Monday, 15 September 2014


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the time table and schedule of activities for the forthcoming Adamawa State governorship bye-election. The bye- election to replace the impeached Governor Murtala Nyako has been slated for October 11, in accordance with Section 191(2) of the 1999 Constitution. Below is the schedule of activities


Notice of election
15th August, 2014
Section 30(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides not later than 14 days before the election.
Last date for the conduct of Party Primaries including resolution of disputes arising from the Primaries
7th September, 2014
To enable Political Parties democratically nominate candidates for the election as required by Section 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010
Last day for the submission of Forms CFOO2, CF001 and nomination forms at the INEC Headquarters.
17th September, 2014
Section 31(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides for not later than 60 days before the election.
Last day for the publication of Personal Particulars of candidate. CF001.
23rd September, 2014
Section 31(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides for publication within 7 days of the receipt of the form CF001.
Submission of names of Party Agents for the election to the Electoral Officer of the Local Government.
29th September, 2014
Section 45 of the Electoral Act, 2010. Provides not later than 7 days before the election.
Last day for campaigns.
9th October, 2014
Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 prohibits advertisements or broadcasts of campaigns 24hours prior to the day of election.
Date of election.
11th October, 2014
Section 191(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides for conduct of bye-elections within three months of vacancy.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


There has been an alarming outcry over the number of students said to have failed the 2014 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). The statistics available on the WAEC webpage says 1,692,435 candidates, comprising 929,075 males and 763,360 females sat for the examination in the country. 145,795 candidates representing 8.61 percent had their results withheld for alleged examination malpractice. 1,293,389 candidates representing 76.42 percent, obtained credits and above in three subjects, while 1,148,262 candidates representing 67.84 percent, obtained credits and above in four subjects. Of the total number of candidates that sat for the examination, 791,227 candidates representing 46.75 percent obtained six credits and above while 982,472 candidates representing 58.05 percent obtained five credits and above. A total of 529,425 candidates representing 31.28 percent obtained credits in five subjects and above including English language and Mathematics.
Many reasons have been alluded to be responsible for this national disgrace, they range from unseriousness on the part of the students who instead of preparing hard for their examination are busy following friends and socializing on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, My space, more interested in watching the English premier league and European football league, watching television and movies, pinging on their smart mobile phones as well as avidly prefer to watch and take part in the various talent shows like Big Brother Africa, MTN project fame, West African Idols to name a few to serious ineptitude on the part of the WAEC as revealed by the appalling condition under which examiners work as they struggle with thousands of scripts, the poor remuneration of examiners by WAEC which affects the quality of work, payment per script being as low as N11 per script, the drop in the quality of examiners employed to mark and grade exam papers, The obvious marking guide errors by WAEC which examiners are not allowed to correct yet leads to the failure of students in the subject, lack of any form of capacity building conferences, seminars and workshops that will reinforce best practices in test evaluation amongst examiners and of course the many fundamental issues  facing and choking the country’s educational system.
Members of the Spaces for Change’s forum on facebook also had the following to say.
Top of Form
Mohammed Sani The mass media as a channel of communication has done more harm than good to the academic future of our teenagers due to the uncensored nature of programs being dished out for public consumption.
Amaechi Felix Okonkwo We need to encourage the development of positive applications that would still tickle the fancy of the youths. That said, I think this failure took place long before the examinations; right in the homes these kids come from. Many parents speak pidgin English to their children, neglect to oversee their homework exercises, are too busy to attend open day, patronize illicit exam machineries, bribe to get their children admitted to schools, refuse the recommendations of the school if the child is to repeat a class, etc. So the child grows up with a mentality. The university dons are the worst because they demand for settlement to give pass marks.

Gbelela Olabisi Michael The loosen roles of the parents in building and guiding their wards and children to act right! I remember growing despite the absence of the many instances listed above, my generation has its fair share of distractions as well but our parents and the community raised us right to read and study! I was distracted with a fair share of table tennis, table soccer table, snooker table, gambling, plenty love letter writing, playing soccer, relish inter house sports etc. but in the midst of them all, my half literate parents never stopped to impress and force me to read, learn and be educated! The community also joined hands in raising my generation to certain level too! Alas where is the community now? where are the parents who hitherto were interested in knowing what their children are going through academically other than being responsible in paying school fees! No more attention nowadays, some parents only chance of seeing their children are during the weekend.

Nick Enahoro In the first place kids and youths are not supposed to be allowed to play all their spare time, education or not.
A bright mind is encouraged to grow by being given tasks & duties which cause the person to think and use initiative and take an interest in things that can be of benefit to the child not just pastimes and dreams. Good parenting is much more than just 'loving' your child.

Manpan Wungak All of what you mentioned amounts to one reason: DISTRACTIONS.
There are many other reasons.
2. Systemic failure- our educational system has literally collapsed. Does anyone even understand what our policy on education is anymore? What are the responsibilities of the different tiers of government? Gone are the days of very strict and serious minded Education Officers and Headmasters. Do we still send these people responsible for basic education on foreign training? Do we recruit primary school teachers based on competence? How often do we review our curriculum? Is what is taught relevant to societal realities?
3. Emphasis on paper qualifications- which means most people just want the certificate without the necessary accompanying learning. So any how you get the certificate is ok. Are you surprised people pay for others to write their exams or just simply "pay" the examiner to pass them?
4. Failed parenting- our parents were strict with us. They insisted we did the right thing. That included reading your books and less TV. Nowadays most of us teach our kids how to cut corners and use TV to distract them while we do our things ( pinging on blackberry, tweeting and face booking). How many parents take time to teach their kids that difficult maths or English. We take them to Europe for holidays but can't even point them to the library (do those buildings still exist?).
5. Funding or the lack of it
6. Corruption (not stealing)...just the basic doing what is not suppose to be...
7. Corruption in this case... I should have said stealing money meant for funding education because the people in charge are corrupt. Hence the condition of teaching and learning are basically pedestrian and there's no motivation to teach or learn.

Ogundiran Joseph Olusola What we need in this country is simply re-orientation from top to bottom

Wale Edun In addition to the above, Parents nowadays are too weak and soft to give their wards a proper guidance and instill moral and discipline either because of their busy lifestyle or pressure from family and friends of some sort to catch up with the net worthy people, they just want to rank up on what in the end could be fruitless and full of regret not looking after their children. some parents themselves are not a good role model to their wards they get themselves involved in some shady activities that is unclean and their wards will like to emulate what they are seeing them do, nothing like secrecy, nothing like you are too young to know this, please leave my room when two adults are talking. The way to reverse these trends is for the Parents and Teachers and policy makers on education to work together and find a workable recommendations which would be subject to review to see how far it goes,

Chinedu Chiefsan  Einstein once remarked "it takes 100 experiments to prove a theory and 1 single experiment to disprove it". As a matter of fact, there are perhaps hundreds of thousands of students who do all the stuffs you painstakingly outlined above and still come up tops in academics.
The reason why our students are performing poorly is not due to frequent use of the internet or social media but as a result of a breakdown in our education system both from the supply side of the equation (production of education) and the demand side (learning itself).

By the way, my project research work is to investigate whether teachers' trainings and experience affect students performances in these WASC subjects. Well, while it is still at the early stages, the results from some of the literatures I've gone through thus were quite interesting.
We have a broken system and you can't realistically expect to produce a sweet juice from a rotten apple.

Chinedu Chiefsan. I am a student but am very active on social media from What's app to LinkedIn and Twitter. I use the internet almost all the time to read stuffs from my favourite celebrities to learning maths on YouTube/Khan Academy. I will gladly give up my food for a chance to watch an Arsenal match or a Formula1 race.
The television is always switched on to Channels TV or Bloomberg to keep up with financial news yet I still find time to finish my books before the end of the semester and still do exceedingly well in exams with a 95% class attendance rate.

I know a couple of guys too whose daily activities are not so different and these are habits developed right from secondary school. Finally, let us not also forget not every child/student, especially those in the rural areas, has access to all these trendy stuffs and yet they still fail in exams. Thus pointing to a much deeper problem.

Amaechi Felix Okonkwo  The complex truth is that students need to work harder these days but do not realise it. I remember my years in Senior Secondary School, a public school in Lagos. The reading room had no books and some subjects had no teachers or even good teachers. With the aid of my textbook teachers Osei Yaw Ababio, Nelkon & Parker, PN Okeke, Afolayan, Goe Cheng Long, etc, I was able to make active use of the reading room and win many quiz competitions for my school. The consciousness of self help came upon me during preparations for Junior WAEC. It became clear to me that I must for no reason, depend my teachers or the educational system for that matter.
Femi Afolaby Snow I think school boards and parents should read all your comments, bring it all together and help these strolling away students, and possibly make you guys a committee to resolve the failing or sorry failed system.
Nick Enahoro The thing is, we now have a voice (social media, elections).. and we should continue to use this voice to share our thoughts, air our grievances, proffer solutions, push our demands etc. When l was younger, we had none of these things.
So there is more hope today than before. Keep on with the positive!
Benjamin We need to review this Prussian education system. For example children want to learn how to build houses, the educational system will break it down into unintelligent subjects like maths, English, woodwork, biology, physics, agric etc. without showing the real pictures. I think the problem is not in the children nor teachers, but in the education system.

Friday, 15 August 2014


The informal roundtable held in the Nigerian garden city of Port Harcourt was aimed at educating young people to register in the forth coming elections and also empower them with the capacity to undertake voter education at their community level.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Spaces for Change Donates Learning Resources to Lagos Slum School

The 27th day of June 2014 wasn’t just an ordinary day for pupils and members of the Otto/Ilogbo extension slum community in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area in Lagos State. On that day, Spaces for Change staff and volunteers , led by its executive director, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, donated learning resources and materials to the pupils of Young Leaders Academy (YLA), a ramshackle and hastily knocked-up shed that serves as the only nursery and primary school within the slum village.  The school - a one-roomed hall, barely the size of a standard bedroom, with gaping slits and cracks in its wooden walls - is the equivalent of the luxurious Grange School for the slum children. Founded in July 2012 by Musibau De great Agbodemu, a slum dweller himself, YLA was borne out of his quest to ensure that the poorest slum dwellers had access to basic education. 


An anonymous caller to the popular WOMAN radio programme hosted by Zoe Chinaka on Nigeria Info FM 99.3 complained about her boss who was sexually harassing her at her workplace. She wanted to know what to do and was afraid of losing her job if she did not give in to his demands. This prompted the discussion around the special radio discussion on the 19th of June, 2014, featuring Spaces for Change's OluwaFunmilayo Fakeye.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Dr. Yemi Kale
Spaces for Change.S4C’s Ilemona Onoja participated in the presentation of the Q2, Q3 & Q4 2013 job creation and employment survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). “The briefing is in line with the resolve of the NBS to present cogent and verifiable data which are necessary for policy making and business decisions”, says Statistician General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale. The latest statistics are neither policy material nor representative of the national policy thrust on job creation, but were figures showing the effect of existing  national policies designed to bolster employment generation in the country.

The press briefing also presented an opportunity for the NBS to clarify frequently-misunderstood or often-politicized official data and statistics on job creation. As part of efforts to improve data gathering in Nigeria, the NBS revamped its organizational and administrative structures in the 36 states and set up of state-level statistical agencies, with enhanced digital capabilities in 17 states of the federation.  

The Results

The results of the survey were categorized into 3: formal, informal and public sector. Formal jobs refer to jobs in establishments that employ 10 or more people or professional services that employ less than 10 people. Informal jobs refer to jobs generated by individuals or household businesses employing less than 10 people, or business with little or no structures (eg in agriculture, wholesale or retail).

Public sector jobs refer to jobs in ministries, departments and agencies, parastatals, research and educational institutions at federal, state and local government levels. The results show that the Nigerian economy generated:
221, 054 jobs in Q2 2013
245, 989 jobs in Q3 2013 and
265, 702 jobs in Q4 2013.

These are broken down thus:
formal jobs- 80, 412
informal jobs-112, 557 and
public sector - 28, 075.
formal jobs- 76,385
informal jobs- 140,673
Public sector- 28, 931
Formal jobs - 101, 597
Informal jobs - 143, 278
Public sector- 20, 827

The informal sector leads the way in job creation providing over 54% of the jobs created in the quarters covered. In the three quarters covered, employment generated were attributed to 3 main factors- business expansion, seasonal growth and new skill required.

In Q2 2013, education was the highest provider of new jobs with 37, 578 new jobs followed by manufacturing with 9, 000. Lowest was administrative and support services with 85 new jobs.

In Q3, education and manufacturing recorded the highest number of new jobs with 29, 777 and 13, 946 new jobs respectively. Admin and support was lowest again with 30.

Q4 saw this trend maintained with education and manufacturing creating 76, 874 and 12, 337 new jobs respectively.

Partnership with Spaces for Change

In March 2014, Spaces for Change filed a Freedom of Information request to the NBS requesting to inspect and independently verify the statistical data of jobs created between 2011 and 2013. In compliance with the FOI request, NBS has forwarded the Q2, Q3 & Q4 2012 results of the job creation survey to Spaces for Change for independent verification. That request opened the gateway to sustained engagement and cooperation between Spaces for Change and the NBS with the objective of strengthening the independent monitoring of the development and analysis of job creation statistics. Reiterating the agency’s willingness to collaborate with Spaces for Change to ensure the integrity and quality of its data, Dr. Yemi Kale extended an invitation to Spaces for Change to participate in a number of upcoming exercises including:

1. National census of commercial and industrial businesses. NBS will conduct this exercise in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Trade and Investment. This exercise was last conducted 20 years ago.
2. National Agricultural Sample Survey which is designed to collect information on agricultural production in the country. This exercise was last conducted in 1997.
3. Q2 2014 job creation survey
We have accepted this invitation and have begun to mobilize our network of volunteers across the federation to undertake these exercises. This partnership offer was also extended to, Nigeria's biggest online employment agency. This partnership seeks to take advantage of jobberman's access to information relating to job creation statistics in about 30, 000 companies scattered across the 36 states of the federation with interests in more than 40 fields.

Data Center Tour

Dr. Yemi Kale led participants on a tour of the data centre and facilities of the NBS. The centre contained servers directly connected to state statistical centers in 17 of the 36 states, including the Nigerian Customs Service, the ministry of finance, Central Bank of Nigeria and other federal government departments.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

PHOTOSPEAK: #BeyondtheHashtags Citizens Forum

Collective Approach to Fighting Terrorism: CSP Monday Agbonika, DPO Central Police Station, Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island

Collective Approach to Fighting Terrorism: CSP Monday Agbonika, DPO Central Police Station, Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island

Ayo Obe, ex-CLO President: The Judiciary's Role in the War Against Terrorism

Ayo Obe, ex-CLO President: The Judiciary's Role in the War Against Terrorism

The Rule of Law Vs. Insurgency: Bamidele Aturu, legal expert and member of the Nigerian Bar

The Rule of Law Vs. Insurgency: Bamidele Aturu, legal expert and member of the Nigerian Bar

cross section of participants

Amy Oyekunle, executive director, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy | Providing Maximum Protection for School Childrem

Providing Maximum Protection for School Childrem - Betty Abah, Centre for Children's Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE Nigeria)

Terrorism: Examining the Role of Lawyers - Emmanuel Majebi, member of the Nigerian Bar

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