Category: blogs

CODE’s Hyeladzira Mshelia selected for Twink Frey Fellowship

Communications September 25, 2022 0

Connected Development (CODE)’s Programs Associate, Hyeladzira Mshelia, has been selected as a visiting social activist for the 2023 Twink Frey Fellowship from hundreds of candidates from across the globe.

Hyeladzira will work on a campaign in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, to establish a cohesive framework and digital platform to organize and empower 500 Gender Advocates (GA) across Africa to consolidate, collaborate, educate, learn, and participate in local issues impacting them.

The Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist (TFVSA) Program empowers social justice activists each year, whose work impacts women and acknowledges gender equality problems. One of the program’s objectives is to increase the ability and effectiveness of social activists. This will be achieved by providing the TFVSA with the time, place, and resources to work on a project that would not be achievable under the activist’s normal working conditions.

At CODE, Hyeladzira leads campaigns that address issues affecting women and girls including gender-responsive budgeting, girl-child education campaigns, and campaigns to eliminate all forms of violence targeted toward women and girls. She manages Project Sabi and the Gender Advocate Movement in Africa (GAMA). Her activism has focused on Women’s Rights with the goal of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Goal 5: gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

Connected Development (CODE), led by Hamzat Lawal, a global citizen and activist, has been promoting and advocating for open government, improving the government’s implementation of community projects, exposing and combating corruption, and combating extreme poverty in marginalized communities for more than a decade.

The leading civil society organization also invests in its young and vibrant workforce. Through Lawal’s leadership, CODE staff are exposed to an enabling environment that drives them to take on leadership and service opportunities on a global stage. Just recently, Out of 9,000 applicants, Pearl Utuk who works as a Programme Officer with CODE emerged as one of the 56 carefully selected winners of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for the 2022 cohort.

Community Interventions and ‘The Do No Harm’ Principle: My Experience in Northern Nigeria

Communications August 25, 2022 40

By Msen Nabo (Digital Media Associate, CODE)

One important lesson being in the civil society space has taught me is: “It doesn’t matter how backward you think a people’s culture and beliefs are, you must approach and engage with respect and carefully plan your actions and execute them in ways that doesn’t expose them to more harm”! The goal is to win them over, not prove a point.

You can’t show up scantily dressed to a meeting with stakeholders who have deep rooted culture of being covered up and hope to convince them on why the girl-child belongs in the classroom. These are people from communities whose larger population believes western education does nothing but makes the girl-child go wild, in their words “lalata, karuwance, da rashin kunya” hausa words loosely translated to mean “getting spoilt, turning to harlots and throwing all moral caution to the wind” if anything, showing up dressed in any way other than what conforms to their culture and beliefs only strengthen their resolve to never let their wards see the four walls of a classroom cause in their mind, “I wouldn’t want my daughter dressed like that”

I had the rare privilege of representing our CEO and Malala Fund Champion, Hamzat Lawal at a two-day capacity building workshop for School Monitoring Teams (SMTs) in Adamawa State Northern Nigeria, for the continuation of the ongoing engagement for Girl-child education in the state. A campaign by Connected development with support from Malala Fund.

During the workshop which had stakeholders comprising of religious leaders, teachers, principals, community leaders, students and other key stakeholders, the team assured them of CODE’s commitment to bridge the communication gap between them and the government in providing a safe, conducive learning environment, with WASH facilities, lack of which has been one of many factors why parents don’t enroll their wards. 

To further sensitize them, I facilitated a session on the role of social media in amplifying conversations around community needs and guided them on how to sign up, use these platforms, add hashtags and tag the appropriate handles to their posts to achieve desired results.

A key advantage for me on this trip was understanding and speaking hausa fluently which is the Lingua Franca in the North. It was handy in facilitating the workshop both in English and Hausa to further drive the message home and ensure no one was left behind due to language barrier. This, in addition to our appearance, helped shape the conversation and strengthen the feeling of “togetherness” which made them see us as the solution and not the threat.

The end result of the team approaching them with the respect they deserve was an engaging two days where participants were actively involved and made contributions towards addressing issues like insecurity that has been ravaging the region, dilapidated school buildings, understaffing of schools due to lack of trained teachers, and cost of Education.  To address these issues, CODE is advocating for 12years free compulsory education in the state and getting the government to commit to recruiting more qualified hands and address insecurity to ensure a safe learning environment.

As we go about seeking to intervene and address injustice in various sectors, I hope we take a step back to look at the broader context. I hope we make a deliberate and conscious effort to put ourselves aside for a moment and “DO NO HARM” while trying to help. The cause will always be bigger than us!

Does the non-representation of women in the Kano State Assembly play a role in delaying the passage of the VAPP and Child Protection Bill? 

Communications August 1, 2022 22

By Ruth Okafor

As a good governance and gender advocate, I wonder why a state as large as Kano with a huge population lacks a single female representation in her state assembly. An assembly that carves policies for the betterment of the people and represents various constituencies. It strikes me that a state with a population of over 13 million persons with about 40% of the population being women has no woman present to decide on key challenges facing them as a society. 

It goes to show that for years specific demography may have been relegated to the background, or not considered relevant to hold such positions. It is in line with this that the Ministry of Justice under the leadership of Bar. Lawan Abdullahi Musa is currently pushing for the passage of the harmonized VAPP and Child Protection Bill. These bills provide a legal framework that protects women and children in the society. The Child Protection Bill has been signed by the Executive arm since February 2021 but is yet to be assented by the Legislative arm of the government. 

The Stories surrounding the delay in the passage of these bills have been linked to culture and religion, despite the fact that some Islamic clerics were among those who reviewed and vetted the bills.  It was to this end that some CSOs, in collaboration with the FIDA Kano state chapter, organized a peaceful demonstration calling for the passage of the Child Protection Bill following the death of Hafsat by her schoolteacher, but these efforts were futile.

Connected Development has worked with various stakeholders since 2021 through gender advocates, trained to advocate for the passage of both bills as part of the Canadian High Commission-funded Galvanizing Mass Action Against Gender-Based Violence project in Kano State. Since our first meeting with members of the executive branch and a few legislators, we’ve made significant progress. 

Hence, my detour on why there is a delay in assenting to these bills as it stands to benefit the lovely people of Kano state. For a society to progress,  members of the society must be duly represented on the decision table, this will enable everyone to get perspective and clarity on every matter before a vote is taken. As much as women are not represented on the legislative council of Kano state, we hope that the decisions taken on these bills and others will be holistic, considering every member of society.

According to Vanguard, no fewer than 62 female candidates sought various elective positions in Kano state during the 2019 general elections. This means that women of Kano state are active in politics but what is the hindrance? According to a paper titled “Challenges and Prospects of Women Political Participation in Nigeria” Women’s participation in the electoral process in Nigeria has been constrained by multiple factors including culture, religion, psychology, and of late, social lynching. 

The paper also restated the claim that Islam does not entirely restrict women from aspiring for public roles. Women can seek to serve society in any role they desire except the leadership of prayer and command of the military. If this is so, then women cannot aspire to or contest the office of the President of the Federal Republic as that office comes with the responsibility of the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, thus the Muslim woman cannot run for it. However, women can still contest for other positions that do not require military leadership, such as legislative and even state governorships. despite this, women have anyway become leaders in certain Muslim countries: PMs Benezir Bhutto (Pakistan), Sheikha Hasina (Bangladesh), Tansu Ciller (Turkey), and President Atifete Jahjaga (Kosovo).

For societies to embrace change and the needs of all its members, particularly marginalized communities, we must be able to make them part of the decision-making bodies in the governance structures. In conclusion, we must embrace the education of the masses, especially the girl-child and women at large.

The PIA, Nigeria’s loss of Over 2 Billion USD to Dwindling oil production in June 2022 and the Power of Voices Partnership (PVP) solution

Communications July 17, 2022 2

By Kingsley Agu (Programs Manager, CODE)

It is no longer news that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is now transiting into a private company now known as Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd). NNPC Ltd is to be regulated in line with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and the title of the former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC would now become Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the new NNPC Ltd (which means the GCEO has the powers to make decisions for its subsidiaries and holding company unlike before that it had to be via the Federal Executive Council). The new look NNPC Ltd is all as a result of the Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 which mandated the Minister of Petroleum to incorporate NNPC Ltd within 6 months of the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 into law. The PIA 2021 was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 16th of August 2021 upon passage by the National Assembly in July 2021. 

The NNPC Limited is currently the company with the highest share capital in Nigeria with 200 Billion Naira initial capital. The incorporation of the NNPC Ltd by Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was concluded within 1 month and 5 days from the date the President signed the PIA 2021 into law as this was completed on the 21st of September 2021 by CAC. NNPC Limited is expected to be unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari on 19th July, 2022.

Despite the current efforts at making NNPC to function optimally in line with the PIA 2021, crude oil production has been on a steady decline year-on-year from 2020 to 2022 half year. Available data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) a subsidiary of the new CAMA incorporated NNPC Limited shows this worrying trend. 

The data analysis above of Nigerian crude oil production for January to June 2020 to 2022 shows a consistent and worrying decline in oil production. In January 2022, the data shows a 11,795,487 Million Barrel drop in oil production of 43,353,723 Million Barrels in January 2022 when compared to January 2020 which was 55,149,210 Million Barrels. In February 2022, the data shows a 16,963,273.53 Million Barrel drop in oil production of 35,217,997.47 Million Barrels in January 2022 when compared to January 2020 which was 52,181,271 Million Barrels. This downward trend is visible across January to June as seen in the graphical representation of the analysis above.

The 2022 first half crude oil production performance shows a decline of 11.8% when compared to June of 2021 production. In June 2021, Nigeria produced 39,401,749 Million Barrels of crude oil while in June 2022, the production was pegged at 34,748,214. The graph below shows data visualization of the downward trend of oil production in 2022 when compared year on year with 2021. Though the data also shows an improvement in crude oil production in June 2022 when compared to the previous month of May 2022. 

This is amidst dwindling foreign reserves and revenue shortfall in the country. This worrying trend has to be addressed else Nigeria might be in a more serious revenue crisis which might affect the functioning of the Nigerian government as crude oil still remains the major source of foreign exchange in the country. To visualize the extent of the revenue crisis due to oil production decline, out of the 1.772 Million Barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production allocated to Nigeria by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting  Countries (OPEC) in June 2022, Nigeria was only able to produce 1,158,273.80 Million bpd leaving a shortfall of 613,726.2 bpd which if calculated based on the $110 per barrel oil was sold for in June 2022, amounts to 67,509,882 Million US$ loss per day and as much as 2,025,296,460 Billion US$ loss in the whole of June 2022.

The decline in oil production is largely attributed to oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, oil theft as well as decaying oil infrastructure. The oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta is fueled by degraded environment due to crude oil activities thereby destroying the livelihood of community members in oil-producing communities who are predominantly crop farmers and fishermen/women as well as long years of neglect by successive governments which is evidenced by poor social infrastructures such as roads, schools, WASH and healthcare facilities despite the 13% oil derivative given to oil producing states by the Federal government of Nigeria. 

To address this social misnomer across oil producing communities, Connected Development (CODE), Africa’s leading civil society organization, through its Power of Voice Partnership (PVP) Fair for All Campaign has via its collaborative intervention and advocacy worked with other CSOs including government agencies, resulting in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) with support from OXFAM.

The Act has well spelt out provisions for the establishment of the Host Community Development Trust to provide organized funding for development of oil producing communities and mitigate the risk of high conflict and restiveness in the areas and #RevampNigerDelta. Our specific engagements built the capacity of CSOs, community leaders and young people to be able to engage the private sector, oil and gas companies and the government and demand a participatory open budget and contracting system.

In the second phase of the PVP campaign, CODE will continue this engagement by giving attention to the implementation of the provisions of the newly enacted regulatory framework in the petroleum industry (Petroleum Industry Act). CODE will ensure that the government sustains the already created “Commission” and the “Authority” via the transition of NNPC to become a commercial entity with no regulatory powers as NNPC Limited. At the Community level, we will strive to track and monitor the implementation of the Host Community Development Trust. To address the gap in access to information by citizens in states where the Freedom of Information Act has not been domesticated, we will carry out advocacy drives to stimulate citizens to push for the domestication of the Act at the focal states of Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Rivers and FCT Abuja. For sustainability, we will also improve the capacity of CSOs to conduct evidence-based tracking and advocacy using the FollowTheMoney model to ensure effective utilization of resources in oil-producing states in Nigeria.

How Follow The Money Brand Is Building the Largest Pan African Citizen Movement

Lucy Abagi July 12, 2022 3

It’s no longer breaking news that over ten years ago, two young Nigerians started a social movement to empower citizens with information to hold government accountable. Most recently, this movement has become very laudable with massive growth and scalability across other African countries.

A deep dive into the growth cycle of this brand, presents the enormous opportunity embedded in this social product. Follow the Money is a moving machine with the capacity to provide value for as much as 100,000 million USD and above. Every social investor should plunge in their resources into this initiative, because of its proven capacity to deliver grassroot driven social impact.

Literally, young people have adopted this model and independently are taking actions in their communities to demand and ensure that public funds work for the good of all. At the coordinating center of Follow the money in Abuja, we are currently at the stage of massive fundraising strategies to attract sustainable, flexible and unrestricted fundings to support more young activists and campaigners to initiate and activate campaigns at all levels of governance with more emphasis on deprived communities.

As we anticipate and build strategies for sustainable funding for Follow The Money, my design team at the Connected Development have innovatively married in some components of our donor funded projects to accommodate the usability and expansion of the Follow The Money model in driving social accountability and expanding the FTM movements.

A list of some project designs that incorporated the FTM Model are highlighted below:

On the Power of Voices Project funded by OXFAM Novib, our state chapter teams leveraged on the wide-spread reach of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Independent Corrupt Practices and other offenses Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) across National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps in Akwa Ibom, Imo, Cross River, Rivers, Delta and FCT to engage youths on the power they possess in demanding transparency and accountability from elected officials for resources allocated to their communities using FollowTheMoney Model. Cumulatively, over 10,000 corps members were sensitized. Also, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Cross River, Rivers, Delta and FCT our state chapter teams embarked on setting up integrity clubs in five (5) secondary schools per State, bringing it to a total number of 30 integrity clubs. These clubs are strategically designed to train students to be champions of civic engagement and learn early in their lives, the power of their voices at the sub-national and national levels as well as stir their interest in governance in building a sustainable ideology.


On the Deepen Citizens’ Interest in Government Spending and Address Accompanying Corrupt Practices (DeSPAAC) project funded by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. We partnered with Community Life Project (CLP) and hosted a Campus Tour in the Federal University, Oye, Ekiti state (FUOYE) on the 18th of November, 2021, to promote citizen participation in governance and empower students in demanding for accountability and transparency from their immediate environment and government at all levels hence curbing the menace of corruption in our society. The key objectives of the Campus Tour was to engage millennials in tertiary institutions in Ekiti state on social accountability, governance, transparency, and accountability like the OGP and tools to track project implementation like the TETFund, to get them to take action in collaboration with CLP in tracking constituency projects and to get students to sign up on www.#followthemoney.org. The campus tour had in attendance the Vice Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti who was the chief host of the event and was ably represented by Mr. Onoga Vitalis representing the Dean of Student Affairs; Professor S.O Abifarin Dean of Faculty of Law; the State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA) represented by Ilori Olayinka; Student leaders of Faculties and departments; the Student Union Government; CODE and CLP teams. There were 490 students physically in attendance with 57 participants joining via facebook live streaming.

We are very intentional in promoting the FTM Model, using this behavioural change strategy. Hosting a series of sensitization on the role of young people in ensuring the implementation of the open government partnership, transparency and accountability is very paramount in changing the narrative and uprooting the seed of corruption and its all side effects in nation building.

Our model is a proof that when citizens are informed and take ownership of the developmental of their communities then change is inevitable.

Sustaining COVID 19 Transparency and Accountability Project Coalition and Partnerships in Africa

Lucy Abagi July 12, 2022 1

The COVID 19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) is built on strengthening and developing a strong learning community across the African continent thereby curating conversations and experiences on the issues of transparency and accountability across Africa through our global partners. 

CTAP partners increased collaboration and knowledge exchange among them moving from an initial state where their relations were mediated by CODE, BudgIT, and Global Integrity to one where it’s increased coordination and sharing directly among them (see graph below). 

Credit: Global Integrity

This has translated in collaboration for the production of multimedia content, to brainstorm solutions to challenges they are facing, and feature in each others’ events as a way to inspire partners in one country with the experiences and strategies used in other countries to demand transparency and accountability about COVID-19 response and recovery. 

In each country, CTAP partners were able to increase their networks, through events, use of social networks and direct contact with potential partners. Overall the CTAP network grew from an initial point of 93 organizations across the 7 countries to 206 organizations by the end of the first phase of the project. While most of this growth happened in Nigeria, thanks to the mobilization of existing Tracka and Follow the Money networks at the subnational level, all country partners increased their collaboration with national and subnational organizations in their contexts. 

It’s important to note that the way they approached reaching out to the local and community level varied with some countries opting to directly engage with local organizations and others building strong collaborations with national organizations that already had strong chapters across the subnational level. 

In terms of the type of stakeholders that are part of the network, civil society organizations (98), government agencies (45) and media (18) are the main ones. It’s important to note that the group with which CTAP members created more relationships was that of government agencies, in the baseline there were only 13 government agencies with which CTAP partners had relationships, it changed to 45 agencies at the end of phase 1.    

It’s also worthy of note that CTAP partners placed most of their efforts in strengthening their in-country coalitions; organizations working at the local and national level were increasingly brought into the network, 67 and 41 additional organizations respectively. Complementing this focus CTAP partners also increased their relationships with regional and global organizations working in their contexts, bringing in 9 additional organizations, which place them well to increase this type of collaboration into the second phase of CTAP.  Specifically:

In Nigeria,, we organized 2 coalition-building meetings leading to the convergence and creation of CTAP Nigeria Coalition with 42 Civil Society actors as members. They shared their experiences and learnings while engaging with the government on different aspects pertaining to accountability for funds expended.

In Cameroon, we also organized two coalition meetings, hosting about 14 organizations.  The first coalition meeting was held on April 23, 2021, in Yaoundé-Cameroon under the theme ‘’Enhancing COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability in Cameroon”. The second was held on 17th November 2021 under the theme “ Gauging the Transparency of COVID-19 Incidence Management Response”. These coalition meetings took place at the Solomon Tandeng Muna Foundation, Cameroon. We gathered  Civil Society Organizations ( CSO),  political parties, members of the media, as well as technical partners.

In Kenya,  CTAP coalition-building brought together – CSOs leading to the development of a strategy paper that will serve as a roadmap to guide and consolidate collective advocacy efforts at the sub-national and the national level in regards to enhancing COVID 19 transparency and accountability in public budgeting and contracting processes 

In Malawi, the CTAP coalition-building of CSO led to the development of an action plan on tracking COVID 19 funds and collaboration with the Center For Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) for tracking activity in Salima district. During the first coalition-building workshop that we had in Blantyre, the capital city, we had a good number of organizations that are working on transparency and accountability projects.  From the action plans that were developed, participants pledged to collaborate on following how the government is spending funds.  From this activity, 

In Ghana, the CTAP coali tion meeting brought together national and sub-national CSOs representing diverse areas of advocacy under covid spendings such as women’s empowerment, food security, and public financial management under one umbrella to sharpen the call for an audited report on covid spending. 

In Sierra Leone, we held a CSO Coalition meeting with 40 CSOs in attendance, where they shared their experiences and lessons learned from engaging with the government to demand accountability and transparency for health spending during the COVID-19 outbreak,  which led to the formation of CSOs forum to develop action plans based on the findings in the launched country analysis reports.

In Liberia, coalition meeting in partnership with Follow The Money Liberia, Libpedia, YARD Liberia Inc, Volunteer Hub Liberia, and Care for Life launched the Covid-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP)’s Research Report and calls for Collaboration among CSOs, government, and the media to enhance transparency and accountability in covid-19 intervention funds in Liberia. 

Finally, it became clear in all countries that the main areas for future work and advocacy in relation to COVID-19 response and recovery are those of readiness and effectiveness of the health systems to deliver services and vaccines in an equitable way. This complemented with tracking additional country-specific programs and paired with budget and contract transparency is the best way to ensure that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic can reach all citizens in an equitable way and thus contribute to development results that benefit all.  

Navigating the world of development communication: Tale of a newbie

Communications July 12, 2022 2

By Joan Ayuba

Representing the Chief Executive of Connected Development (CODE) – Hamzat Lawal – at a recent event in Lagos tops the list of pleasant adventures I have embarked on since I transitioned into practicing development communications and started working with CODE.

My immediate thought was to ask colleagues for tips that would help me carry out the assignment I had been trusted with. I also knew that fitting into the CEOs shoes would require some padding, so I did the necessary research.

My flight from Abuja was delayed, so I arrived in Lagos in a panic, recalling people’s stories of missing events due to Lagos traffic. Lagos isn’t the best place to be, especially for someone used to the serenity of Abuja, but we stayed in one of the best hotels on the island, so it was well worth it.

On the day of the event, Partnership to Engage, Reform, and Learn (PERL) hosted a new media actors’ brainstorming session on governance, with a focus on pushing for local government autonomy, and many key actors across various sectors gathered to interact. From actors to civil society leaders, government officials, and so on.

I was initially intimidated by the speakers when the brainstorming session began and had internal debates about what my boss would have said in that situation. When a question about how to get Gen Z involved in governance was posed, I mustered the courage to speak up. That struck a chord, and when I asked for the microphone, the words flowed like a spring. It was fascinating to speak about what Connected Development is doing in various sectors as a new media actor. I managed to paint a clear picture of how CODE, through the leadership of Hamzat Lawal, was at the forefront of youth mobilization and by the time I was done talking, almost everyone wanted to know more.
People approached me to inquire about CODE, and in the process, we instantly secured a media collaboration, which you will hear about soon.

By the end of the session, I knew CODE was the place for me.

Some of the lessons from the session were that fighting corruption will be futile if the political process is plagued by fraud and corruption. As a result, there is a need to take advocacy to the State House of Assembly and persuade them to allow grassroots participation in the democratic process; alternatively, the masses could simply use already existing platforms. To be honest I felt proud because CODE was already doing most of the things they were talking about with Follow the Money and Open Parly and my thought was how to get citizens to take ownership of the call for accountability and in a way get the attention of relevant authorities.

People must be able to persuade the government to respond to their needs, but they must also understand their responsibilities as citizens, the division of powers within other branches of government, and who to hold accountable.

My big break was the opportunity. Prior to this, I had never worked in an environment that provided so many opportunities to anyone.

The room at CODE is large enough to hold everyone, and there is a seat for everyone, but to whom much is given?… Did I mention how Coworkers are always willing to jump in and lend a helping hand?

For the time being, I’m still trying to find my place. I’m also attempting to get inside everyone’s heads. I am a slow starter, and it usually takes me a while to adjust, but I no longer feel like a newbie. This ship has sailed, and I will keep you updated as I progress.

Federal Ministry of Agriculture leads MDAs to implement 2022 Zonal Intervention Projects across Nigeria

Communications July 9, 2022 5

By Kingsley Agu (Programs Manager, CODE)

The Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIP) are projects nominated by the 469 Members (109 Senators and 360 House of Representatives) of the National Assembly from the 36 states + the FCT worth 100 Billion Naira annually. ZIPs are popularly called Constituency Projects and as the name implies, they are to be executed in the constituency of each of the members in the National Assembly to ensure that development and government presence trickle down to all the Federal Constituencies in Nigeria annually. This 100 Billion Naira ZIP Budget allocation is shared in a 40:60 sharing formula for the Senate and House of Representatives members representatives. This means 40 Billion Naira goes to the 109 Senators while 60 Billion Naira goes to the 360 House of Representatives members to fund their constituency projects.

According to the Premium Times, there is equal distribution of the allocation to the 6 geopolitical zones. This arrangement means lawmakers from regions with more states have less funds on constituency projects. For example, lawmakers from the South-East zone with just 5 states have more funds for constituency projects than lawmakers from zones like the North-West with 7 states. 

In Deepening the interest of citizens’ in government’s spendings and addressing accompanying corrupt practices (DeSPAAC) project in Kaduna State with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Connected Development has discovered that House of Representatives members representing Kaduna State in National Assembly each gets just 65 Million Naira allocation annually for ZIPs due to that sharing formula. Hence, there’s a need for more equitable redistribution of the 100 Billion Naira ZIPs allocation across members of the National Assembly.

A deep dive into the 2022 ZIP Budget shows that 1710 Projects amounting to 100 Billion Naira have been budgeted to be executed under the 2022 Zonal Intervention projects (ZIP) across the 36 states of Nigeria + the FCT.  Data Analysis of the 2022 ZIP budget shows that members allocated the largest amount to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to implement their ZIPs as 28.7% of the budget (28.69 Billion Naira) was allocated to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, this is followed by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) with 14% (13.69 Billion Naira) allocation, Federal Ministry of Science & Technology with 10.94%, Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment With 10.11%, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment with 6.08%, and Federal Ministry of Water Resources with 6.05% allocations respectively.

The Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Health, and Federal Ministry of Women Affairs were allocated 5.4, 2.1% and 1.2% respectively. The pie chart below shows the distribution of the 2022 ZIPs among MDAs.

.

The 28.69 Billion Naira worth of projects allocated to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are for 372 projects of which 29% (which is 107) of those projects are for Empowerment and Training. The SGF is to implement 257 projects while the Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment is to implement 213 projects in the 2022 ZIP (constituency project) Budget. The table 1.0 below shows the breakdown of the amount and percentage of allocation to each MDAs in the 2022 ZIP Budget

MDABudgeted% of Budgeted to Total
Federal Ministry Of Agriculture28,693,967,40628.69%
Ministry Of Communication Technology199,000,0000.20%
Federal Ministry Of Defence339,000,0000.34%
Federal Ministry Of Education5,393,972,0005.39%
Federal Ministry Of Environment1,155,222,0001.16%
Federal Capital Territory Administration50,000,0000.05%
Finance, Bud. & Nat. Plan1,153,000,0001.15%
Federal Ministry Of Foreign Affairs713,000,0000.71%
Head Of Service214,000,0000.21%
Federal Ministry Of Health2,117,145,1902.12%
Ministry Of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management AndSocial Development2,675,038,6662.68%
Federal Ministry Of Information & Culture3,218,124,3803.22%
Federal Ministry Of Justice685,666,0000.69%
Federal Ministry Of Labour And Employment10,109,271,04610.11%
Ministry Of Mines And Steel Development409,666,0000.41%
National Agency For Science And EngineeringInfrastructure (Naseni)903,000,0000.90%
National Assembly230,000,0000.23%
Federal Ministry Of Power560,599,0000.56%
Presidency240,000,0000.24%
Public Complaints Commission697,000,0000.70%
Federal Ministry Of Science And Technology10,940,945,53210.94%
Office Of The Secretary To The Government Of The Federation13,988,713,76013.99%
Federal Ministry Of Special Duties & Inter – GovernmentalAffairs1,571,000,0001.57%
Federal Ministry Of Youth & Sports Development30,000,0000.03%
Federal Ministry Of Industry, Trade And Investment6,083,184,3806.08%
Federal Ministry Of Transportation240,000,0000.24%
Federal Ministry Of Water Resources6,053,100,3006.05%
Federal Ministry Of Women Affairs1,203,384,3401.20%
Federal Ministry Of Works & Housing133,000,0000.13%
TOTAL100,000,000,000100.00%
Table 1.0: Breakdown of the amount and percentage of allocation to each MDAs in the 2022 ZIP Budget

Now that the details of the 2022 Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIP) Budget are now known, it is over to the citizens to #FollowTheMoney to ensure its effective utilisation to the betterment of communities across Nigeria.

Data shows Katsina State government is neglecting education in the State

Communications July 9, 2022 3

By Agu Kingsley (Programs Manager, CODE)

There is a worrying trend of declined education funding in Katsina State by the State government. Data made available from the Annual School Census report of the State government published on the Katsina State government website, reveals that from 2016 to 2019, there has been a constant decline in the percentage budget allocated to the Education sector in the State. This is evidenced by the allocation of 30.66% in 2016, 21.55% in 2017, 17.88% in 2018 and 15.75% in 2019 to the Education sector in Katsina State. The graph below shows the downward trend of the Education funding in Katsina state from 2016 to 2019

It is important to note that in 2019, Katsina State recorded the second highest number of out of school children in Nigeria with 781,500 children out of school after Bauchi State with 1.1 million children out of school (out of the 10.5 million out of school children in Nigeria). Though this figure has since dropped for Katsina State to 775,000 according to the aforementioned report and now 536,132 in 2022 according to UNICEF in a recent report published on This Day News.


Talking about the budget performance, data made available on the Katsina State government website shows the downward trend of the capital budget performance for Education in the State from 2020 to 2021. Only 35.4% (5.5 Billion Naira out of the budgeted 15.4 Billion Naira) of the budgeted amount for Education was spent in 2020 while 20.59% (4.1 Billion Naira out of the budgeted 19.7 Billion Naira) was spent in 2021. You can see the downward trend in the graphics below

It is paramount for the State government to address this downward trend in Education financing to consolidate on the successes recorded in the reduction of the number of out of school children in Katsina State.

The journey towards #Hamzy@35

Communications July 5, 2022 1

By Hassana Dy

When Hamzat Lawal was called on stage, I had no idea who he was. But by the time he was off the stage, he had painted a vivid picture of how he had started Africa’s largest social accountability movement, FollowTheMoney. The story of Bagega community in Zamafara State left me emotional.

I remember immediately recognising how inspirational he was. His speech had sparked a light in me and so by the time he was off the stage, I was grateful for the encounter and mustered up strength to thank him for his brilliant speech.

I was later opportuned to perform a poetry piece on the same stage Hamzat had given his speech. In short, I realized I had big shoes to fill. After my performance, my new source of inspiration; Hamzat Lawal, informed me how amazing my performance was and asked that I perform at his birthday symposium in March at Abuja. Without giving it a second thought, I accepted the invitation.

Preparing for the performance was like walking through unknown terrain. This is where the real work is.

Days were drawing nearer but I was yet to write something for the event. Remember that duckling in Tom and Jerry cartoon who was like… “I tried and tried and tried but I cannot swim! And it almost ended up in Tom’s boiling soup??” That was me.

The boiling soup was that of my manager who kept asking “Have you written anything?” And I’ll be like “I still have time. Don’t worry” and he’ll say “I trust you” and I’ll say “Don’t trust me please.”

At first, I wasn’t worrying. I had other background crises to worry about. But then I was worrying and panicking when I’ll spend the whole day trying to jot something down but nothing would come up.

One afternoon, after spending hours cracking my brain yet it wasn’t cooperating, I just went to my manager’s whatsApp page and released my bottled screams.

Usually, I write from my emotions and this helps me flow in whatever direction but this is a writing that has a theme; a constriction. So it was like I had to write within a designated cage.

Days later when we talked with Hamzat Lawal over the phone, he said he’d like me to do what I did at TedxShehuri -Alhamdulillah- and another piece of like three mins about his vision and mission.

That call served as all the motivation I needed until I took my pen, opened my book, tried to write and my brain went blank. I can tell how great of a man Hamzy is, from his TedxShehuri speech to the phone call we had, but I was finding it difficult to write. I had never felt more betrayed.

I was counting down the days, as the birthday symposium drew closer and looking forward to the piece I eventually came up with.

The first original stanza of the piece was…

‘This is for the girl who wakes up crying at night
Alone
Praying for all the pain to go away
Wanting to move on but not knowing how
Clutching her heart that’s shrieking with pain
Wanting to know what she did wrong
Where she failed
Building brick by brick every day
To protect herself from being broken again’

…That at the last minute had to be scraped out. First Five stanzas had to be scrapped out Including
‘This is for those listening
Wanting to be heard
For those laughing
Creating a sound to indicate happiness
That didn’t make it to their hearts
Coz all they do is drip tears from within
This is for the confused and lost
Seeking for a sign
Praying for ease
Searching for a way’

But I knew it had to go because I had written from a place of pain and heartache.

I was working on the piece as much as I was working on myself (which wasn’t working). I was asking for opinions from non-poets (my brother and sister), and consulting my poetic friends for corrections. I knew something was wrong somewhere but I couldn’t locate or fix it.

At last, two days before the symposium, I just gave up and decided to do it MY WAY. I wrote in my notebook, “Okay Janaan, this is what we will do. At such a short notice, you can’t make it ‘better’ you’ll only confuse yourself and have it all wrong. So what we will do is, you’ll just go, do what you do and let’s see how it works. Panicking, worrying and whatever won’t help. Do your best and let’s just see, okay?”

And yes! I always talk to myself.

On 10th March, after I waved goodbye to my family, I went and bought this legendary hat at a price I wouldn’t ordinarily have bought. My nerves were in full control but I knew I needed it for solace more than to shield me against the sun.

On 11th March, the dress I was planning to wear on stage was brought. For the first time, my tailor didn’t get it. I gave him a sample of Annah Hariri’s dress but he didn’t get the proportions right.

Our flight was delayed due to the weather. I had so many reels I’d wanted to create but part of our deal with my brother was he’ll accompany me there only if I don’t bombard him with snapping pics and videos and writing stories on them. I could only break the deal when I knew we’d left Maiduguri.

By 9pm, we had arrived at the nation’s capital and we met with the manager of Hamzy. Part of the highlight of the trip for me was that my brother and I were assigned two bodyguards I was also given a tag to grant me access to three of the platforms at the event venue plus some other VIP treatments. Man! The way I later laughed while narrating it to my manager? I was just imagining me fighting for Napep in Maiduguri yet here are Abuja people treating me like an asset. It felt nice.

I was informed that I would be the one to welcome Hamzat Lawal to the stage and I panicked but thought it was a great way to end my piece.

The day of the event finally came and the opening statement was rendered by Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

“Together, let’s build a world where everyone can live in dignity, prosperity and peace on a safe and happy planet,” she ended her speech with words I resonated with.

I particularly enjoyed the keynote speech delivered by Governor of Ekiti state, Dr Kayode Fayemi

One thing he said stood out for me: “Leaders are made from the principle of experience, of passion, and the readiness to sacrifice. Doors will not be opened for you. You’ve got to keep knocking and possibly break down those doors, “ the governor remarked.

After a series of presentations and more speeches, I was invited upstage for my performance. and told me I had only three minutes. I felt the wall caving it but I knew I had to deliver. It wasn’t as perfect as I’d wanted it to be. Several people in the room were telling me how incredible it was but all I could hear was “You made mistakes. It wasn’t as flawless as it should have been. It wasn’t perfect” And I was still shaking while Hamzy was on stage.

I don’t even know whether it was imposter syndrome, the voices in my head or the high expectations I have for myself but it took me at-least 12hours later, to convince myself that it was perfect.

The rest of the event moved on fast and I would never forget the amazing experience of being part of such an important occasion. I will call it a privilege and a great opportunity because I believe poetry is a divine language.