On the 14 th of September, 2022 the Centre for Information Technology and Development held
the 4 th Women Internet Governance Forum as part of the 2022 Internet Governance Forum
activities. The event which is being held annually is part of the Nigerian Internet Governance
Forum (NIGF) pre-event activities., This year, the event theme was Making the Internet for
Livelihood, Love and Life: Tackling Gender and Child Abuse Online and was held online with a
limited physical attendance/participation in Kano. The theme was a well thought one, looking
at the global happenings around gender and child abuse online which has become a norm by
the perpetrators. Madam Marry Udoma, Chair West African Internet Governance Forum served
as the chair with Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, Chair, Kalu D Foundation as the Keynote Speaker while
Jan Moolman, Co-Manager: Women’s Rights Programme, Association for Progressive
Communications served as the Guest Speaker.
Also, two technical sessions were held on Gender Violence Online and Child Protection Online.
At the two sessions, distinguished personalities and experts on Gender Based Violence and
Child Protection spoke and shared their experience and knowledge with the participants. The
first session which was titled Dealing with Gender Violence Online was chaired by Professor
Amina Kaidal of the University of Maiduguri while the speakers at this session were Zainab
Aminu, CITAD Technical Officer, Mrs. Martha Alade, Founder, Women in Technology and Msen
Nabo, Digital Media Associate at Connected Development.
The second session which focused on Dealing with Child Protection Online, had Hajiya Suwaiba
Muhammad Dankabo, Programmes Manager at ActionAid International as chair while Aminu
Adamu Naganye of the Star Newspaper, Harira Wakili, a Gender and Human Rights Activist and
Barrister Aisha Mahdi of Green Edge Attorneys served as the speakers.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Director of CITAD, Y.Z Ya’u started by explaining the
purpose of this year’s WIGF during which he stated that, the essence of organizing the forum
was to encourage discussion, especially among women, on internet governance and harvest
strategies for addressing issues that tend to reinforce the marginalization of women in the
digital space. Mr. Ya’u further stated that the WIGF focuses on two specific issues:
- Issues of Gender Based Violence: in this regards, Mr. Y.Z said a lot of young women have
suffered and still suffering from different kind of gender violence from people whose aim was
to deter them from using the internet. He also lamented that in some cases these young
women face gender violence by their social media friends. Moreover, the Executive Director
also said many women especially political aspirants are being abused and castigated on social
media based on their gender, which contributes in furthering the political marginalization of
- Child Abuse Online: on this, the Executive Director stated that the Federal Government of
Nigeria has set up panel to advise on a policy framework on how to address this issue. Speaking
further on this, Ya’u hoped the forum would give the participants a chance to harvest strategic
ideas that can help in shaping the policy, raise awareness and involve other stakeholders in
trying to sanitize the digital ecosystem so that the women in particular can be able to make
effective use of the internet in the country, have access to educational materials and ability to
use the internet without being harassed or intimidated.
Speaking about the importance of the internet, Mr. Ya’u stated that internet allows individuals
and academics to make research when there is accessible and safe internet. Fearing that some
factors may hinder the proper use of the internet, Ya’u advocated that factors which inhibit
people from using the internet needed to be removed and issue of affordability should also be
addressed. He observed that women find it more difficult to access the internet than men due
to the economic disparity that exists between two.
Moreover, Ya’u said the aims of the forum were to: improve user security competence among
women, ensure women are able to use the internet safely & secure their communications and
that their privacy is well respected. At the end, he emphasized that “we must take internet as a
right for everybody in the country”
Giving her remarks at the Forum, the West African Chair of the Internet Governance Forum,
Mrs. Marry Uduma said in discussing about children and women on the net, we need to first
understand that these category of people are already being marginalized and a huge gap exists
in the society. She also stated that women and children are every day being abused and
violence being meted on them online but little is being done to curtail the situation. Further,
the West African Chair said, these categories needed to be encouraged and supported to use
the internet without being harassed and their rights not being violated in order to benefit from
the ample opportunities the internet presents. At the end she encouraged the participants to
actively participate at the forum.
The Keynote Speaker at the Forum, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, Chair, Kalu D Foundation mentioned
that in the early days of the internet, it has been a concern to the whole nation. Discussing on
the responses to Gender Abuse Online and the multiple questions to address bordering around
gender violence online, the keynote speaker said, there is need to develop campaigns messages
to counter the misusers of the internet and contributed to the current processes of developing
national strategy on child protection online. The speaker also stated that the essence is to find
ways on how to address physical and online abuse, and how to protect vulnerable people from
being harmed on the internet. For this, she said more budget need to be allocated to this area.
Mrs. Ibukun went further to state that under United Nations Charter for Child Protection, every
child is expected to have a fundamental right to education, a right to health and a right to
livelihood, children are supposed to be allowed to speak and to be heard, but a lot of
constraints are preventing them from being able to fully access their fundamental rights
especially in Africa due to the cultural issues. Speaking about the ample advantages of the
Internet, Mrs. Odusate said if there was no internet during the COVID-19 pandemic, many
people could have lost their lives. The internet had also served as school for many children
during the lockdown, however, it also came with many disadvantages where some people used
it to abuse children.
Buttressing child abuse further, the keynote speaker said child and women abuse is a daily
reality in Nigeria; six out of ten children experience one form of abuse or the other, one in four
girls, and ten percent of boys have also been abused according to UNICEF data. She said
Technology when use in the right way has a potential to broaden opportunities and reduce the
level of abuse if there are proper guidance. The keynote speaker also lamented that many
opportunities are still not fully explored, but people tend to use the negative side of the
internet, bullying others and amplifying hate speech on social media platforms.
On the negative consequences of child abuse on education, Mrs. Odusate said report has
shown that one in five children skipped school due to abuse, and of recent, kidnapping of
school children has also brought a lot of problem to children education in the country.
Discussing about the strategies to follow in preventing gender abuse and safety promotion
among children, the speaker said, for that, educational institutions must to be protected as well
as ensuring privacy of children online. For this, government must ensure all the necessary
regulations are in place and civil society organizations need to intensify advocacies to relevant
government agencies on the issues. Also teaching digital literacy and online safety skills will go
a long way in addressing the menace.
Moreover, there was need to articulate and introduce policies on how to prevent the abuses,
promote parental care education, enlightenment on online activities for the children and
women need to be properly educated. There is need for guidelines on installation of
appropriate technology and software to prevent children falling into the traps of their abusers.
And creating trauma management techniques and advocacy for protecting young people online
will go a long way in finding the solution to the problem.
In her contribution, the Guest Speaker, Ms. Jan Moolman started her contribution by saying
that the journey for the improvement of women’s rights especially on the internet is a difficult
one, looking at how the internet impact the lives of women from the ICT to digital technology,
from the focus of ICT for D from the 1990s to 2000s and even in the contemporary discussion
regarding privacy, disinformation, misinformation, censorship and hate speech, the role of
women in influencing, shaping and benefiting from digital technology is getting much more
grounded, and this recognition is largely due to the consistent work of organizations and people
in the global south that consistently call for inclusion, diversity and bringing gender approaches
to all the work that concerned human rights, both online and offline. Information around
gender based violence has been at the core of this work and has duly serve in bringing different
actors into the same room to find solution, the speaker added. She went further to say that it
took many years of lobbying and advocacy and work within women movement, including
building knowledge, research, campaigning, sharing experience and finally getting a common
language to get recognition on violation women experience when they are online. And this
work and persistency led to the 2018 adaptation of the UN Human Rights Council first ever UN
resolution on preventing and responding to violence against women and girls in digital context
and other different resolutions including the recent one in Africa has brought more relief to
women and girls in the continent.
Speaking on the issues APC and its partners pay more attention to when it comes to women
rights and digital technology, Ms. Moolman mentioned the followings:
- Joy, hope and Justice: according to the Guest speaker, for people who experienced
violence online, there is hope they can find joy with regards to connection, information,
solidarity, friendship, fun and even in some cases love. And for this, APC and its partners
think it is important to encourage people to continue the work they are doing and to
keep women safe and in a productive way on the digital space.
- Access: Even though women face many forms of violence online but there is need to
ensure they have access to online platforms as easily and affordable as possible in order
to carry out their normal activities. Emphasizing on how women are being marginalized
when it comes to accessing the internet, the speaker said, the 2019 ITBU report stated
that globally only 48% of women are online and in the global south this is even lower at
28%. This according her shows that there is wide gap between the connected and
unconnected in the society. And unless we are able to address the issue of accessibility,
many women and marginalized communities will remain in darkness and their voices
- Third is about companies that own social media platforms that are regulating contents
that lacks clarity and consistency and which upon violate the rights of people without
accountability or remedy. These companies are determining online discourses with
focus on profits at the expense of users’ privacy and rights.
- The fourth is about how feminists organizing online and offline are expanding and taking
new forms. These groups are upon targeting for gender based violence online and it
sometimes manifest to offline spaces.
FIRST TECHNICAL SESSION: DEALING WITH GENDER VIOLENCE ONLINE
CHAIR: Professor Amina Kaidal
PANELISTS: Martha Alade, Zainab Aminu, Msen Nabo
The first technical session was on Dealing with Gender Violence Online. The session which was
chaired by Professor Amina Kaidal of the University of Maiduguri had Mrs. Martha Alade,
Founder of Women InTechnology, Zainab Aminu, Gender Technical Officer, Centre for
Information Technology and Development and Msen Nabo, Digital Media Associate at
In her presentation, Zainab Aminu started by defining the Gender-Based violence which
according to her refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender and
rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms. Mss. Aminu said Gender-
based violence (GBV) is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and
protection issue, which is estimated that one in three women experiences sexual or physical
violence in their lifetime.
Zainab further stated that gender violence is not a new phenomenon; it has been existing since
time immemorial which can include sexual, physical, mental and economic harm inflicted in
public or in private and threats of violence, coercion and manipulation. Mss. Aminu also said
gender violence can take many forms such as intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child
marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour crimes’ while its consequences are
devastating and can have life-long repercussions for survivors.
Speaking about the impact of cyber violence, the speaker said it differs according to the victim’s
gender. She gave an example with a study conducted by the Pew Research Centre which
revealed that 38% of harassed women found their most recent experience with online
harassment extremely or very upsetting, compared to only 17% of harassed men. The research
further said that compared to male users, who tend to be more concerned about damage to
their reputation, females are more likely to fear physical harm. This corresponds to the nature
of online abuse these groups experience. Where men and boys are more likely to be victims of
defamation and libel, women are more likely to be subjected to derogatory remarks or sexual
images and threats, such as non-consensual pornography. She gave another example with
another study which found that female college students (age 18-24) who were victims of offline
stalking were three times more likely to be stalked online than their male counterparts. The
study also found that “while particular variables influence victimization risk among females,
virtually none of the variables in the analyses produced statistically significant relationships
with victimisation among males”.
Moreover, Zainab said key distinction between offline and online gender-based cyber violence
is that it is significantly more difficult “to permanently remove abusive or triggering content
from the Internet, which obliges the survivor to re-experience their victimisation all over again.”
This can exacerbate the psychological impacts of these forms of violence, such as flashbacks of
the incident and/or perpetrator, as well as increase the victim’s isolation period.
Discussing on the long term negative impact of gender violence online, Zainab said the greatest
impact that women experience is self-censorship. Women start censoring themselves online.
And that is what the abusers want. Another impact she said is that online violence attempts to
keep women from major sectors of the public sphere because public only take physical violence
seriously. The third impact is that some women leave the online platform [after being
harassed]. The forth impact which is being associated with online violence is public health issue
and the effects which results in physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm, and erodes
Offering some solutions on how one can protect selves online, Zainab Aminu mentioned the
• Creating a strong password
• Having different passwords for different accounts
• Downloading apps from authentication platforms and using two factor verification
• Logging out of accounts when not in use
• Not using public WIFI for sharing sensitive information
At the end the speaker said, to stop gender violence online, there is need for public awareness
in order for people to understand it consequences which in many cases metamorphosed to
The second speaker, Mrs Martha Alade started by quoting the 1993 UN Declaration on the
Elimination of Violence against Women which defines ‘violence against women’ as an act of
gender-related violence (GBV) that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual,
psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion
or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life [or online].
Discussing on the different types of Gender Violence Online, Mrs Alade said it includes; Doxing
(leaking unauthorized info to public), Sexist abuse, Hate speech, Threat to free expression,
Threat to privacy, Impersonation, Defamation, Gender-based discriminatory memes,
Cyberstalking, Online misogyny etc. On the category of people that experience Gender
Violence, Mrs Martha said women and girls from marginalised communities are the easy
targets and their voices are often unheard. Mrs Alade also said, in most of the times, girls in
local communities are being violated but they are not even aware they are being violated. She
gave a scenario on a case they worked on which happened to a small girl in a community they
are working in and the girl was abused but due to lack of proper awareness about the issue she
was not even aware she was abused until she was examined then it was discovered the girl was
At the end, the speaker said, to stop gender violence the followings need to be considered
- Education in local languages
- Increase Sensitization/Advocacy – culturally responsive and relevant
- Consent and privacy
- Human Rights Enforcements by Public and Private
- Employ AI for Filtering offensive contents
- Content Enhancement
- Enable more support and help channels for victims
- Drive programs that amplify voices of the marginalized women and girls
- Support NGOs working around the subject
The third at this technical session, Miss Msen Nabo, Digital Media Associate at Connected
Development said appealing to governments to take the issue of GBV more serious is
something its advocates need to take beyond social media and also people’s attitudes need to
be changed. Mss. Nabo also stated that Gender Violence especially online is something that
people come across everyday but most of the times the victims ended up being punished by the
society. The gender activist said when victims of gender violence try to speak out against the
violence mated on them they usually receive silent feedback or they are advised to keep mute
in order to protect their image.
Mss. Msen went further to say that a clear example where government is an accomplice to this
act is the case of Kano State where the State House of Assembly refused to domesticate the
Child Protection Act even though the state is ranked among the states with high rate of gender
based violence and child abuse. According her, this need intense advocacies and awareness
Speaking further on how people violate others on social media platforms, Mss. Nabo stated
that sharing someone’s pictures, address, videos without his/her consent are all forms of
violence online and these types of violence can turn to offline. And for this, she suggested that
advocacies and awareness creation need to be carried out in order to stop it.
SECOND TECHNICAL SESSION: DEALING WITH CHILD ABUSE ONLINE
CHAIR: Hajiya Suwaiba Muhammad Dankabo
PANELISTS: Barrister Aisha Mahdi, Harira Wakili, Aminu Adamu Naganye
The second session was moderated by Hajiya Suwaiba Y. Dankabo of ActionAid Nigeria and the
Three (3) distinguished personalities and experts on Gender Based Violence and Child
Protection spoke and shared their experience and knowledge with the participants.
A Gender and Internet Right Advocate, Harira Abdulrahman Wakili started her presentation
with explaining the ample opportunities internet presents to young generations, Mss. Wakili
said that growing up internet offers limitless opportunities through computers, smartphones,
gaming consoles, and televisions, children learn, imagine and develop their social networks. But
she cautioned that these platforms need to be used in the right way, where she stated that
when these are used in the right way – and accessible to all – the internet has the potential to
broaden horizons and ignite creativity. She also said that with these opportunities come serious
risks. Harira added that cyberbullying and other forms of peer-to-peer violence can affect
young people each time they log on to social media or instant messaging platforms. Speaking
about what children can be exposed to on the net, Miss Wakili mentioned that when browsing
the internet, children may be exposed to hate speech and violent content – including messages
that incite self-harm and even suicide. According to her, what happens online reflects the
realities children face every day – at home, at school and in their wider communities. In
conclusion, Ms. Wakili emphasized that every child must be protected from violence,
exploitation and abuse on the internet.
The Second speaker at this session was Barrister Aisha H. Mahdi of Green Edge Attorneys, who
emphasized that with the widespread use of the Internet, the advancement in technology and
the proliferation of Internet-enabled devices have created borderless and unlimited access to
information. Barr. Aisha said progress brings by the internet has given the bad eggs in the
society the opportunities to exploit, put the children at risk, and make them vulnerable to
abuse. She said that there is an urgent need to balance the immense benefits of technology,
commercial interest and ensuring online safety of children with appropriate safeguards and
strong legal and institutional framework. Speaking on the safety on children online, the speaker
said there is a growing concern about the safety and privacy of children online which is amongst
the problems identified by relevant stakeholders in Nigeria.
Discussing about the internet penetration in the country, Barrister Mahdi said as internet
penetration increases, more children are connected to the grid, and this gives the children
better understanding of technology than the average adult. The speaker also mentioned that
new phones, smart toys, computers, and privileges for using a device give birth to new
responsibilities. Speaking about the exposure of the children to social media, Aisha stated that
the increased use of social media and online services allows children to share and consume
tremendous volume of personal information online. And at the same time the children use the
Internet as a means to learn, share and participate in civic life.
The legal practitioner added that in Nigeria, Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 8
of the Child Rights Act provide for children’s right to privacy. And Section 23 of the Cybercrimes
Act 2015 punishes child pornography. The Cybercrimes (Prohibition and Prevention) Act also
criminalizes cyberbullying and cyber stalking that could affect children. According to her,
though the Act punishes consumption of such contents and provides for other offenses, there is
no other specific legal guidelines or direction to protect the online safety and privacy of the
Nigerian child. Giving recommendations on how to safeguard children online, Barrister Aisha
i. Nigeria needs an online privacy protection law for children which will seek to protect
the personal information of children on websites, online services and applications
and it should be binding on online service providers collecting the personal data of
children to ensure consent management.
ii. Service providers should require the consent of the parents or guardians if the data
collection affects a child below the established age.
iii. There is need to digitalize the Nigerian courts and repeal some laws to ensure
efficient and quick judgments related to children abuses
Sharing his experience at the forum, a Kano based journalist, Aminu Adamu Naganye of The
Star Newspaper said Internet Service Providers and Electronic Service Providers need to ensure
their platforms are secure and do not put children at risk. He added that Service providers
should implement privacy and security by design and default. Service Providers have to do
more in creating and ensuring age-appropriate contents by managing content and dealing
effectively with abuse, misuse of their platforms and illegal contact with children.
Aminu Naganye said the legal framework alone cannot guarantee complete protection for the
Nigerian child. Excessive regulation will stifle children’s participation and access to the immense
benefits of the internet. Speaking further, Mr. Naganye said there is need for increased digital
literacy for both children and their parents/guardians. According him, providing this will ensure
children implement best privacy preferences, understand the implication of oversharing, and
have good online behavior. Another recommendations the journalist gave was that
parents/guardians should ensure they always install safety tools on their wards’ devices which
will protects children from inappropriate behavior and laying their hands on inappropriate
online contents. It will also prevents disclosure of personal information and assist parents and
guardians manage time spent on the devices.
Following the presentations, participants asked questions and made comments as well offered
specific recommendations that would help in making the internet safer for both women and
children. This segment also allowed the presenters to clarify on some of the issues they raised
and positions advanced as well as father interrogated some of the proposed solutions to the
challenges that women and children face online. Participants agreed that there was need to
carry both the discussion and the proposed solutions offline to reach more people and
especially engage government and other stakeholders to respond to these challenges so that
both women and children would use the internet safely and productive to ensure that it serves
The organizers also promised to distill the recommendations and issue a communique as the
outcome of the Forum while exploring all possibilities to continue to engage both the
participants at this Forum as well as other stakeholders to mount a sustained public awareness
on the issues and an advocacy for action to address the problems,
The Centre for Information Technology and Development had on 21st of April, 2022 under its project on Mobilizing and Catalyzing Citizens Action for Accountable Election and Governance in Nigeria supported by MacArthur Foundation held its Fourth Dialogue on Anti-Corruption Fight in Nigeria with another three set of its sub-grantees; Jack Fidelis Vincent, Independ Journalist based in Maiduguri, Olumide Olaniyan of Lucidity of Absurdity (Poetry) and Fred Sam-Itepu, Head of Operation, Rise Networks while Dr. Kabiru Sufi Sa’id, Principal Lecturer, Kano State College of Education and Preliminary Studies chaired the Dialogue. As it has become tradition in the Centre that every month it’s conducting the dialogue, in the month of March, the Centre hosted Danlami Nmodu, mni, Publisher NewsDiary Online, Bikiya Graham-Douglas, Executive Director, Beeta Network and Dr. Tunde Akanni, Lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Lagos State University with Clement Adebayo as the moderator
The dialogue started with an opening remarks by the Executive Director of CITAD, Engineer Yunusa Zakari Ya’u. Engineer Ya’u begin his remarks with aim of organizing the monthly dialogue where his stated that; the aim of the dialogue is to give the sub-grantees under this project an opportunity to regularly share their work with a wider audience in promoting accountability and fighting corruption in Nigeria. He also mentioned that the dialogue is aimed at giving both the sub-grantees and young people who have interest in the area an opportunity to discuss and share ideas. Engineer Ya’u went further to state that CITAD has for many years been working in the area of accountability and fighting corruption in Nigeria and empowering young people to demand for good governance. Buttressing further on the essence of organizing the monthly dialogue, the Executive Director said is to create a platform for the sub-grantees and those who have an interest in the area to discuss ideas and learn from each other as corruption and lack of accountability are the major obstacles towards the country’s growth and development”.
Moreover, Malam Ya’u lamented on the set back fighting corruption is recording in the country where he gave an example with presidential pardon granted to two convicted former governors of Plateau and Benue States after being tried and found guilty of stealing public funds while serving as governors in their states. At the end he urge the participants not relent on their efforts in the fight against corruption as it takes time to rid corruption out of the society.
Speaking on the different tools and mediums he utilizes in demanding for accountability and fighting corruption, Mr. Jack Vincent said in Maiduguri he used to organized small round table meetings to hear the opinions of people on how they perceive corruption and the best way to tackle it, from the opinions gather, he organizes radio programs including phone in where people call to give their own contributions and air their grievances. Also, Mr. Vincent used to do Vox Fox where he sample the opinions of the public on how corruption and bad governance is affecting their lives. Other activities conducted by this sub-grantee include documentaries. In the documentaries, Mr. Fidelis focuses more on capital projects that are poorly executed such as hospitals, roads, schools etc. in the state. This, he said they aired on their live radio program and also share on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
On his part, Mr. Olumide said their work is targeting at people at grassroots where they are enlightening them about the effect of corruption through the use of poetry. He said what they normally do is to ask people questions on the post elections issues like what their representatives are doing to better their lives. Also, Mr. Olaniyan said they organize mobile dramas where they went to local markets in Abuja in collaboration with markets officials and perform dramas on corruption. In the drama, Mr. Olaniyan said they are using four languages such as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin English. Another tactic they explore is reading poems to community people on anti-corruption and accountability. In this case, he said they allow the community people to read the poems themselves in order to internalize and make the fight against corruption a habit. At the end he stated that they are sharing the messages to larger audiences using social media platforms like Facebook to popularize the messages.
Moreover, the final speaker at the dialogue, Mr. Fred discussed mainly on the application they created in order to track corruption and fake news in the area of fighting corruption in the country called “Run Am”. He said, the application is created to mobilize citizens against corruption and discuss issues of accountability in Nigeria. Speaking further, Mr. Fred said, the application is trained to source information on corruption and election from credible sources by tracing the authenticity of images used like where they have been taken, who took them and what time they were taken. At the end, this speaker said using technology to fight corruption is the best and most efficient way to rid the corruption out of our society and instill good governance in the minds of Nigerians.
At the end, some participants made comments about the topic in discussion. One of the commentators at the dialogue stated that “the anti-corruption institutions in the country are just making fool of themselves considering the action of the president and his cabinets most especially with the recent pardon of the convicted governors”.
On Tuesday 1st March, 2022 the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) organized a virtual dialogue to deliberate issues around slow uptake of the COVID19 vaccine. The dialogue which took place via the Zoom platform hosted two public health experts-Dr. Hassan Shuaibu Musa, Principal Medical Officer and Lecturer at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and Dr. Ma’awuya Aliu as speakers, Hon. Jafar Mohammed Zuru, Commissioner, Kebbi State Ministry of Health gave a keynote address while Dr. Mainasara Yakubu Kurfi, the Head, Department of Mass Communications, Bayero University Kano served as moderator.
The one hour thirty minutes virtual event titled “Discussing COVID19 Vaccine Uptake Series 2.0” began with goodwill message from Hon. Jafar Muhammed Zuru, Commissioner of Health Kebbi State who was represented by Haruna Abdullahi, Director Immunization and Disease Control in the Ministry, in the message he commended CITAD for organizing the dialogue adding that it is a timely effort as it brought qualified stakeholders to deliberate on the vaccination issue, he urged participants from various states to listen to the speakers with interest and make use of the strategies they will share during the dialogue.
Hindrances and factors responsible for slow uptake of the vaccine, hesitancy or non acceptance of the vaccine shared by the speakers during the dialogue included the following:
- Fear of side of adverse effect of the vaccine
- Healthcare workers vaccine hesitancy
- Lack of national policy on vaccine administration
- Lack of targeted communication strategy
- Lack of risk communication assessment mechanism and response strategy
- Unavailability of vaccines in some locations
- Lack of sufficient credible information on vaccine efficacy
- Societal perception on the virus and vaccine
- Circulation of false narratives on the vaccine on social media
- Cultural and traditional beliefs on the vaccine
- Poor vaccine administration and delivery
- Poor public knowledge COVID19 asymptomatic patients
It noted was during the dialogue that hesitancy of the vaccine by healthcare workers is heavily and negatively impacting the vaccination exercise, it was also learned that for example in Bauchi state only 11% of the state’s healthcare workers took the vaccine, the concern therefore was how would the public have trust and confidence in the vaccine if healthcare workers are also reluctant to take it? Another issue raised during the dialogue was that many people COVID19 patients are asymptomatic and the public justify their misconception on the virus, for example again in Bauchi state 78% of COVID19 patients were asymptomatic. After intense deliberation on the above areas, questions and comments by the dialogue participants, the speakers recommended the following:
- Taking the vaccine should be made mandatory for all healthcare workers in order to boost confidence of the public on the vaccine.
- States should develop information dissemination and communication strategy to constantly engage the public on the vaccine. By extension it was recommended that live phone-in radio programmes should consistently be aired to provide detailed and sufficient information to listeners in local languages, respond to questions they have as well as use the programme to restrategize the information and communication chain.
- There is the need to have a national and state policy on vaccination, the policy should take into cognizance the contexts and peculiarities of different communities.
- Vaccination authorities should leverage mass gatherings-social, religious, traditional, etc with COVID19 vaccine.
- There is the need to amplify positive testimonies on the vaccine particularly testimonies of people the public will believe and trust.
- There is the need to have a functional risk communication strategy
- States should embark on mass campaign on the mainstream media, social media and local or traditional gatherings.
- Information and communication approach should target behavioural change
The Centre for Information Technology and Development had on 10 th of February, 2022 under
its project on Mobilizing and Catalyzing Citizens Action for Accountable Election and
Governance in Nigeria supported by MacArthur Foundation held its Second Dialogue on Anti-
Corruption Fight in Nigeria with three of its sub-grantees; Mu’azu Alhaji Modu, Executive
Director, Spotlight for Transparency and Accountability, Mustapha Bulama, Editorial Cartoonist
with Daily Trust and Joshua Alabi, Executive Director, KININSO KONCEPTS and moderated by
Kabiru Danladi, Lecturer with Department of Mass Communications, Ahmadu Bello University
Zaria. In the previous edition, CITAD hosted Abubakar Sadiq Mu’azu, Executive Director, Center
for Advocacy, Transparency and Accountability Initiative, Jide Ojo, Independent Researcher,
Writer, Public Affairs Analyst and Journalist and Chioma Agwuegbo, Executive Director,
TechHerNG, the session was chaired by Mukhtar Modibbo of Connected Development.
The aim of the dialogue is to give the sub-grantees under this project an opportunity to
regularly share their work with a wider audience in promoting accountability and fighting
corruption in Nigeria. The dialogue is also aimed at giving both the sub-grantees and young
people who have interest in the area an opportunity to discuss and share ideas.
Giving his remarks at the dialogue, the Executive Director of CITAD, Malam Yunusa Zakari Ya’u
who was represented by the Centre’s Communications Officer, Malam Ali Sabo said CITAD has
for many years been working in the area of accountability and fighting corruption in Nigeria and
empowering young people to demand for good governance in Nigeria. He further stated that,
the essence of organizing the monthly dialogue is to create a platform for the sub-grantees and
those who have an interest in the area to discuss ideas and learn from each other. “Corruption
and lack of accountability are the major obstacles towards the country’s growth and
development”. He stated. At the end, Malam Ya’u said, for citizens to effectively fight
corruption “we need one another, we need to collaborate with others working in area and
share our ideas.”
Sharing his experience on the different tools and mediums he uses in demanding for
accountability and fighting corruption, Mu’azu Alhaji Modu said in Yobe State his organization
selected 30 young people from 30 communities in six local governments in the state and
trained them on how to track Basic Health Care Funds. Also Mr. Modu said part of what they
are doing are advocacy visits to respective government agencies such as Yobe Primary
HealthCare Development Agency, Yobe State Contributory HealthCare Management Agency to
ensure what are being budgeted have reach the common people. Moreover, to ensure a robust
conversation between governments and citizens, Mr. Modu said they provided a platform
where citizens and government officials discuss issues affecting their communities.
Another panelist on the discussion, Mustapha Bulama of DailyTrust said there are many
informal ways that messages especially on anti-corruption could be sent to public, some of
these are through cartoons, illustrations and animations. Bulama said people find it hard to
read long articles on the internet, but when issues of corruption and fraud are simplified
through cartoons, people tend to understand it and appreciate it more. Bulama also said
creating awareness among people and reorientation especially on anti-corruption fight is very
important. The speaker also mentioned that using cartoons to display the negative affect of
vote buying is another way to sensitize the public about the importance of voting of competent
leaders in the country. At the end he mentioned that social media such Twitter, Facebook and
Instagram are some of the best platforms to reach young people and send messages to
The last speaker, Joshua Alabi of KININSO KONCEPTS also discussed on the platforms he uses in
creating awareness on anti-corruption, accountability and electoral processes. Joshua said using
art and theatre for storytelling not in the way of entertainment but in changing the narrative of
the governance in the country is very important. Mr. Alabi said, as part of their efforts to
create awareness in the area of accountability and good governance they are transforming
stories into educative films around accountability and good governance. He further said,
collaboration with other stakeholders in the area such Nollywood Actors/Actress, Young people
and social media influencers is another way they are using to educate the public.
At the end participants asked questions and made comments.
In its effort to bring employers with trainers of prospective employees closer to it is services, the Job Placement Information Services (JOPIS) unit of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has on Tuesday 19th November, 2019 organized a one-day dialogue on the theme â€˜Understanding Skills Supply and Gaps as Means of Employability in Kano State. The dialogue was held at Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, Kano in celebration of this yearâ€™s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Global Entrepreneurship Week is a global effort to address problems of employers, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. During one week, each November innovators and job creators who launch startup that brings ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare gather to celebrate the week. GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.
In his opening remarks, the Coordinator of the Job Placement Information Services (JOPIS) Unit of CITAD said that CITAD initiated JOPIS scheme to assist youth looking for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities by bringing information about jobsand entrepreneurship opportunities to them.The main function of the unit is sourcing job opportunities and collaborating with reliable sites advertising job opportunities such as Jobberman, Jobrapido, Myjob in order to connect people looking for jobs. Malam Sagiru Ado said that in celebration of the GEW week, CITAD has been organizing different activities such as public lectures, radio programs, advocacy visits career talks and entrepreneurship quizzes to students of secondary schools to sensitize them and inculcate the sense of entrepreneurship to them since at the grassroots level. He then briefed the participants about the history of the GEW, global activities on GEW and Nigerian activities on GEW.
In his remarks, the Executive Director, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), represented by the Program Coordinator, Malam Isyaku Garba, traced back to the history where he said in the early 80â€™s there was a lot of job opportunities and people did not cared and paid much attention on white collar jobs because of the number of educated ones at that time was not up to the number we have today. But as a result of increase of unemployed youth and graduate today makes it necessary to acquire basic skills since from university level. He then stressed that they are job opportunities in Nigeria just that we lack qualified personnel with required skills to fulfill the requirement.
Prof Mustapha Hassan Bichi of the Department of Civil Engineering, Bayero University, Kano made the first presentation. He presented on the Skills provided by the Nigerian Institutions. In his presentation, Prof. Bichi said that unemployment has become a major problem bedeviling the lives of youths and graduates causing frustration, depression, dejection and dependency on family members and friends.It is common knowledge that about 80% of graduates in most Nigerian universities find it hard to get employment every year. This is largely due to the curricula of the universities and other tertiary schools with emphasis on training for white-collar jobs. Currently, Nigeria like other developing countries is faced with a number of problems ranging from youth and graduate unemployment, high level of poverty, insurgency, conflict and diseases, insincerity, over dependency on foreign made goods, low economic growth and development, lack of capacity and required skills to move the economy forward and urbanization.Due to these and other reasons that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), introduced Entrepreneurship Education (EE), which is aimed at equipping tertiary students with entrepreneurial skills, attitudes and competencies in order to be job creators and not just job hunters.
Malam Adamu Ahmad, Regional Manager, Integrated Corporate Services (ICS), Kano made the second presentation. Malam Adamu explained that ICS Outsourcing is Nigeriaâ€™s leading Outsourcing provider incorporated in August 1994 and since then offering a comprehensive range of outsourcing services and provide bespoke business support solutions to all kinds and sizes of businesses. He then decried that the qualities they need, they donâ€™t get from our people. The idea behind each business according to Malam Adamu is to survive and that is why if he does not employ quality people the company will not survive. He then finally said that communication skills and computer literacy are basic skills required by the employers. He made effort at different times to enlighten and sensitize northern youth through tertiary institutions but they failed to catch up.
Malam Baita Suleiman of Sharada Small Scale Industries expressed his worries about the attitude of most of the students sent to them for Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES). He said that most of them only do not want the practical knowledge, and concentrated only on theories. He drew attention of the Nigerian institutions on the importance of imparting knowledge through local languages as it happens in other developed countries. Engr. Jafar Suleiman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Kano Branch requested the second presenter to give them time on their mentoring program.
In his final remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Malam Umar Muhammad, Director Recruitment and Training, Kano State Senior Secondary Schools Management Board (KSSSSMB) associated the problems with miss of priority, corruption and failure to continue with 433 educational systems. He then thanked and appealed to CITAD to keep on sensitizing and helping job seekers succeed at employment and entrepreneurship support opportunities
Participants at the dialogue were members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Kano Branch, Muryar Talaka, MSI Text Solution, Sharada Small Scale Association, Kano Chamber Of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA), Kano State Senior Secondary Schools Board (KSSSSMB), media and Civil Society Organizations. Different issues were raised and discussed during the general comments, some of the issues were:
- The only way to change the mindset of graduates to embrace Entrepreneurship is by giving them orientation right from their background. Building a strong foundation of entrepreneurship from their primary to Tertiary level of education.
- The notion that the northerners lack equal opportunity of securing most white collar jobs with the non northerners because that they do not have basic skills required is not true for the following reasons.
- Graduate from the north lack full family support in embracing entrepreneurship or learning skills.
- Graduates from the north lack adaptability skills and they do not want to be far away from their families compared to graduates from the south who tend to have high ability of enduring every kind of condition, no matter how hectic the location and the work is, they tends to have more tolerant and enduring skills.
- In seeking for any job opportunity it is important to take note of the kind of email addresses to present, because a time graduates present emails that are not presentable so one should take notes of names used o emails.
- Also to acquire any job, you must be mindful on how you mediate, mode of approach and reaction as well as body language.
- Students should be taught more practical on entrepreneurship than theory (less spoken words more of actions) this will help to reduce the rate of crimes and employment in the country.
- There is a difference between a university graduate and a polytechnic graduate. University students are meant to supervise command and direct while polytechnic students because they have been taught much practical than theories meant to carry out most of the practical works
Hamza Ibrahim, Coordinator, Curbing Hate and Dangerous Speech Project, CITAD, made the vote of thank on behalf of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD). He thanked the speakers and the participants for honoring the invitation and said that CITAD believed that the contribution provided by the speakers brought the success of the event. He then appalled to the participants to have the same co-operation and participation in the future endeavors.
CENTRE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT (CITAD),
WITH SUPPORT FROM ROSA LUXEMBURG FOUNDATION (RLF)
Â Event: Dialogue on Social Media in Academic Environment
Date: Friday 3RD May, 2019
Venue: Boardroom, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Bayero University, Kano (Old Campus)
As part of a broader dialogue initiative on critical knowledge production in the university system, Centre for information Technology and Development (CITAD), with support from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, held a one-day dialogue on youth activism in the era of social media to overcome detraction and leverage opportunities with the title, “Dialogue in Social Media in Academic Environment”
The dialogue was organised to engender discussion among stakeholders especially the academics as well as other key stakeholders on how to challenge pedagogical and epistemological practice and to proffer ways in which it can reconstruct and enable the academic space to become a robust environment for intellectual debates and advancing knowledge.
The dialogue brought together students, social activists, academics and scholars, civil society Representatives and journalists. Key profile s from the academia were also present at the dialogue including Prof. Adamu Tanko Yakasai-the Deputy Vice Chancellor of BUK who chaired the dialogue, Dr. Lawal Abdulwahab-the Dean Faculty of Information Technology, Prof. Habu Muhammad Fagge-HOD of Political Science and Dr. Nura Ibrahim-HOD of Information Media. The Executive Director of CITAD, Dr. Yunusa Ya’u and Mrs Angela Odah of Rosa Luxemburg Foundation were also present at the dialogue
- The Opening Session
aÂ Â Chairmanâ€™s Opening Remarks- Professor. Adamu Tanko, (DVC-Academic, BUK)
The chairman expressed his appreciation for the opportunity given to him to chair the event and also to make his contribution on this important motive. He added that he loves being among the youths and feel so happy when heâ€™s in their midst. Talking about social media, the chairman exclaimed that all of our lives is interaction. One can only get something by coming in close contact with what he wants, understanding one another etc. Leveraging on social media is therefore critical and demanding on the academic environment.
- Welcoming Remarks- Dr. Aminu Aliyu (programme Cordinator)
In his opening remarks, the coordinator of the dialogue, Dr. Aminu Aliyu welcomed everyone who attended the dialogue and also expressed his gratitude to special guests of honours as well as Bayero university, Kano, which offered the venue pro bono and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation for supporting CITAD in organizing and carrying out the dialogue.
- Programme and its Objectives- Dr. Yunusa Yaâ€™u Y.Z (ED CITAD)
While presenting the objectives of the dialogue, the Executive Director of CITAD, Dr. Yunusa Yaâ€™u, explained that the dialogue was organised to see how we can change the world using social media, how we can become possible users of the social media, and refuse to use it for negative purposes. The objectives therefore according to him was engage all relevant stakeholders including students, social activists, academics and scholars, civil society representatives and journalists to generate ideas on how to transform social media from a tool for communication to a tool for critical activism and self-actualization especially in the academic environment, to change the social media into positive force for societal development. It was to also change the mindset of students from just using the social media for communications, to positive use for academic as well as self-reliance purposes. Another objective of the dialogue was also to strategise on how to transform Nigerians from consumers and users to programmers, creators and developers of our own content, applications so that we can compete with the world.
- Good Will Message- Angela Odah (RSL)
A good will message was also issued by the representative of Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. She explained that the foundation has been in West Africa since 2010 and works around creating platforms for discussions and dialogues at international, national and regional levels on issues of development, political socio-cultural dynamics with civil society groups, academics, women and youths groups and other relevant stakeholders, to identify and discuss important issues and also provide alternative for development by ensuring that stakeholders within communities have a say in their community. She thanked CITAD for the effort the organization put in organized the dialogue and expressed that that RSL was so happy to be part of it.
- Solidarity Messages
- Dr. Lawal Abdulwahab (Dean, Faculty of Computer Sciences)
We are the users of social media, but what is important is how we use it; either negatively or positively defines us, how we regulate it is equally important. We should use the technology to add value to our society. We should use it for job creation, not just job seekers. It is a great idea to have interaction like this for us to share our ideas.
ii- Prof. Habu Muhammad Fagge (HOD, Political Science Department)
This is a very crucial discussion. Social media is an evitable phenomenon not only to the youth, but to any serious minded person living in the age of globalisation. Communication is so essential that you can actually have the skills of engaging yourself in social media activities without technically related to the background.
iii- Murtala Ibrahim (Reporter, Vanguard Newspaper)
Social media has come to stay, there is nothing we can do about that. What we can do is for Nigeria to have policies that will regulate the use of social media like some other states where they donâ€™t have ungoverned spaces, but the suggestion was rejected. Today we all know the positive and negative effect of the social media. We all know what fake news has caused this country. So there is a need to revisit the issue of regulations to ensure that the social space on social media is not polluted.
The first presentation was titled â€œManaging the Imperative in Academic Environmentâ€ by Sanah Abdullahi Mu’az from department of Software Engineering, BUK. She described that the essence of the presentation is to whether or not the social media is being under-utilised, whether the social media is being used the way it supposed to be from the perspective of the students as well as from the perspectives of the lecturers.
- The second presentation was prepared and made by Abdulganiyyu R. Yakubu, CEO D.D. Hub. His presentation focused on â€œMaking best Use of Social Media.â€ He expressed that Nigeria is one of the biggest patronizers of social media in the world. It is also noted that people of northern Nigeria has a very huge presence on the social media. This was why we have Hausa content on Facebook as well as the internet. The presentation therefore focused on the plenty of opportunities available on social media which the users can utilise.
- Panel Session
A panel discussion session was also held with four panelists; Aminu Ibrahim, Rabiâ€™u Shamma, Maryam Ado Haruna and Sadiya Lawal Danyaro on the topic â€œSocial Media Activism on Paradeâ€.
Points from the panel discussion:
- Social media could be used to enforce democracy. For youths to use the social media positively, for me I define myself on social media by defining myself, whom do I want to be my friend, what to post on the social media. I select friends based on what they do. Social media is a tool we can use to send messages to the government, to comment on important issues. It is very sad how some news sites post sentiments. We need to sanitise these platforms to make them safe and send the right things. When you see anything online, if itâ€™s not for an authentic source, try to verify before sharing it. There are many ways in which you can verify things on social media. And when you come across anything that does not supposed to be online, you can report it to the platform involved. We need to also localize the social media and have it on our local language.
- Social media plays important roles especially for mobilization for the activists, for instance mobilization for protests or solidarity, the use of #Hashtag is very powerful here. We have several #Hashtags like the #OccupyNigeria, #BringBackOurGirls. These are important event. Activist social media like Facebook and Twitter to campaign for certain issues. Activism like these have make government to take necessary actions, for instance like the protest for fuel subsidy.
- Social media has facilitated online activism just like the way it facilitated online dissemination of news and information. Social media has provided a room for democratic consolidation. To make reference to some #hashtags especially the ones initiated by CITAD like the #SayNoToHateSpeech, #StopViolenceAgainstWomenOnline, #TrackNigeria, #GBVO etc. Activism on social media can be easily accepted in some cases, while in some cases it need a lot of time before it could be widely joined. So itâ€™s something you need to put a lot of effort into, keep doing it, keep repeating the messages and also donâ€™t strict yourself to online activities, you need to complement it offline activities like radio campaign, street march etc. So this social media has facilitated direct communication between people at the grass-root level and those at the government level, you can simple send a message to the president on twitter by mentioning him in the post. Actually social media has so much good to offer to us, but we need to ensure that whatever we are sending out there is for national development, for positive social change. We shouldnâ€™t promote sentiments, hate speech, fake news on social media. Letâ€™s ensure that whatever we are pushing out is to promote unity and make Nigeria a better nation.
- Social media activism is a broad category. As youth activists, we need to utilise the social media in a positive way. We should not post anything that is fake or not genuine. The youths can make governments realise a particular issue which they have not noticed at first. They are a lot of campaigns that are trending on social media. The social media is a very powerful tool. If we look at the case of the ex-finance minister, we can see how powerful the social media is.Â When we come together we can really pursue what we are agitating for. And the social media in the academic environment, there are a lot of platforms we can utilise for our academic purposes, e.g â€œResearch Gateâ€, â€œacademia.org.â€Â Most of us are on Facebook, but majority of do not hesitate to share fake news. We really need to be different from the people outside academic environment. Instead of sharing our pictures or fake news on Facebook and Twitter, we can use it to make positive impact.
- Questions and Comments
- Nigeria is a diverse country with so many unending challenges especially at the moment on time. However, if you go to the archives, you will realise that every single challenge we have in this country has been discussed, but our major problem is implementation. if you check, you will see the percentage of the implementation of those solutions is very discouraging. For instance, we are having an important discussion on youth and social media activism, but what would happen after now, how are we going to implement what we have discussed here? What mechanism do we have in place to monitor and supervise the measures that were decided? E.g the impact; what has it change in the academia?
- Iâ€™m giving a recommendation to my colleagues especially the lecturers, you can see the opportunities in social media in the academic environment which have been discussed here. The academia supposed to be the ambassadors of every community, in fact, every community look up to the academia for a guide. But you can imagine what we in the academia have contributed toward the negativity of the social media. For instance, the rate in which we share unverified information on the social media is so disgusting, WhatsApp group is a very good example on this. So if we ourselves are not alien to this act, how can we guide our student against it?
- In this era of insecurity, among the students, especially the younger ones, instead of using the social media as a good opportunity, people have now developed the habit exposing their lives on social media by giving details of all their daily activities on social media including their travels and unknowingly making themselves vulnerable.
- Students donâ€™t use the social media as they supposed to. Majority of students donâ€™t even use social media for academic purpose. You find many youths on Instagram and not Twitter because twitter basically deals with intellectual postings, unlike Instagram, where peope go there for like and followers. So a lot need to be done so that our youthsâ€™ mindset will changed for them to understand that social media is beyond posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, It can also be utilized for academic purposes. There are a lot of platforms they can use on social media for their academic benefits.
- I want to make a little addition to the second presentation. I did my first and second degree on the usage of social media for cooperate recruitment. Universities now in Nigeria are making serious efforts to train students on entrepreneurship, but the mentality of white collar job is still in us. So student even the post graduate ones will want to hear how they can use social media to get lubricate jobs.
- Our students need to understand that job interviewers are now interested in the history of your postings on social media platforms, this is why they asked for social media handles. So if your postings are negative, how do you expect them to hire or employ you? So we need to be sensitive of what we post on our social media and the comments we make on friendsâ€™ postings as well.
- Plenary: Where Do We Go from Here?
- Social media is just like the film industry in Kano, we canâ€™t terminate it. We should therefore keep it in good shape. Our religious leaders should go online, endorse the good side of it and speak out against or sensitise on the negative use of the social media and the ill it may cause.
- We need to be creative enough to become drivers and creators of innovations not just the passengers and consumers of innovation.
- Youths should partner with other stakeholders like the government and other relevant stakeholders to come up with strategic ways in which the social media could be used for societal development.
- We need a societal orientation to become drivers of change.
- We need to have stakeholders on social media apart from the youths, the elders need to join the social media.
- The activists need to take up the challenge of following up of whatever agenda they set. Most start but do not have the courage of making it end with the desired result.
- We must continue to create awareness and inform people the importance of social media to our lives.
- Networking is very important. Students need to utilise the social media for networking to make whatever mission they have stronger and more effective.
- CITAD deserves commendation for it good work, but it also needs to do more on training youths on the positive use of social media.
The insurgency in the North-East has drastically destroyed villages, towns, cities or communities in general, insurgents launch attacks on communities they so wish especially at the peak of the insurgency, even though Boko Haram fighters use arms to attack communities, some communities stood against them and repelled the fighters motive of crippling their lives using resilient mechanisms. The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from United States Institute of Peace (USIP) carried out a research to find out the strategies used by some communities during the insurgency to defend themselves in order to proactively encourage other communities to also adopt resilience so as to avert future occurrences.
After carrying out research in Adamawa, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano and Yobe states, CITAD decides to hold Public Policy Dialogue in Gombe with various stakeholders in attendance with a view to allowing further deliberations and the need to address certain issues and for authorities to tackle challenges that hinder community resilience and improve or put in place what may strengthen it. Giving a goodwill message, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) represented by Hajiya Ummuna Ahmed commended the organizers of the dialogue for bringing relevant stakeholders to rub minds on community resilience that she added is integral to societal development.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman, Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative, Retired Lieutenant General T.Y Danjuma who was represented by his vice Alhaji Tijjani Musa Tumsah noted CITADâ€™s unending progress towards making better understanding and a better insight into the Nigerian society citing the recently launched â€œTake Action Platformâ€ initiative in Damaturu which promotes accountability and evaluation of reconstruction efforts in the North-East region. Tumsah said the dialogue which provides an avenue for sharing ideas is of particular interest to the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative adding that without community resilience the military would not have had so much successes in itâ€™s war against Boko Haram, â€œwe in PCNI are interested in reinforcing community resilience and support the architecture of security in all the communities that are resident in the North-East, I believe this gathering will help in no small measure to make that more achievableâ€.
Talking on the tasks before their committee, Tumsah noted that â€œyou may be aware that the PCNI as a mandate, has collaboration, coordination, communication as itâ€™s bedrock using The Buhari Plan as a strategic implementation framework for intervention in the North-East, in that respect, the PCNI in conjunction with the World Bank, the United Nations launched a dashboard which is a tool for monitoring much similar to the â€œTake Action Platformâ€ to register all initiatives and intervention in the North-East for clarity and for the avoidance of duplication of efforts, in that regard we urge that CSOs and CBOs to seek to do their registration on the dashboard so that we can harmonize all activitiesâ€.
Unveiling the purpose of the research, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim said the idea of the research on community resilience was conceived within the context of framing what needs to be done to move the North-East region forward. On community resilience, Prof. Jibrin said â€œit is about the capacity of communities to respond to shocks, external shocks they have received, the reality is that when communities are very poor, underdeveloped, they have a structural vulnerability to shocks, and the specific communities we have been looking at in the North-East have had that structural vulnerability and what the insurgency did was to further deepen that vulnerability, what we looked at in terms of resilience is the capacity to bounce backâ€. What we set out to do was to see what are the strengths within societies, within communities that have been used and could be enhanced in future to enable those communities improve their lives, Jibrin added.
Researchers from the states presented highlights of their findings after which comments and questions followed. Dr. Y.Z. Yaâ€™u presented on the â€œKey Findings, Lessons Learnt and Policy Recommendationsâ€, some of the recommendations proffered by YZ included addressing extreme social inequality, encouraging inclusive community leadership, addressing youths unemployment, encouraging community policing and enhancing local conflict management skills. Mr. Chom Bogu discussed on the Policy Recommendations. The Public Policy Dialogue was attended by a delegation of the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative, academics, administrators, legal practitioners, state assembly members from the North-East region, women groups, civil society organizations, people living with disability, media and many other stakeholders.
The Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from Mobilizing for Development (M4D) has since September, 2015 been implementing a project entitled: â€˜â€™Strengthen Local CBOs and Informal Institutions for Improved Access and Quality of Educationâ€™â€™ in some selected Local Governments of Kano State. The aim of the project is to improve access to and quality of basic education in the Dawakin Tofa, Sumaila and Garin malam Local Governments of Kano State.
Having carried out research, conducted advocacy and enlighten the Community Based Organizations, traditional leaders and the teeming local populace in the three local governments for six months, CITAD decides to hold a Public Policy Dialogue with respective relevant stakeholders in attendance, the idea is to further generate vital observations and recommendations in order to develop a roadmap for basic education as regards the finding and experiences of the three local governments. The event took place on 15th March, 2016 at Murtala Muhammed Library in Kano, Kano state. Below are observations, challenges and recommendations generated during the event. This communiquÃ© hereby appeal to the concerned bodies to urgently take the necessary actions in order to salvage poor state of basic education so that the future of our younger ones will be bright. Â
- Education needs collective support
- The southern states have gone far in establishing community schools, the north should the same and in order to fully support the education sector
- PTA and SBMC should join hands and do more to rescue the decay in the education sector
- Basic education is fundamental and lacking it invites social vices
- Resolutions of the conference should be extended to the government, media, concerned bodies and the general public, that will help salvage the poor state of education
- The Nigerian standard of Teacher-Pupil ratio is one teacher to thirty four (34) pupils, the study found varying degrees of alarming ratios e.g 1-73 as against 1-34
- Three (3) local governments were selected for the study out forty four (44) LGs in Kano state, empirically the study ought to fully state that.
- Are the findings applicable in all the local governments of Kano state, are there differences and why.
- There needs to be reasons for enrolment rise and fall in order to back the data up.
- In all the local governments, the out of school children are higher than those in schools, the study should give reason for that as well.
- Teacher-pupil ratio helps ensure quality of education, the teacher can easily asses the students, interacts with them, supervise their homework, therefore teacher-pupil ratio is vital to education sector. How does the sampling goes and why. The study has found out 1-73 teacher-pupil ratio as against the official Nigerian standard of 1-34.
- Poor state of infrastructure as found out by the study is also a major setback to education and unless necessary action is taken, the sector will witnessing backwardness
- The world has advanced greatly in terms education and we are left behind
- Any country that abandons education Â sector will surely become slave among peers
- Population should not be an excuse, because primary schools pupils in China are more than the Nigerian population yet they are provided with equipments to carryout experiment. The Chinese are what they are because of education, they produce and manufacture everything because they have education
- Some pupils use mud blocks as desks to take lessons
- Some parents could not give their pupils five naira break stipend
- Fifty (50%) of teachers are not qualified which result in producing poor students
- Some schools completely donâ€™t function when it rains
- Many teachers do obtain/buy fake certificates from educational institutions
- Teachers unions are not supportive of government in terms of ensuring quality teachers because there was an incident when the government planned to conduct examination in order to sieve unqualified teachers but the union objected the move
- Lack of many female teachers
- The northwest was rated zero in education at a conference in Abuja last week (Prof. Diso)
- Kano state SUBEB has more than 6000 schools and pay over N2bn monthly salary
- The society must fully support the education sector as well as move from holding conferences to implementing the resolutions of the conferences.
- SUBEB needs to be organizing workshop to PTA/SBMC in order to enlighten and educate them on what is expected of them so that the sector will move forward.
- Community leaders should pay regular courtesy visits to the wealthy and others that are willing to assist and solicit their intervention in the education sector
- Government should create a joint account and provide autonomy on resources disbursement and the community must be watchful of how funds are spent.
- The school curriculum should be reviewed to suit the changing needs and situations.
- SUBEB must support the community groups and volunteers with structures, facilities and manpower where necessary.
- Remuneration, promotion, annual increment and general welfare of teachers ought to be seriously looked at.
- Ministry for local government affairs must be engaged in order to tackle problems from the grass root.
- CITAD should expand their effort by engaging more development partners.
- Reposition the thinking and mindset of the society, government, educational bodies and everybody in the society.
- Overhaul the education sector and make it a participatory activity.
- Basic education should be made free and compulsory for all.
- Educational agencies must be accountable to the resources they are allocated.
Key Recommendations to the Government:
- Government must ensure quality and welfare of teachers; enact law to punish parents who stop their children from going to school.
- The government must equally cooperate, strengthen and work with relevant development partners on education.
- It must also involve traditional leaders and community groups to help manage education at the grass root level.
- Local government chairmen must also liaise with the community for annual budget and estimate on education.