Monday, December 5, 2011

Nigerians on Lagos Island Celebrate the Eyo Festival

My article on Global Press Institute

Nigerians on Lagos Island in southwestern Nigeria celebrated the Eyo Festival at the end of November. Originally known as Adimu Orisha play, the festival is unique to the island and is a tradition of the Yoruba ethnic group. It can be organized to mark various occasions but was traditionally used as a final burial rite after the death of a chief.
In recent years, the festival has honored the late Yesufu Abiodun Oniru, who was the chief of Lagos from 1934 to 1984. He contributed to the development of Lagos state and fought many battles to liberate the indigenous people of the Lagos colony from Great Britain.

The climax of the festival was the public parade on Nov. 26. Participants dressed up as Eyos, or masquerades, wearing white clothing. Each Eyo group wore a hat of a distinct color to symbolize the various ancestries of the island.

Streets were closed off, and everyone had to walk barefoot as a sign of respect. The parade terminated in Tafawa Balewa Square, where people from all over Lagos gathered to watch the festival.

Click here to view Photos on Google+ or Flickr

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Imagine Nigeria...

"Imagine a country where the Hausa, Ibo,
Yoruba, Isoko, Itsekiri, Nupe and all Nigerians
See themselves as Nigerian first before their tribe."

Imagine Nigeria...

By Arukaino Umukoro

Imagine those American kids on Youtube
Really meant it when they sang
'I want to be a Nigerian so freaking bad'
Cos Bruno Mars now lives in Yola.

Imagine those bomb blasts were actually scenes from a Nollywood set.
Imagine Nollywood movies winning Oscars every other year.
Imagine Super Eagles winning the World Cup.
Imagine Nigeria finishing among the top five
On the Olympics medals table.

Imagine food baskets all over the country
Enough to feed 200 million people
Yet have enough left for export.

Imagine the UN asking Third World countries
To learn from the rapid 'development of the West;
Only this time, the 'West'
Actually means South-West Nigeria.
A global model for socio-economic development.

Imagine the rise of groundnut pyramids
Like sphinx in the Northern deserts.
Imagine those cattle
On a thousand Northern hills & valleys,
Whose dairy products are sold in Europe.
Imagine 'almajiri' is an ancient word.
Imagine Harvard in Jigawa
And MIT in Kebbi.
Imagine that the best resorts
In Africa are in the Niger Delta
Imagine that those children could
Actually swim in clean waters flowing from the creeks.
Imagine Hawaii in Akwa Ibom or Bayelsa
Imagine Disneyland in Warri.
Imagine those architectural masterpieces.
Imagine a boat cruise in the Niger Delta.

Imagine those exotic landscapes in the South.
Imagine the lush vegetation and fertile lands,
Beautiful landscapes
And techies in West Africa's first Silicon Valley in the East.
Imagine an original car model called Utomibile. Maybe Aba-car or Zik-ari,
Designed & manufactured in Aba
But competing with others made in Europe & Asia.
Imagine Japanese CEOs driving made-in-Nigeria cars.

Imagine one Naira to a dollar.
Imagine nine functional refineries.
Imagine nuclear power plants in Ajaokuta.
Imagine 24 hour electricity in every city or village
Without the interruption of generators
Bleating like stray goats in the marketplace. 
Imagine you telling your children PHCN stories and everyone laughing about it,
Like they were fairy tales or Alice in Wonderland.

Imagine the first Nigerian astronaut
Taking off from Abuja Space Agency.
Imagine the Nigerian police truly being your friends.
Imagine a well-equipped police force
Without the everyday drama of corruption.
Imagine thirty seven world class international airports.
Imagine Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez
Travelling to Nigeria on Nigeria Airways.

Yes, 'Nigeria' Airways.
Imagine Sasha & Malia Obama
Begging for a Nigerian vacation.
Imagine the beauty of traffic at night.
And the joy of inter-state road trips.
Imagine a country bonded by its diverse cultures,
Cemented with the right values system.

Imagine a country where the Hausa, Ibo,
Yoruba, Isoko, Itsekiri, Nupe and all Nigerians
See themselves as Nigerian first before their tribe.
Imagine Tuwo sinkafa, amala, and banga,
On the regular menu list in Waldorf Astoria.
Imagine that the 350 ethnic groups
Understand their differences.

Imagine that the people,
Rather than fight,
Harness her diversity into strength.
Imagine a truly indivisible country.
Imagine how great Nigeria would be
If every tribe & group unite as one.

Imagine 180 million beautiful people
In a beautiful country,
One nation under God,
Living together,
For the love of country & humanity.

Imagine a country with focused,
Selfless leaders. And strong institutions.
Imagine a country where Boko Haram,
Kidnapping, Niger Delta militancy et al
Would be forgotten tales by moonlight
When we sit under the shades of history,
Sipping the palmwine of true nationhood.

Imagine a country where the rule of law prevails.
Imagine a country where there is dignity in labour.
Imagine a country where justice
Is a meal both the rich & poor can afford.

Imagine your imagination running wild.
Like truly seeing Eko Atlantic City
On Victoria Island Beach,
Imagine Nigeria's own Manhattan.

Imagine Ajegunle, Mushin and Agege
With VGC architecture, infrastructure and design.
Imagine you living the Nigerian dream.
Imagine 'that' is possible.

Forget Nigeria today.
Imagine the new Nigeria tomorrow.
Imagine that beautiful country

But don't stop there.
Together, we can make it better!
God bless Nigeria.

© Arukaino Umukoro.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Minister of Youth Development to host a Town Hall meeting with Nigerian youth

I recently heard that the Minister of Youth Development will be hosting a Town Hall meeting with Nigerian youth online :) Please participate and get your voice heard! Endeavor to share the outcome of the meeting with offline friends! :-)

Date:  Thursday, September 8th 2011

Time: 3.00 - 5.00 p.m.

Chief host: The Minister for Youth dvelopment, Alhaji Bolaji Abdullahi.

Twitter handle


The document below is the Ministry's strategic plan in dealing with issues affecting young people in the country. This will form the basis of the discussions at the townhall. Kindly read, review and tell your friends about it! Source: AfterSchoolPrep

Nigerian Youth: Key Interventions Proposed by the Ministry of Youth Development


Those between 18 and 35 constitute almost 50% of the Nigerian population (NPC 2006). Given its size, energy, passion and creativity, this demographic group should be a critical resource for economic growth, sustainable development, and national transformation in Nigeria. At present, it is not. This is because the potential contributions of our young population is compromised by a host of challenges, including lack of jobs, limited marketable skills, low entrepreneurial bias, limited access to credit, high vulnerability to poverty, limited level of inclusion, and low value orientation etc.

Our present economic growth rate could mask the extent of youth deprivation in the country. Rather than be taken in by seemingly robust growth rates, we should learn, proactively, from the recent experience in North Africa and the Middle East. And now, the United Kingdom. Tunisia, for example, had a steady growth rate of about 9%. But despite this healthy outlook, it was the first to erupt when the simmering anger of its deprived and frustrated youth eventually boiled to the surface.

While many countries are ageing, we are blessed with abundant youth population, and it has been projected that by 2030 our most important resource will be our youth, not oil (British Council 2010). But our youth bulge could turn out to be either a demographic dividend or a demographic disaster. It is important therefore that we do more to harness the potentials of our youth, put in place policies and programmes to unlock the binding constraints on their path, and scale up investment to turn this huge demographic force to a force for good. We shouldn’t do this just because we love our youth. On the contrary, we should do it because it makes economic, social, political, and security sense.

Where We Are
The Federal Government has a plethora of initiatives and investments aimed at addressing the youth challenge in the country. But our analysis reveals that our youth population is underserved for the following reasons:

Lopsidedness: About 90% of the budget of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development and its two parastatals goes to NYSC alone (N43bn out of N49bn in 2011 budget). This is not to say that the budget of NYSC is too much, but that almost all our resources for youth development go to one year in the life of those lucky to be graduates of universities and polytechnics. 

Limited Coverage: As presently focused, most of the activities of the Ministry serve what can be categorized as the elite youth: university graduates and politically-active youth and their organizations. This means that a majority of our youth are outside the scope of our interventions. However, it is this category of missing and underserved youththat portends the most danger to the country in terms of crime, restiveness, political thuggery and religious extremism. 

Misalignment:The major challenge facing our youth today is lack of jobs and skills. Unfortunately, our major investments in youth development do not tackle this major challenge. The NYSC, the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre and the mainline Ministry do little to prepare the youth for the job market or to expand opportunities available to them. Also, there is misalignment between the available training programmes and the needs of the industry.

Limited Coordination: Because of the cross-cutting nature of youth development, responsibilities are dispersed in different sectors. This is to ensure that the youth challenge is tackled in a holistic and comprehensive manner. However, due to lack of adequate coordination, most youth programmesdo not serve their intended target or the concerns of the youth get crowded out in the mix.

Tokenism: A lot is being done to reduce general unemployment, but much more could be done to directly tackle the specific obstacles to youth employment. Our young people could not access the available job opportunities because they are not skilled, do not have experience, and do not have collateral for credit. Most of the existing skills training programmes are either below market standards or too token; and the financial supports/loans offered for entrepreneurship are too paltry to make any meaningful impact. Also, states and LGAs (where most of our youth live) could do much more than they are doing at present.

Little Engagement: Little is being done to involve the youth in the design and implementation of the programmes directed at them, so most of these youth-targeted interventions fail because they do not reflect the needs of their intended beneficiaries. Beyond opportunistic and counter-productive engagement at election periods, little effort is made to involve the youth in the larger decision-making process or give them stake in the society.

Strategic Priorities & Key Interventions
Given our mandate, the key challenges of our clients, and the need for us to play a key role in the Transformation Agenda, the Ministry of Youth Development after its recent retreat decided to focus on the following five strategic priorities:

Facilitate targeted skills acquisition, enterprise development and credit access for the youth;
Reform/reposition key institutionsof the Ministry to improve service and value to youth and country;
Mobilize, empower, and re-orientate the youth;
Improve monitoring and coordination of different youth programmes across sectors/tiers;
Enhance advocacy and communication to make youth issues an urgent national priority.

Arising from the above, some of the key interventions being proposed are as follows:

1.     Youth Employment Project
We propose to initiate a Youth Employment Project, which is a short-term, quick-impact intervention that will provide skills and entrepreneurial trainings, job placements, business development services and concessionary credit to our youth. This project is not a replacement for the NDE and other such initiatives, as it will be different in terms of its specificity to the youth, and its scale, execution mode and quality. The Project aims to reach 500, 000 youth per year (NDE’s is for 36,000 Nigerians) and will be undertaken mostly through credible intermediaries in private and public sectors and civil society. It is expected that YEP will become part of the Youth Development Fund once the enabling law is passed.

2.     Reform of the NYSC
The NYSC is the singular most important investment in youth development in the country today. But the return on investment to the country and the corps members has been low. While security of corps members has been a major concern lately, it is clear that NYSC is long due for a holistic review that will align the scheme with challenges of the moment. We therefore propose to go beyond the cosmetic reforms of the past and plan to reposition the NYSC to serve as a boot-camp/finishing school for our graduates and to provide real service to the country in infrastructure, farming, and teaching etc. As a starting point, we want to propose the setting up of a Presidential Committee on the Review of the NYSC.

3.     “Drive the Future Nigeria” Campaign
Many of our youth have become cynical, disoriented, dysfunctional and alienated. We plan to re-engage our youth and increase their self-belief, agency and voice by initiating an IT-led but multimedia and multi-lingual campaign to put them in the driver’s seat of their future. Led by Youth Champions, this campaign will also be used to mobilize the youth, make them part of the decision-making process and arm them with positive values of citizenship, entrepreneurship, work ethic and leadership. It will be run in partnership with civil society and the private sector, and will serve as a creative vehicle for engaging and empowering the youth.

4.   Improving Data for Planning & Advocacy
The youth population is not a homogenous group, and we cannot serve them well if we continue to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. We therefore plan to improve our understanding of our clients by undertaking a number of studies, including: a disaggregated study of the youth population to be able to adequately segment the various sub-groups in terms of location, level of education/skills, size, disposition, challenges etc.; a scoping study of the various interventions by different actors across sectors and tiers for us to have a comprehensive view of the landscape and ensure proper coordination and impact; a database of the unemployed youth in the country; and refocusing of the Youth Development Index, which was first and last published in 2008, to serve as a tool for tracking and advocacy.

5.     Repositioning the Ministry
We plan to reposition the Ministry because we need to redefine our role as a facilitator/coordinator, rather than as a service provider. This will entail not just a re-orientation and restructuring but the development of appropriate capacities for policy-making and research, for coordination and partnership, and for advocacy and communication. The Ministry needs to be fit-for- purpose and be positioned to serve the youth—its client—and the country better. This will entail institutional review and re-alignmeant.

Source: Federal Ministry of Youth Development

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Nigeria! It is Up to Me! Its Y(our) Nigeria too...

A friend recently told me about a new not-for-profit project tagged "My Nigeria," focused on mobilizing youths online to take ownership of Nigeria and implement change projects in their local communities (offline). It sounds different from the armchair criticism and analysis that is going online (the internet) these days right? Read more about the idea below:

My Nigeria is a youth movement that challenges every young Nigerian to become a part of the solution to the challenges faced by Nigeria through their engagement in their communities. Whilst we know how overwhelming the challenges of nation building in Nigeria is and are aware of how some of our leaders at all levels have failed to meet our expectation in the past, our focus is to look inwards to develop quality leaders amongst young Nigerians.
We hope to achieve this by challenging the youths to do what they can today to make a difference in the lives of the people around them. By flexing their leadership muscles, we believe that we will be able to nurture a generation that will not continue in the mistakes of the past but will take ownership of the success of the future through active participation in making Nigeria work, one community at a time.

Through a vibrant online forum that will actively engage young Nigerians in sharing the stories of their change projects to inspire one another, essay competition that will boost the critical mindedness of young people, and an interactive sessions with selected role models in our society, young Nigerians will be able to grasp the vision on how to make Nigeria their Nigeria.
My Nigeria is designed and driven by Nigerian youths with a decade long experience of making change in their community has a vision of mobilizing 100,000 youth by 2020 who would have implemented change projects in their communities and become advocates for participatory change in Nigeria.

The platform challenges the myth that Nigerians are too discouraged by the failure of our leaders to get engaged in Nation building. It seeks to look beyond what we lack and develop our potential for greatness - The Nigerian youth. We dare to refocus the minds of Nigerian youth from thinking about what my country can or cannot do or provide for me to what I can do to improve the quality of life of people within my reach. The philosophy is that true leaders are made in the fields of volunteerism and selfless community service.

JOIN THE First ONLINE FORUM on 22nd August 2011.
• click REGISTER
• Follow all registration process.
• Enter a Username
• Enter your email address, password and click submit.
• Click “Return to the Index Page”
• Login using your Username and Password
• Click on My Nigeria Discussion Forum
• Select a topic from any of the facilitators
• Start discussing

Visit My Nigeria Blog:
Join the conversation on Facebook. Follow My Nigeria on Twitter @My_Nigeria

INTERVIEW: Meet the winner of Don Jazzy's Enigma Competition 2011

Three winners have emerged in the just concluded Don Jazzy’s Enigma Beat Competition. The competition, which went viral while it lasted, was launched a few weeks ago with over 1,800 submissions. After screening and short-listing the entries down to top ten, the publics were invited to vote for their favorite artiste.

According to a post on the website that hosted the competition,, the top 10 entries had 34,410 votes from different parts of the world. On Monday, 15th August, the top three artistes who emerged winners were announced. IBK Spaceship Boi, was top winner with 13,214 Votes. While Teeklef Unogu came second place with 7,864 Votes and Opeyemi Akinloye aka OPZY had5,746 votes, coming third place.

In this interview with Jennifer Ehidiamen, the Computer Engineering graduate from Covenant University, Emuwawon Ibukun Kevin, aka IBK Spaceship Boi shares his experience on the Don Jazzy Enigma Beat competition and his aspiration forthe future as he launches fully into the Nigeriam Music industry.

In retrospect, who was your favorite artiste from the top 10 shortlisted on Don Jazzy's Enigma competition?

IBK: Wow! That's a tough one because everyone had elements in their delivery that was exclusive to them, and I appreciated the individual diversity each time I listened through the top ten list. They were all deserving winners, but I can't seem to take a pick.

The track you entered for the competition started with "a toast to the winner," was that a premonition that you would win?

IBK: Yes it was, (Laughs) because winning for me was encapsulated around the fact that a young man or woman would be inspired to dream and become what God wants them to be on earth after they listen to the record. I was positive I had delivered to that effect and shouting out a toast to the ultimate winner in the deity of Christ was to reassure myself that He would bless His people through the work He inspired me to do.

If you had not won the competition, whom else do you think deserved to win on the list aside Teeklef and Opzy?

: Like I said earlier, they were all deserving winners. Everyone had what it took to get the number 1 ticket. It could have been anyone on that list, but the author wrote that chapter in my favour and for a very good reason too.

You won the competition with a striking 13,214 Votes, compared to Teeklef's 7,864 Votes and Opzy's 5,746 Votes, what do you think endeared you to the listeners who voted for you?

IBK: I would say the message and the way it was delivered. I heard the beat and immediately thought "cinema", hence I introduced the effect elements like the thunder sound, rain, soldier foot stomps, extra vocals to make the intro fuller and an inspiring hook, with the body of the rap focusing on the story of God's salvation told in a manner the rap artiste, Common, did in the song “I used to love her”. It was different and stood out. For some people, it was a bold step doing what I did. I can't forget a comment from someone on twitter saying "Wow! You spoke about Jesus without saying His name but we all got the message. That is true creativity." But most importantly, I found favour with God and with the listeners because it was ordained to be, even before I was born.

How was the waiting process, between the time the poll closed on and when the result was announced on Monday?

IBK: (Exclaims) It was horrible! Ah! I had to remind myself of God's word that says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your request known unto God." It was a true test of selflessness. There were many moments of doubt because I didn't know what it would be judged by. I kept telling myself, "but you are already fulfilled in what you set out to do, which was to inspire people". It wasn't a pleasant waiting moment I must say. But God proved Himself.

Where were you when you were told you won? What was your first reaction?

IBK: I was on a Bike, heading out to see a friend. I find traveling on Bikes an efficient means of beating the traffic jam in Lagos. Anyway, as we rode along, a friend sent a BBM message saying "Yayyyy!!! You won". I was like “Please don't play with my emotions, oh please!” All of a sudden, another message came in, and another and another, all saying congratulations. I broke down in tears as the Okada (Bike) rider kept going. Immediately called my mum and told her what had happened because mummy was supportive with her votes, with prayers and all, thank God for my family and friends, they were all so supportive.

Before the Enigma Beat competition, where was IBK Spaceship Boi and now that you won, what next?

IBK: Before the competition, I was working on my debut album schedule to drop sometime in 2012, a current member of bez's band and very well into the business of creating music for other artists, companies and all. What happens next is obvious to me because I have always been on "what next" since I was born. It is simple, be sensitive to listen and obey Gods voice because like I said earlier, He is the author and director; I am just an actor with a script He wrote for His play.

Tell us a bit more about life as a music producer and songwriter
IBK: It's fun having the ability to create; an amazing experience having to go through old records, redefine the sound and make it fresh for the human ear consumption. "There is nothing new under the sun" King Solomon once said. It is pretty cool being your own boss and pushing yourself to achieve your goals. It is exciting and fun, especially when the set wages for your services are handed to you, wow! That sure is amazing.

You studied Computer Engineering but today you have ventured into music full-time. Was this an easy transition?

IBK: Music for me has always been my life. I wanted to go to Australia to study Sound Engineering prior to going to Covenant University to study Computer Engineering. There was no transition at all. It was staple right from my tender ages. I knew this was what I was going to do and I bless God for all the people that added to me being where I am today.

What advice do you have for young Nigerians who are aspiring to be or pursue a career different from what they are studying presently?

IBK: Go for it! Develop yourself in what you want to do. It takes lots of reading and doing what the average person won't do in order for you to be exceptional. I can't tell you the amount of sleepless nights I have had in my little journey so far. Make sure you have a strong purpose for going into what you want to go into, and the motive should be centered on solving a problem or adding value.

Why did you enter for the Enigma Beat competition?
IBK: I entered because it was an opportunity to get God's word out. I entered the competition to inspire that boy and girl who would listen to what I put out. It was a selfless route for me and I am grateful it turned out the way it did.

What is your opinion about the Nigerian music industry? What excites you about the industry? What difference are you bringing on board?
IBK: The Nigerian music industry is in transition like most things are in the country. Where our country is today is primarily as a result of the mindset of its people. We hold our future in our hands but its beauty is evident when we commit it to the hands of God. What excites me about the industry is the growing desire for development and improvement in the nature of material its artistes put out. People are gradually moving from the mediocre state of mind to actually pushing themselves to be creative. The industry is still “doggy dog,” but we are getting there. I want to stir up the drive to put out quality products that would inspire my nation and the world at large. Let's make our nation the most desirable place to live in, let's get more youths thinking like job creators and not job seekers. We need more Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) growing to become Conglomerates. Lets work towards setting policies that will be enforced for the growth of the industry. Let's grow, we can do it and we shall. God bless Nigeria.

Readers can listen to or download “I have a Dream” for FREE, please visit: Follow on Twitter:


This interviewed was first published in the Nation Newspaper, August 21st, 2011.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tana Adelana: How to be a Diva

In an age desirous of female role models, Tana is fast carving herself into one. A number of things rolled into one. Christiana Adelana,popularly called Tana, is veejay with over six years international experience, a Nollywood actress, a wife and a mother of two.

For six years Tana was the face of Channel O where she hosted the interactive O-BOMA show. With Channel O, she also hosted the magazine-styled 100% Naija show. Tana also worked with the Big Brother Africa reality series for three (3) years as the Nigerian correspondent. Also hosted the eviction parties for Big Brother Nigeria and West African Idols Reality TV shows. She hosted DSTV’s Mnet’s Let’s Dance  reality dance series.

Tana, in 2007, hosted perhaps the biggest entertainment event, Hip Hop World’s Award with arguably the biggest name in Nigerian entertainment, D’banj. She has also gone on to work as host with other events, such as MTN Y’ello, LG karaoke Mega Star Show, Coca Cola Fc Tv Show and Zain Naira Rain Promo.
Tana is the current face of the peak talent show which captures the audience of many across Africa and produced kida kudz as its 2010 winner with the next season of peak talent show 3 kicking off soon and this year promises to be bigger and better.

The graduate of the University of Lagos has recently moved on to develop her talent in acting. She played a lead role in one of Nigeria’s finest producer’s series ‘Disclosure’ earning her critical acclaim and widespread interest from various casting supervisors and film producers. She also starred in Blessing Effiom Egbe’s production ‘2 Brides and a Baby, which is scheduled for cinema release in October.

A winner of the Grind Awards and a two time finalist & winner of Nigeria’s biggest youth event, The Future Awards, Tana describes herself as ‘passionately motivated’. For her, what is important is to be “deeply passionate about who you are; whether as a wife, a mother, an actress, an On Air Personality and work to be the best you can in those fields. That is my source of strength”.

Tana is definitely here to stay with her own show in the pipeline as well.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


“..Africa now; the investment haven of the World” Babatunde Fashola, SAN Executive Governor, Lagos State, Nigeria.

Undoubtedly, Africa is now the World’s investment haven for only the insightful capitalists. All the problems currently plaguing the globe could find their solutions on the continent. Many of the resources that the World needs and which sustain humanity abound on the continent.

More than ever before, the solution to global challenges lies in Africa than many other regions. Even the Asians, towards whose region most of the World looks for solution, are now investing in the continent.

From irresistible great business ideas ranging from Agriculture, Human resources, Technology, Manufacturing to Infrastructure, ImpactHouse International makes browsing of rich business ideas easy for interested investors. We give professional advice, carry out feasibility studies, formulate winning strategies and utilize relative performance measurement systems to guarantee a sustainable pedestal for you in the Africa’s emerging economy.

Recently, ImpactHouse International introduced “INVEST IN AFRICA” project, 
which is designed to create a platform for Nigerians 
(especially those in Diaspora) to SAVE and INVEST in Africa.

Over the years, Africans in Diaspora who are interested in investment in Africa are constantly faced with three key issues among others, namely;

·      Integrity on the part of managers of resources
·      Credibility/expertise on the part of their business managers
·      Inadequate information on what potential businesses to invest in.
This project will facilitate local account opening for potential investors with domiciliary options (USD-NAIRA, GBP-NAIRA or EURO-NAIRA) and would offer intermittent updates of investment opportunities in Africa. To ensure secured financial transactions, our banking partner - First City Monument Bank (FCMB) shall be responsible for opening and maintenance of the account, and issuance of introduction letters on partnering firms to potential investors.

This project will enable investors to be rest assured that they are not dealing with faceless people as they will be properly recognised by the bank. This will also guarantee safety of their resources as they will have access to and receive automated notifications of transactions on their accounts through their international mobile line and email irrespective of their location.

Our client, a specialized cargo and Haulage Company got a contract to handle the freight distribution for two new major multinationals on the West African coast.

In order to meet these growing demands of providing just-in-time delivery services, we invite individuals interested in this low risk and stress-free investment opportunity to procure TRUCKS (specifications apply) for our client, towards meeting the huge demands.

For more information, expression of interest and Return On Investment enquiry, kindly contact:

Ms Ifeoma Jane Adibe Business Development Executive ImpactHouse International
+234 806 2920 147

Mr Femi Aderibigbe Executive Director ImpactHouse International
+234 803 4241 889 or +234 802 6221 289

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Demystifying verse (An Interview on 234Next Newspaper)

Writer, journalist and youth advocacy enthusiast, Jennifer Ehidiamen, took another step towards self-achievement with the release of her second collection of poems titled ‘Preserve My Saltiness’ in February. Her first, ‘In Days to Come’, was published in 2004 by the Young Poets Society, an online poetry club. Ehidiamen, who has a column in the Sunday edition of ‘The Nation’ newspaper, called ‘Dis Generation’, was awarded the LEAP Africa Nigerian Youth Leadership Award in November 2010 for her work as an outstanding youth leader. She had a 12-month stint as a fellow at the Atlas Corps in Washington DC, USA, and is currently features editor at Celebrating Progress Africa (CP Africa), an online portal which reports progressive African news. Ehidiamen talks about her craft and career pursuits.

I am from Edo State. I attended Federal Government Girls College, Benin City briefly but returned to Lagos and completed my secondary school at Ikeja High School. After completing secondary school, I had a gap-year. I was reading a lot and I wanted to know what else I could do with my life. I figured that there’s got to be more to being young so I decided to volunteer with a friend, Dayo Israel, who used to run a youth group at Ebute Metta. We arranged summer camps. While I was involved with the group, I got to know about Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS), where I later did a six-month internship. This was where I learnt how to use the media for advocacy. I also got opportunity to participate in an exchange programme organised by the British Council. Shortly afterwards, I gained admission to study journalism at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Lagos.

Writing has always been a passion. I was a member of the press club at my secondary school. I started out reading Wole Soyinka’s poems, also J.P. Clark and Emily Dickinson. I began writing lots of poetry and I also joined online writing clubs. In 2004, I signed up to get published by an online poetry club, Young Poets Society. That encouraged me to keep writing. I also write short stories. Hopefully, that will be my next work.

It is a collection of 52 poems written over a period of three years. Some of it is raw poetry because I live the stories I tell. Aside from this, the poems deal with political, social, personal and spiritual issues. They are all written in the narrative form. I like to write in the first person narrative. The poems are like a collection of short stories. The book is targeted at young people and the young at heart. Many believe poetry is not the ‘in thing’ for this generation because it is not a celebrated genre of literature.

However, I believe one of the ways we can reverse this is to encourage schools, especially English and Literature teachers, to pay attention to it and engage their classes in critical discussion of different types of poetry. In addition, poets and writers should organise more reading sessions. I think we should also have more poetry slam and writers’ lounge. People should not conclude that poetry is a difficult genre of literature. I tell people, for every narrative poem they read, they get a combination of short story and poetry. It is very exciting to tell stories through poems.

Development journalist
I have always wanted to be a journalist. During my internship at JAAIDS, we were offering training sessions for journalists. We would bring young people living with HIV/AIDS and journalists together for sessions on how journalists can create awareness about HIV/AIDS. That was how I first learnt about development journalism. I started thinking of a column for young people. Luckily, the editor of ‘The Nation’ newspaper, then known as ‘The Comet’, approached me with an idea similar to what I had in mind about running a column for young people. That was how I started writing the column.

Giving back
Someone once told me that young Nigerians are very lazy and I refuted it. I like working with young people at the grassroots and I created an online forum for young people to interact, where they can get opportunities to develop themselves. I also reach out to youth through my column and work with some NGOs with a focus on youth development. ‘Before Graduation’ is another project we are running. It is a forum which creates opportunities for young undergraduates and secondary school students to do other things. We train them in life skills and inform them of internship opportunities.

We’ve done this at Yaba College of Technology and Obafemi Awolowo University. One World Youth Project is running a project which will connect schools from different parts of the world and we are currently trying to get University of Ibadan into the programme. We are also working on screening a documentary on social media and development journalism. The documentary, titled ‘Ten Tactics on How to Turn Information into Action’, was made by Tactical Technology based in the United Kingdom. LEAP Africa is sponsoring the screening of the documentary which is intended to train young people. Participants in the screening can mentor secondary school press clubs.

Culled from

Friday, April 22, 2011

Funmi Iyanda’s “Lagos Stories” Nominated for Monte Carlo Television Festival Award

“Lagos Stories”, an episode of My Country Nigeria, a three-part documentary on Nigeria produced by Funmi Iyanda and Chris Dada and aired on the BBC has been nominated in the News Competition of the 51st Monte Carlo Television Festival in the category Best News Documentary. Past recipients of the festival awards include multi award winning televisions dramas Mad Men and Lost.

The prestigious Monte-Carlo Television Festival is an annual global television festival established by Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1961 to celebrate the best in worldwide television programming. The festival’s news Competition rewards outstanding documentaries that combine fascinating social and cultural topics with a high level of technical expertise.

Lagos Stories is nominated alongside documentaries produced by renowned broadcasters such as U.S. network HBO, France’s Arte and Germany’s Zdf. Other nominees across the categories honoured this year include award winning television programs 30 Rock, Glee and Modern Family.

Lagos Stories takes an in-depth look into one of the most fascinating and populated cities in the world as seen through the eyes of its own people. Funmi Iyanda takes viewers on an insiders’ tour of the city – from the exclusive salons to the urban ghetto of AJ City, she meets characters from all works of life revealing the resilience, resourcefulness and spirit of Lagosians. Enter Governor Fashola charged with the herculean task of organizing Lagos; Charly Boy, the cult hero spokesman for outcast bikers and the influential ghetto artists creating the musical styles and dances that spread over the entire continent.  In true Funmi Iyanda fashion, Lagos Stories has captured the heart and spirit of Lagosians, engaging them in eye-opening and down to earth conversations about their unique Nigerian experience.

Lagos Stories was broadcast on BBC World as part of the “My Country Nigeria” series and is an Ignite Media and Spark UK production.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nigeria Elections 2011: Results and Analysis

The first of the 2011 Nigerian Elections which had been earlier postponed finally held on the 9th April, 2011. The Election was anticipated with mixed feelings, experiences and expectations as a result of the recent spate of violence and perceived incompetence by the Electoral Body (INEC). Elections were postponed in 15 senatorial districts and 48 federal constituencies which will be held on the 26th of April. Results have started pouring in as INEC kept their word that results will be announced at Polling units and collation centres and that all results will be available within 48 hours.

From reports from Citizen reporters on the field, it seems the PDP slots in the house has been mostly overtaken by the opposition.
Election Results

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Lagos we See, is the future we’ll have… #Lasgidi

Lagos is seen in different perspective by different people. To some, it is the commerical hub of Nigeria, the city that never sleeps, the city of milk and honey. How do you see Lagos?
“I See Lagos” is a call to all Lagosians, wherever they are in the world, to join in a collective visioning of Lagos. No doubt, Lagos is more than a geographical space but a place for hopes, and a place where dreams can become reality.
This is a challenge to everyone who truly believe in the future of this great city to envision the Lagos they want to see. It is an opportunity for all outspoken Nigerians, Lagosians especially, to take up the call for change and make their dreams a reality through expression and networking.
To share your vision, visit: I SEE LAGOS or Join the FaceBook Group

“I see a Lagos were every thing works, where touts do not molest innocent civilians, where there is no traffic jam along Ikorodu road from morning till night, where there is water for the people of Ajegunle, roads in all rural areas, cheap housing for all not only civil servants.”  Obinna
“I see Lagos, where there’s a world class public library in every LCDA” Seun

“I see Lagos as the regional commercial hub drawing multinationals from far and wide the way Singapore has done in Asia and Athens has done in Europe. Business friendliness is the key to this dream. The attraction of a major international player will cause a ripple effect that will trickle down many levels (GDP, employment – direct or indirect etc). Lagos is a typical example of what Nigeria should be. Unfortunately, the rest of Nigeria is what Nigeria is. I am proud to be a Lagosian (by blood). We are pacesetters and will forever be the role model state for the rest of the country and West Africa.” Kabir
“I see Lagos powered with a solar panel on every home, offshore wind on the highland, public health, access to high speed broadband, innovative education and accessible healthcare at every ward…I see happy people spoilt with choices of transport. I see a shinning city with dreams kept alive” Oluseun
“I see Lagos turning into an atmosphere of rest and freedom and much laughter on the faces of children.” Layefa Olivia
“I see a Lagos where beauty, cleanliness, wide roads, jobs and micro businesses grow beyond the Lekki/Ajah axis to Ikorodu, Epe, Ogba…the whole of Lagos! Eko oni baje o!” Desola Bakare
“I see a METRO-LAGOS. I am beginning to feel BRF’s vision. Lots of GREENS background/natural waterways. If you miss the Lagos of the early 70s, you will surely love the way things are going. Once the train system is in place, every other thing will fall into place.” Charles Nkanga

“I see Lagos with no more moluwes at oshodi, no more agberos, and no more … Policemen collecting N20 at roadblocks.” Tolulope Akinsanmi
“I see a new Lagos where one can spend 30minutes to travel from island to Ikorodu, Agbado and Sango without any traffic anytime, anyday.” Ojedokun Gbenga
“I See a Lagos where Passengers can pay Conductors in DANFO with ATM.” Oladipo Fasoro.
“I see a lagos that is secure with more BRT buses to reduce traffic congestion.” Abisagbo Agnes Omolola
“I see Lagos where social amenities will be sufficient for all, where gap between the poor and the rich will be minimal” Arowolo David.

WELCOME TO NIGERIA. I SEE LAGOS. What do you SEE? Join the conversation- click here