Saturday, 21 December 2013

50 Questions Finance Minister Must Answer!

The House of Representatives' Committee has forwarded the following questions to Nigeria's Finance Minister, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She has two weeks to respond to these queries in writing. These are very important questions every Nigeria should be concerned about. 

1. What should you consider as the major economic achievements of this government in the 2013 fiscal year and why? In your explanation, we will need facts and figures in demonstrating such achievements.

Monday, 9 December 2013


SPACES FOR CHANGE-S4C is pleased to launch the Four-Square Awards in recognition of its members’ loyalty and profound commitment to the group’s overarching objectives, including the various roles they played towards upscaling the organization’s ethical culture and performance in 2013. The maiden edition of Four-Square annual awards proudly announces four broad categories of awards that celebrate group excellence and the most-outstanding individual contributions to intellectual engagement and reflexive learning which S4C is known for. All winners receive a cash price of N20, 000 (Twenty Thousand Naira each).

Fuel Subsidy "Thieves" Re-Arraigned

Mahmud Tukur - the son of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur; Ochonogor Alex and Abdulahi Alao - the son of another PDP chieftain, Arisekola Alao - were re-arraigned before Justice Lawal Akakpo at the Ikeja High Court this morning. Spaces for Change-S4C witnessed the proceedings consistent its objective to monitor the efforts made to bring to justice, the several oil marketers indicted in the pilferage of fuel subsidy monies running into trillions of Naira, which triggered a nationwide outrage and uprising in January 2012. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


This report is a compilation of YOUTH-VOTE's online broadcasts and activities on Anambra Election Day. It underpins the work of the Civil Society Election Situation Room, particularly in the area of reporting and analysis of findings from the field. This report is not exhaustive, in that it mainly captures the role Spaces of Change played in the Election Situation Room on Anambra Election Day.

The Anambra governorship election was widely viewed as a litmus test of the Independent National Electoral Commission's (INEC's) capacity to conduct free and fair elections in 2015.  The early hours of the Election Day started off on a good footing, but this trend did not last throughout the election period and across the various electoral wards and polling units. Although there were no reports of violence, many irregularities were observed. The several failings of past elections identified in previous    observer reports seem to have repeated themselves.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Policing the Nigerian Oil Policy | Volume 1

Policing the Oil Policy Series (POPS) is a compilation of policy briefing papers issued by Spaces for Change (S4C) every quarter. It uses the human rights paradigm to police and analyze various developments taking place within the Nigerian oil & gas sector. Within this framework, S4C leverages technology, using crowd-sourcing and pedagogical tools to conduct in-depth researches and analysis of national oil policies and ancillary regulations, evaluating their coherence with global standards and best practices in oil industry operations.

Consistent with our primary goal of bridging the knowledge gap in oil policy development and institutional reformation, POPS is one of the numerous vehicles we use to empower citizens and other industry stakeholders to actively participate in the promotion, evaluation and setting of strategic policy directions on specific energy and natural resource governance issues. Our analysis takes a cross-sectoral approach by focusing on decisions and initiatives that specifically address the social, political and legal issues that impede access to energy and environment resources.

Monday, 18 November 2013


By Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri

Expectations were high. Very high! The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made several promises. The electorate believed them. They believed because INEC had enough time to prepare and deliver on their promises. On November 16, 2013, the Anambra Election Day came. Behold…. promises were unfulfilled and expectations shattered to pieces. The perennial blunders witnessed in previous elections, especially during the infamous 2011 elections were replayed, even in more cataclysmic proportions. What an election!

Anambra election was not an ordinary election. No election in Nigeria has ever provoked so much national interest and enthusiasm across political and ethnic divides, as much as the Anambra gubernatorial contest did. There are two main reasons for this: Firstly, Anambra election was widely perceived as a litmus test of INEC’s capacity and preparedness to conduct free and fair general elections in 2015. Recent events such as the merger of the opposition political parties into the All Peoples Congress (APC) as well as the lingering crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party both of which overly heated up the political temperature across the country attest to the incongruent craving for either continuous political control, or regime change. Both contrasting aspirations, though legitimate, are only made possible through the vehicle of credible elections.  

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Operational Challenges, Low Voter Turn-Out in Anambra Election - Election Situation Room

The Civil Society Election Situation Room convened in Awka, Anambra State to observe the 2013 governorship election held on Saturday, November 16, 2013 in Anambra State. The Situation Room comprises more than forty civil society organisations who have deployed observers across the entire local government areas of Anambra State. Observers visited polling units, observed voting and reported back to the Situation Room on the activities and conduct of election stakeholders, including election officials, security services and the political parties.

The Anambra governorship election is viewed as a litmus test of the Independent National Electoral Commission's (INEC's) capacity to conduct free and fair elections in 2015.  In a statement issued yesterday, the Situation Room urged INEC "to address several of the concerns expressed by election observers and civil society groups about its conduct of elections in Nigeria" . It further observed that "accreditation process did not commence on time in many polling units, particularly in Idemili North, Idemili South, and Ogbaru Local Government Areas, due to the perennial challenge of late arrival of election officials and materials. INEC has in response extended the accreditation and voting periods for the affected areas, but more needs to be done to protect the integrity of the election process.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Group Condemns Increasing Cases of Child Rape, Battery

A group of non-governmental organizations comprising of child’s rights organizations, and women and youth groups has condemned in strong terms the alarming and increasing rate of reported rape of children and general atmosphere of child abuse in the country.

In a press statement, the groups including the Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA-UK), Spaces for Change, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Media Concern Initiative for Women & Children (MediaCon), Healing Hearts Foundation, Project Alert on Violence Against Women and Children, the Charles and Doosurh Abaagu Foundation, and the Women Environmental Programme (WEP), the Triumphant Foundation for Widows and Orphans organization and the Next Generation Youth Initiative International (NEGYII) stressed that the trend had reached an unacceptable level and must be stopped by all legal means.

Sunday, 10 November 2013


Last week, the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating the activities and finances of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) raised an alarm that N500 billion, accruing to the project, has not been accounted for. The committee, headed by Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi, stated that a total amount of N834.33 billion accrued to SURE-P between January 2012 and September 2013. 

N834.33 billion is the sum total of receipts from the 25 billion litres of petrol which the partial withdrawal of subsidy yielded within the period. The unaccounted sum is the difference between what the SURE-P committee, headed by Dr. Christopher Kolade, claimed to have received during the period under review. Kolade told the Committee that only N300 billion has been released to SURE-P committee.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Eko Atlantic City Project will further widen the gap between the rich and the poor - Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri

Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, is the Executive Director, Spaces for Change(S4C). Basically, S4C works to infuse human rights into social and economic governance processes in Nigeria. She was recently interviewed by National Weekender Newspaper on the Eko Atlantic City Project. She revealed that it is a project that will further widen the gap between the rich and the poor and as such, is anti-people.  Here are the excerpts…

Can we meet you?
My name is Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri. I am the Executive Director, Spaces for Change (S4C), a policy advocacy group advocating for citizen participation in public decision-making. Basically S4C uses the human rights framework and youth-centered strategies to mobilize for the inclusion of certain often-unheard sections of the populace in social and economic governance and decision-making processes.

Eko Atlantic City Project: In Whose Interest?

Eko Atlantic City (EAC),  project attracted huge debate as experts argue that it is not a popular idea and exclusively meant for the rich. National Weekender's (a national daily newspaper in Nigeria) reporter FRANCIS OGBONNA took on all sides as he spoke to the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, South Energy Nig. Ltd.(SENL) and a human right advocate, Victoria Ibezim – Ohaeri, executive director of Spaces for Change

The Project

Eko Atlantic City touted severally as a “city rising from the sea” is a proposed city which will sit on 1000 hectares of land reclaimed from the Atlantic sea. Once completed, it will be a self sufficient city with waterfront area, tree line streets, efficient transport system, helipads, hotels, residential areas and boulevard. It will be a development with mixed-use plots that will combine residential areas, leisure facilities, offices and shops. It is divided into 6 phases, the first five of which are available for commercial and residential development, while the sixth will be used as a hub for utility service, such as sewage treatment plants, water supply and solid waste management.
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