker:
**William Kamkwamba, African Leadership Academy

With Panel Discussions On:
**Agriculture: Mobilizing Africa’s Agricultural Resources
**African Private Equity: Leveraging Local Resources
**Inspirations & Innovations: Bridging the Technology Gap
**Post-Conflict Economic Development
**Tourism in Africa: A Viable Revenue Source
**Globalized Markets & Legal Regimes: Transactional Legal Practice in Africa

Click here for more. Thanks Victoria for the link.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

OBJ on Hard Talk




Entertaining, to say the least. The interview begins 1"20 in. Thanks Nkem for uploading.

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Lagos - the world's worst place to work


Its official, the worst place in the world to work is Lagos - at least according to BusinessWeek. Here.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A bit of light entertainment for your mid-week reading pleasure

Unilag Student Convicted Over Love Scam

…To refund victim $47,000

A final year student of the Department of Survey and Geo-Informatics Engineering, University of Lagos, Mr. Lawal Adekunle Nurudeen has been sentenced to 19 years imprisonment for obtaining $27,900.91 from an Australian woman, Pee Loo Rosalind Summer.

The convict was arraigned before Justice M.O Obadina of Ikeja High Court on 19-count charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and forgery. He was found guilty on all the counts and consequently sentenced to 12 months imprisonment on each count. The convict was also ordered to pay the sums of $5,900, N526, 117.15 and any interest standing to his credit in his savings account with Sterling Bank Plc Ikorodu Branch, to the victim.

In addition, the convict is to pay $250 monthly to the victim until the total sum fraudulently obtained by him is liquidated. His two plots of land lying and situate at Mowo Kekere Ikorodu bought from the proceeds of the crime, is to be sold and the money realized remitted to the victim. The Honda prelude car recovered by EFCC from the convict is also to be sold and its proceeds remitted to the victim.

Sometime in 2007, the convict who was an undergraduate of UNILAG met the victim on the internet and introduced himself as Engineer Benson Lawson, a Briton working with a multi-national company in Nigeria. Along the line the victim, a 56- year old woman from Australia told the convict that she wanted a husband and all the men she had met always disappointed her. The convict, who is married with three children instantly applied and told the victim that she had met her Mr. Right.

To convince his prey, he told the woman that he was a 57 -year old widower and that few years back, his wife and their only child died in a ghastly motor accident in Lagos. He sent the picture of a white man to the victim to foreclose any suspicions. The victim accepted his proposal and that gave room for the next stage of the 419 heist.

Few weeks later, he called the woman to introduce himself as Dr. Saheed Bakare and informed her that her ‘fiancĂ©,’ Benson Lawson had an accident and needed money for his treatment. The love-struck woman sent some money. Two weeks after the convict called the victim and thanked her profusely for her kindness. He now told her that he would like to visit her in Australia so that they could consummate their relationship. He demanded for money for air ticket, police and customs clearances and all sorts.

At the end of the day he duped the woman to the tuned of $47,000 before his arrest and arraignment by EFCC.

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The Swamp Dwellers by Wole Soyinka

Concluding moments from the National Theatre production. Thanks JG for the link.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

National Conference on Witch-hunts, Christian Fundamentalism and Child Abuse (Nigeria)

A Call for Papers: The Nigerian Humanist Movement is calling for papers and oral presentation at its conference to be held in October 2009 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Theme: WITCH-HUNT, CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISM AND CHILD ABUSE

Sub themes:
Religion and Child Abuse
Witchcraft and the Nigerian Law
Witchcraft and Superstition
Witchcraft and Pentecostalism
Witchcraft and Exorcism
Witch-hunt in Akwa Ibom
Witch-hunt in other States/cultures
Witchcraft and Women’s rights

Paper presentations should not be more than 5 (A4) pages and abstracts should be submitted on or before 30th June, 2009.

Please send all abstracts of not more than 100 words to:

The Executive Secretary
Nigerian Humanist Movement
P.O.Box 25269, Mapo Ibadan, Oyo State
Email: youth4humanism@yahoo.com or lordjim4start@yahoo.com

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Teju Cole in Roma











Here and here.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

The sound of the waves, crashing

I had an interesting experience today.

I went into a shop in Maitama. We got there just before 11 (opening time). We were let in anyway. The guy who manages the joint was inside, not looking like a happy chappy. I asked him if we could buy some things. He said, 'go ahead, although I might close in a bit and double all my prices. The naira has gone up to 190 against the dollar. I am losing money on everything.'

Imagine that - a shop closing to double all prices. It may not be the end of the story, as the rumour around town is that the naira will depreciate still further, to 200 or even beyond. What inflationary effects on the Nigerian economy this has, who can tell, still less the effects the crash will have on society. Removing the fuel subsidy (which is on the cards), in the context of an economy which imports 90% of its petrol, may spell even tougher times ahead. Imagine if the price of fuel was to double..

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Advertise for free on NEXT classifieds (limited offer)

Jobs. Personals. Weddings & Engagements. Services. For Sale. Motors. Homes & Property. Travel. Obituaries. Salutations.

NEXT on Sunday invites you to make your next announcement or sale in a big way.

Send your message (no more than 24 words) by sms to 0706 2640189 or email it to classifieds@234next.com and we will publish it FREE in NEXT on Sunday.

Offer expires 31st March 2009.

Classified advertising is textually based and can consist of as little as the type of item being sold or name of wedding bride and groom and a telephone number to call for more information. It can also have much more detail, such as name to contact, address, and detailed description of the product or event.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The public hearing against gay marriage took place today

Report from the BBC here. Anyone who went along care to comment?

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Mi corruption, Su corruption..

Whenever I allude to a morsel (or chunk) of Nigerian corruption, some commentors quite rightly allude to examples of corruption in the 'developed' world - the smelliest one being perhaps the Saudi arms deal the Serious Fraud Office lost their voice over. In this context, I thought you might enjoy a snapshot of an email exchange between 3 Naija-loving Brits, (or rather, two Naija-loving Brits and one Tiv-Brit) today (the debate rumbles on). Start from the bottom (SG) and read upwards (AW then OO):

OO:
And the Saudi intel thing is a bunch of bollocks anyway. The Saudi regime is more scared of Al Qaeda than we are, given their stated aim to take over Saudi, and they rely on our help to protect themselves from their own citizens. The real reason it was dropped is to protect BAE and the Thatcher family - yes, Mark 'Equatorial Guinea' T was mixed up in this too...

Since you mentioned Siriana, that film also illustrates the correct, neat, businesslike way to handle these things, which is to factor a fall guy into the equation. You call up the Saudis and say ' we need to show the public a head on a spike, you pick a useless unwanted political liability of yesteryear to pin it all on, we do the same, justice is seen to be done and we can all get on with business as usual'. That's what you, I or Babangida would have done.

But TB thought little enough of the British public that he allowed the Attorney General (a position he created to defend the independence of the legal system) to stand up in parliament and say 'in this case national security is more important than the rule of law'. That's a sentence which if uttered by a member of George Bush's government, would have echoed round the world, and if uttered by Obasanjo would have had the NBA, NLC, and every other TLA in Naija up in arms and out on strike.

But in Britain, the response was limited to James Naughtie commenting "and I thought the rule of law WAS a matter of national security", and then a day of headlines before everyone went back to speculating over premiership transfers and how much value those horrible curtains of their neighbours' would knock off their own house price. The reason why TB correctly thought we were such a bunch of supine f*cking wankers is because we were surprised when the investigation he ordered his mate to do into dead government weapons scientists exonerated him and blamed the independent media. We wouldn't recognise a scandal if we found it on the sofa molesting our children...

I'm not telling you anything John Lydon didn't already tell you in 1976. The British public make me want to puke sometimes.

AW:
The official rationale for dropping the sfo investigation was that it would damage national security. (thats what they said -piss the saudis off and we lose their intel on Al Q)
Whatever you think about that (and personally i think its bullshit) that was their "nuanced" decision.

In theory, as voters, we can turn around to the labour party and vote them out if we disagree with them. (ok we don't really have much of an alternative -the conservatives would have done the same thing i suppose).

Playing devils advocate for a second, they could say there was a benefit to British industry by the corruption: jobs, intelligence, favourable deals with the internationally key house of Saud... Its real politick and whatever you think about that, that's their reasoning. Their question would be: What negative effect does that corruption have on the lives of British people? As a character in Syriana (A film i thought was actually pretty dull) says: "corruption is why we win"
On the other hand, whats the rationale for dropping (or not proceeding with the cases) people like Ibori, Odili, Dariye et al... what's the quid pro quo? Where's the benefit? qui bono? How is allowing those guys to extract everything from the budget and "convert it to their own use", as the phrase goes, improving Nigeria's ability to compete in manufacturing? Creating much needed jobs? Buying international favour with key world players? Who can nigerians vote out if they disagree with the way their leaders do things?

I thnk when Nigerians say "see corruption in Britain!" what they are saying is "there is corruption in both the UK and Nigeria, therefore there's nothing wrong with corruption in Nigeria". That’s not the point. The real question is "why is corruption in the UK different from corruption in Nigeria?" ie: why does corruption have apparently little negative effect on the quality of life of Britons, but a massive effect on the quality of life of Nigerians?
I personally don't like the government's decision to drop the SFO investigation. Theorists on international development have for many years falsely classified (either implicitly or in some outrageous cases explicitly) the world into the "honest" developed world and the "dishonest" developing world.

Quite obviously that is completely wrong.
But instead of the developing world saying "see corruption in the Britain!" they would be better asking what benefit they are actually getting from their leader's tight closed-shop attitude to power.

SG:
I was at Michaela Wrong’s book launch at SOAS t’other night (‘Its our turn to eat – story of a Kenyan whistle-blower’). All good stuff. Nice, Africa-lovin folk, though their perspective on corruption is a bit one-dimensional and stereotypical. The discussion tended to be over-simplified, until the BAE scandal was mentioned. At which point Sir Edward (ex-High Comm to Kenya/anti-corruption crusader) showed his true colours, as a pillar of the establishment. The message was clear – African corruption is a simple, linear matter, to be exposed and decried; Brit corruption is nuanced, complicated and needs to be kept in context.

Yes, Sir Edward.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Consultancy opportunity: Terms of Reference for Babalawo services

Position: spiritual/juju/black magic consultant
Client: the Bakareweate household
Background: our driver is dozy and stupid. This behaviour is neither genetic nor is he to blame. He was cursed to fall asleep in any classroom he sets foot in by an angry mother in childhood. Her two children failed the common entrance exam, whereas their three best friends all passed. In a fit of anger, she went to see the babalawo to curse the three who passed to academic failure and a lifetime of stupidity.

The curse has thus far been successful. Two of the boys are now the local village drunks. The other one works for us - he forgets everything and gets everything wrong and is very slow to understand anything.

Our driver's uncle took him to Calabar to reverse the curse a while ago. He had his head washed and the curse was successfully weakened. Then, bad times beset the benevolent relative, and the curse has slowly returned, despite heavy prayer and fasting by our driver in his local church.

Client requirement: Help us to reverse the curse of stupidity put upon our driver. The cure will preferably be vegan, and not therefore involve cruelty to animals (or humans).

Fee: We can treat the successful babalawo to a slap-up vegan dinner (drinks included) at our house.

Duration of contract:
IQ of at least 100 should be restored to our driver within the next three weeks.

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Gay Rights Activists Prepare for the Nigerian Anti-Gay Bill Hearing

Nigerian gay rights activists and mainstream human rights organizations are intensifying their campaign against the Same-Gender Marriage Prohibition Bill at the forth-coming public hearing on the Bill. The Bill was passed into the lower chamber of the National Assembly at its second reading and currently sits on the laps of the Joint Committee on Human rights, Justice and Women's Affairs.

Led by The Independent Project for Equal Rights (TIP), gay rights advocates plan to voice their opposition to the bill and press for legal protection of sexual minorities at the hearing. Nigeria is among the world's most dangerous environment for open advocacy for rights of homosexuals. "This current bill is more draconian than the 2006 bill as it discreetly aims to target human rights defenders through which I am affected along side my colleagues in human rights activism," said Joseph Sewedo Akoro.

He points out that the bill will fuel human rights violation on the grounds of perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity expression in the country. The public hearing on the same-gender marriage prohibition bill is now scheduled to be held on Tuesday (March 11). The bill will receive lots of discussion, after which it may - or may not - be passed by the lower chamber. If passed, the bill we go through the same process at the upper chamber before it is passed to the President for assent. TIP is mobilising a group of human rights organisations to attend the public hearing, to give presentations against the bill and inform the House of Representatives the potential effect of the bill to national development and their obligation to maintain peace and orderliness in the country if the bill is passed. Human rights groups are concerned that the Bill will criminalise sexual minorities and their advocates. Denial of a Gay Community in Nigeria Is "Economical With the Truth", Say Young Humanistas. The Young Humanistas Network in Nigeria described recent remarks of Ojo Madueke, Nigeria's Minister for Foreign Affairs, denying the existence of a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in the country as being"economical with the truth".

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Call for submissions

Men in Bed: Women Writers on the Male Sexual Experience
Forthcoming from Other Voices Books

This groundbreaking anthology, edited by Stacy Bierlein, Kat Meads and controversial fiction writer Cris Mazza, notorious for her candid explorations of sexuality, will investigate the sexual experiences and identities of male characters as envisioned by female writers.

Throughout history, male writers from D.H. Lawrence to Phillip Roth have defined sex in literature, including female sexuality. Rare examples of women writers’ sexual explorations were either suppressed or treated as trivial. While women writers in a post-Erica-Jong era have claimed the female sexual experience for themselves, those attempting to explore sex from a male character’s point of view are still often challenged for their so-called lack of credibility, or for trying to push a feminist agenda.

Of course, great works of literature involve writers stepping far outside their own experiences—gender, age, social class, race, nation—to approach a wider envisioning and understanding of the world. In Men in Bed, today’s prominent women writers, alongside emerging talent, explore the provocative and historically pertinent sphere of writing sex through the male lens, thereby reaching a greater understanding not only of human sexuality but of literary tradition and the power of the creative imagination.


Guidelines:
Literary fiction only
Sexually graphic work welcome, but must have strong literary merit
All work should be self-contained and less than 10,000 words.
Previously published stories eligible if the author has retained rights
Submit work via email to meninbedstories@yahoo.com
Please include a brief biographical note.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Mapping corruption in the Oil sector in Nigeria

Nice little primer here on the main forms of corruption (easy to read 4 page PDF you can download).

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Bribing, cheating and lying

In Nigeria, the rot of corruption seems to set in early. A friend was invited to be a judge at a competition at a local school recently. She found out that some parents had paid bribes to some of the teachers for their child to win. The protests were just a little too loud when none of the 'supported' children won. In later discussion, I was told that when some parents introduce their kid to a new school, they often give the child's teachers quite large sums of money to 'like' the new pupil.

Things are much worse at the tertiary level. I wonder what percentage of university students go through college without 'dobbing' - copying another's work or cheating results in one way or another? 20%? 30%? Or am I being a little unfair? It seems, from discussions with various people, that cheating results at university has become normalised, with few people considering a 2i or a First to be genuinely deserved in most cases.

If the above is a snapshot of anything closely resembling the general case in Nigeria, no wonder the rot is found everywhere. Nigeria needs a strong Education Minister at both Federal and State levels (for all state) and some strict policies to stamp out the culture of cheating and bribing that seems to be everywhere in education here.

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Norwich

Helon Habila reminds me of the first time Bibi and I met him, back when he was teaching at the writing programme at UEA, here. Bibi and I were about to make the big leap into the darkness, and were full of excitement. Cassava Republic was still a couple of years away from becoming reality. He's right - the way ahead for Nigerian publishing is a long and thorny path...

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Come in, Mr Tesler, your time is up...

Reality finally caught up with Jeffrey Tesler last week, as the Serious Fraud Office raided his dingy office in Tottenham, in connection with the KBR/Halliburton/NLNG bribery deals. One wonders when the net will finally close on the Nigerians who were involved and received the bribes.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Call for papers - click to enlarge..


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Chioma and Oluchi hit primetime


Here. The two sisters are utterly enchanting and have exactly the kind of adventurous imaginative spirit that is in such short supply (see my earlier post). Journey mercies, girls!

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sefi Atta in Lagos


Add Image

The fabulous and ever more magnificent Sefi Atta was at Terra Kulture recently to read from her new books Swallow and Lawless. Here are some snaps. As you can see, the Kuti clan were out in force..

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The hideous conservatism of Nigerian youth..

This review of an exhibition at CCA Lagos (advertised on this blog a while ago) is instructive. The assumption in the West is that youth culture is all about rebellion, resistance and challenging the status quo set by the previous generation. Henceforth, irruptions of angst, malcontent, anger, extreme fun and quirkiness are expected in the music, art and words of the 18-30's. In Nigeria, things are quite different. Young people are often more conservative and prudish than their parents, avoiding any kind of experiment with life, whether it be sexual, hallucinogenic, expressive or otherwise, spending their free time in the church or the mosque or 'gisting'. How is a society expected to challenge its own assumptions without a Rocknrolla spirit amongst the yoof? Fundamentalism and intolerance for difference takes root more readily in a soil that is both young and conservative. Who is there to challenge the elders and ask questions of what they have done?

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mobile banking in Africa

Good little piece on where things are going here. East Africa, through Safaricom's M-Pesa service, has stolen a march on the rest of the continent. However, Zain will be shortly be launching its Zap service in Nigeria, which promises to do as well in Nigeria as has happened in Tanzania and Kenya, if not better..

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Low fat/sugar exquisite cakes in Lagos


Vegan chocolate sponge cake, Genoa sponge cake, banana cake, carrot cake, low sugar and non iced cakes are now all available in Lagos. For those with lactose intolerance (many if not most black people are lactose intolerant to some degree, often without knowing it), and those keen to enjoy lovingly made, low-fat and/or low sugar baked treats, contact Tricia on 0809 934 8003.

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2 Job Opportunities at EFInA, Lagos

Efina - ‘Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access’ is an independent, professional non-profit organisation conceived and funded by DFID and Ford Foundation. It was set up in late 2007 with the mandate of promoting pro-poor financial sector development in Nigeria.

EFInA distinguishes itself from other financial sector programs in Nigeria in three ways:
➢ Firstly, its focus is on broad-based and diversified access to financial services,
➢ Secondly, EFInA will engage with a broad set of actors at all levels of the market.
➢ Thirdly, EFInA will target key infrastructural components of the market – especially information and policy and regulatory development

• EFInA will focus on three distinct but mutually reinforcing sets of activities:
➢ Improving on the level of credible market information
➢ Policy Advocacy
➢ Innovation Stimulation

Programme Manager Role
Key responsibilities:
• Supervise and manage the Innovation Fund and its related processes (review all documentations received, evaluate proposals based on eligibility criteria, make recommendations to the CEO, undertake due diligence process if required, send letters of approval or rejection to the grantees)
• On a quarterly basis, monitor performance of all projects (where grants have been provided) against pre approved milestones.
• Assist with Human Resource related issues, specifically on talent management, recruitment, training and development
• Generate and implement creative business development ideas
• Assist the CEO in the management of the strategic/business planning process

Qualifications:
• Minimum of university degree, possibly with an MBA
• Approximately 10 to 12 years experience with at least 5 years in the Nigerian financial services sector
• Ideally with some Microfinance /Portfolio Management experience

The Candidate should also possess:
• Good analytical skills.
• Good planning and organisational skills.
• Good interpersonal and communication (verbal and written) skills
• Ability to work with minimal supervision.

Sector Specialist Role

It is envisaged that the sector specialist will focus on themes within branchless banking savings & payments.

The ideal candidate would be expected to execute the following:

• Develop EFInA’s strategy for the sector.
• Understand the dynamics of the relevant sector.
• Conduct due diligence for relevant projects.
• Focus on projects in the sector.
• Generate contacts and maintain good relationship with relevant sectors.
• Maintain good relationships with the end users of the Company’s product.

The key specifications for this position shall be:
• Minimum of a university degree, ideally with a postgraduate degree or MBA.
• Approximately 8 to 10 years experience with at least 5 years within the Financial Service sectors and a minimum of 3 within the Nigerian financial sector and some experience in the Sectors specified above.

The Candidate should also possess:
• Good analytical skills.
• Good planning and organisational skills.
• Good interpersonal and communication (verbal and written) skills
• Ability to work with minimal supervision.

Interested potential applicants should contact the CEO, Modupe Ladipo:
EFInA (Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access)
2nd Floor, First Mutual Plaza
Raufu Taylor Close
Victoria Island
Lagos

Tel: 01-462 8686, 01-899 0736

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Unpaid 'rigging fees'

As they say in Nigerianese, this was 'culled' from a 'recent' publication:

SUMMARY:
On Sunday, March 1, militants claiming to belong to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) demanded a N500 million “unpaid rigging fee” from the ousted Ondo State governor Olusegun Agagu and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The militants claimed that Agagu had not paid them for rigging an election in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of the state and that they “will employ every weapon in our arsenal to ensure he pays the money.” They however apologized to the people of Ondo State for their role in fixing the election. Last week, the Court of Appeal had annulled Agagu’s victory in the 2007 Ondo State gubernatorial elections and declared Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party as the rightful governor of the state.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Public servants pay

The refusal for public-servants to disclose their salaries in Nigeria (see here) is just a little bizarre. We now know that Reps get N35m per quarter in "constituency allowances" (see here) with apparently no checks and balances on how the money is spent. Scarcely believable, yet true. One would have thought that in a functioning democracy, there should be transparency on how much legislators and other officials of government are paid (including full disclosure on all allowances), and that this information is freely available. Audits (undertaken by reputable auditors) on the way the constituency allowance is spent would also be an expected part of the process. With the government admitting last week that there are 40 million people unemployed in Nigeria, there is much work to be done in terms of job creation and poverty reduction. Are the legislators value for money in this respect?

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Hernia

I am still recovering from a hernia operation (under general anaesthetic in London) a week ago. This is my 3rd hernia operation, and was caused by lugging round 50 litre kegs of water when our 419-borehole packed in (we still don't have water). People often want to go into details about the operation. Even talking about the slowly-healing gashes in delicate parts is difficult, let alone mention of 'layers of flesh'. Ugh - pass me the codeine. However, one funny-but-true story has emerged which I feel I must share with you all:

Our friend tells the story of a Nigerian who desperately needed a hernia operation. However, he didn't have the money for surgery. His friends kindly clubbed together and found enough money for him, only for him to spend the money on a new (3rd) wife. Meanwhile, his hernia problems became acute and he died.

There's a moral to this story I'm sure...

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NEXT in the Guardian

The second item (scroll down), here.

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Nigeria is homosexual-free

There are no gays in Nigeria, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ojo Madueke. Here.

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Race and America

Interesting essay on the end of a white majority population and a post-racial future in the US, here.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Age of Stupid


Back in the mid-1990s, I remember my dial-up modem and my very first email address. One of the first (if not the first) campaign websites to go global was Mcspotlight, which tracked the "McLibel" trial - the longest ever in British history. I remember going to the trial itself in Aldwych. It was electrifying to see the the globalising potential of the internet unfold in real time.

Now, one of the people involved behind the scenes in the McLibel trial, Franny Armstrong, is about to premiere her first film, The Age of Stupid, which stars Pete Postlethwaite and is partly set in the Niger-Delta. See here for an interview with Franny in yesterday's Guardian, and here to see the trailer, and here for the Age of Stupid's Vimeo (an interview with Franny here is perhaps the best place to start with the Vimeo).

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Canoe magazine lands in Nigeria

Here.

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