Category: Uncategorized

We Will Like to Follow your Money but…

codepress September 1, 2015 0

This might be a good read for you, if you are planning to “activate” or partner with  us!

In the last three years, since Follow The Money  (FTM) started, we have had questions around what kind of money do we “follow” or track, and how can we approach your team to initiate a campaign (We refer to this as activation, and some of the questions are – how can we partner with Follow The Money; You Follow The Money people will you follow the 500 million Naira grant just approved by the World Bank; Follow The Money, you should track the billions going to SURE – P; Follow The Money, there is a new government, please follow every dime going to government officials.


There is a simple answer to this: Connected Development’s [CODE] Follow The Money tracks funds that are meant for infrastructures or inputs in rural communities eg health, education, and other social incentives (In essence, capital projects which includes provision of drugs, health facilities, environmental inputs such as water boreholes, incineration equipment, education incentives such as libraries, books etc. We are sorry to conclude that FTM does not track funds that are concerned with staff salaries, employee or employer’s benefits etc.

The Kinds of funds we are interested in tracking

The kinds of funds we are interested in tracking at Follow The Money Nigeria

However, it should be noted that while the list above remains of top priority, there are other secondary considerations and priorities. The funds that FTM track must be in the area of Health, Education and Environment (HEE). At times, we can be interested in cross – cutting issues that emanated from any of these three. These three are most important for rural communities to exist and live sustainably.


Although, Follow The Money is a model of investigative journalism, it is not involved in funds that have already been disbursed, or should have worked in communities it was meant for. An example is a NGN 200 million that was announced by the government of Nigeria in 2013 to provide 10 boreholes in Adavi Local Government Area. Just because Two years has passed on that issue, FTM will not be interested in such, as it is already two years.Because, we hope to prevent corruption, we are interested in fresh fund releases, not more than one year from funds approval or release by either government or the aid agency.


When you have taught this through, you, your organization, your group can then send a mail to; call our hotline at 09- 291-7545 or fill our activation form online at We will notify you for further action after we have received your request for activation. It is not necessary that you should be able to provide resources for the project, but at times we have been activated by groups that are willing to provide resources, especially as in – kind contributions during the activation lifetime.


It’s then Way to Go! did you just read that some funds got approved to providing infrastructures or inputs in your rural community? reach out to us now, and we can quickly follow up! It might just be the little you can do for your local community. It might also interest you to know that the team are always involved in researching funds that have just been approved to local communities, as such we can dive into activation using our primary desk research and data mining results.


Connected Development [CODE] is Hiring!

codepress July 22, 2015 0



NOTE: These positions are no more available

Connected Development [CODE] is a non government organization whose mission is to improve access to information and empower local and marginalized communities in Africa. We strengthen local communities by creating platforms for dialogue, enabling informed debate, and building capacities of marginalized communities which will bring about social and economic progress within communities, while promoting transparency and accountability.

CODE is looking for  committed, motivated and dynamic persons to join the team to contribute and enhance their activities in a professional, efficient and effective manner.

Applications are hereby invited from suitable qualified persons to fill the three full term positions below:

  1. Administrative and Finance Officer
  2. Digital Marketing and Communications Officer
  3. Programme Officer


Administrative and Finance Officer

Under the supervision of The Chief Executive, the Administrative and Finance officer will be the overall responsible for running the administrative, finance and logistics functions of Connected Development. The Administrative and Finance officer will work closely with The Chief Executive to ensure smooth day-to-day operations as well as overall office management. The Officer will also work with our various donor agencies, clients, beneficiaries and service providers.

Work Hours (8am – 5pm) from Monday – Friday except during public holidays and sometimes might need to be present at our events during the weekend

Gender: Female only

Job Purpose:

This position will perform scheduling, meeting logistics, guest receiving, and general administrative assistance for multiple experts and team as a shared resource. This role takes an administrative to juggle priorities, understand requests and needs and deliver clear and professional communications and support. This role will participate on administrative projects, deliver and track proposals, and will partner with all levels of staff, experts and the full administration team.

Responsibilities Include

Support and coordinate schedules and administrative requests for multiple CODE projects.

Anticipate and respond with quality, professional administrative support

Prepare expense reconciliations for team and volunteers

Prepare budget plans in line with work plans and financial rules and regulations and ensure that costs are reasonably estimated. Prepare budget plan revisions as required

Support implementation of activities in accordance with the budget plans and available funds

Shepherd contract or proposal process, orientation schedule, onboarding and offboarding when requested

Monitor expenditures against financial authorizations;

Prepare financial reports and updates for donors in consultation with the management.

Work well with all levels of the organization; editors, volunteers, staff, technical staff, contractors, Experts etc.

Provide administrative solutions and quality support at all times.

Hold confidentiality and ability to work with sensitive matters and information.

Ability to work with colleagues who do not have English as primary language.

Special projects as assigned including working on small to large events with other team members

Required Qualifications

A year of administrative and financial support in a medium organization/ voluntary organization/ academic institution.

Bachelor’s degree in Accounting/Finance or Administrative courses.

Demonstrated technical aptitude and savvy, ability to adjust, learn and use new and different open source s/w.

Excellent calendar management and meeting preparation skills

Excellent accounting and financial planning skills

Setting up Teleconference and video conferencing meetings

Comfortable and experienced with technology, various a/v equipment, and s/w.

Excellent writing and communication skills.

Expert in the use of Microsoft Office Suites especially Excel

Expert in the use of QuickBooks

Excellent organization and planning skills

Superior attention to detail and ability to anticipate needs and provide solutions

Excellent ability work with all levels of staff including a wide range of diversity of staff

Ability to learn, adapt and thrive in changing technical environment

Must enjoy supportive, service oriented administrative work within a team of professionals


Additional Desired Qualifications include

Experience in event planning, local or international travel and speaking additional languages (Hausa is a priority)

Open Source knowledge and strong desire to learn and be part of free access and open source movement

Working with Spreadsheets as a Travel and Expense system

International time zone and virtual community experience

Working with virtual communities

Experience with editing on Wikipedia, Google Documents or other wiki projects


Digital Marketing and Communications Officer

Under the supervision of The Chief Executive, The Digital Marketing and Communications Officer will maintain our blog, twitter handles, Facebook pages and other social media platform for several of our project. The officer will make our online platforms function as a way for us to show how our ideology to contributing to change in our small world. In doing this, he/she will actively seek out stories from our community engagement, capacity building, meetings, courtesy visits, data literacy sessions to highlight the human side of our projects and document more fully the effect that these projects have on the real world.

Work Hours (8am – 5pm) from Monday – Friday except during public holidays and sometimes might need to be present at our events during the weekend.

We are seeking a writer, transcriber, creative artist and researcher who can assist with various storytelling-related tasks to bring these stories to life.

Gender: Female applicants will be given priority for this position

Responsibilities include

Working with the Communications team to research potential stories.

Authoring of captivating Press Releases

Prepare reports in form of blogs, and stories for other traditional media

Frequent posting of relevant messages on our various Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin Pages

Management of the online platform that CODE develops in managing its project and programmes

Lead and advise on all Knowledge Management sharing tools at CODE

Online, Offline and telephone interviewing.

Transcribing audio or video interviews.

Writing and formatting unedited interviews and stories into publishable content via new media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Required Qualifications

A minimum of Bachelor’s Degree in the Arts, Social Sciences or Humanities or other relevant field

Ability to understand and translate languages.

Photography, graphic arts or video production skills.

Great understanding of using blogs as reports

Excellent use of Twitter and Facebook as a social media tool for social change

High energy for and commitment to the CODE’s open knowledge and empowerment mission.

Ability to turnaround content on a tight schedule.

Exceptional verbal and written communication skills and interpersonal skills.

The ability to excel in a fast-paced, multitasking environment that demands fast turn-around.

Intellectual curiosity and flexibility that makes you enjoy tackling difficult and ambiguous problems in creative ways.

The ability to flourish in a highly transparent and collaborative environment and work on a team with diverse demographic and cultural characteristics.

Must have access to a personal computer and internet connection outside the office space.

+1 Ability to speak and understand Hausa Language and experience in planning stakeholders meetings, rural community outreaches, local or international travel and speaking additional languages

+1 Knowledge or involvement in the Connected Development [CODE] community

Programme Officer

CODE’s Strategic Plan has sets out some ambitious new directions for its work. In particular, there is an emphasis on scaling our work around Follow The Money. A key role of the Programme Officer is to spearhead and support the implementation of various components of these programmes in the northern region across the network of journalists, and activist embedded in other NGOs. In this context, the Programme officer will implement programmes and multi-national projects which we refer to as “activations” in several states in the northern region and in some case the west African region.

Work Hours (8am – 5pm) from Monday – Friday except during public holidays and sometimes might need to be present at our events during the weekend

Gender: Female applicants are encouraged to apply for this position

Responsibilities include:

The main function of the programme officer will be coordination of projects in Northern Nigeria, any part of the country and West African region.

Specifically, the Programme Officer will:

Lead community outreaches, stakeholder meetings, and other events as it relates to projects executed by CODE.

Ensure the timely and cost-effective execution of project activities, including the coordination and supervision of sub-grants and contracts with local partners and external service providers.

Strive for high-quality outputs and the greatest possible impact of project activities in order to advance the transparency and accountability agenda in the states.

Ensure that all donor contractual obligations (financial management, fund transfer requests, procurement regulations, financial and narrative reporting, etc.) for the project are met in a professional, transparent and timely manner

Work in close collaboration and ensure ongoing communication with project partners

Coordinate and monitor the implementation of project-wide work plans, budgets, reporting cycles and information systems across CODE

Work in close collaboration with the CODE team members, volunteers, consultant, and contract staffs in particular, the relevant stakeholders in each target state.

Any other tasks identified by the line manager necessary to ensure that CODE’s projects are implemented successfully.


Required Qualifications

A minimum of university degree or professional qualification in business administration, management, finance, social science, public administration, economics, or another relevant field

1/2+ years of project management experience with an NGO or International Organisation, with demonstrated in-depth knowledge on project management best practice

Knowledge of, or considerable interest in, the work of CODE and the field of anti-corruption; solid understanding of and experience in the area of corruption in the public sector and/or of political realities in Nigeria are a distinct advantage

Experience with the implementation of advocacy activities and/or advocacy training

Fluency in English; knowledge of Hausa Language would be an advantage

Highly developed teamwork and intercultural communication skills

Willingness to travel to any part of Nigeria (most especially Northern Nigeria)

Other Information about the positions and the location

CODE offer an inspiring work environment with real learning opportunities and support and all position will be based at our office in the Central Area District of Abuja

To apply:

If you will like to join our team of dedicated professionals, working in a dynamic and international environment, and you meet up with the above requirement for any of the 3 positions,

kindly send an email to with the attachment of the following document (in Word Document format or PDF) on or before August 7, 2015.


  • your cover letter (why you think we should hire you), in not more than 1 page
  • your CV or resume in not more than 3 pages


Please include the role you are applying for in the subject of the email e.g Digital Marketing and Communications Officer.

All qualified applicants will be contacted on or before August 12, 2015 , as such if you do not hear from us, please consider that we cannot admit you into our team this time, nevertheless we will add you to the list of our prospective team member.

Following The Money: How not to invest USD 49.8 million in Clean Technologies

codepress June 2, 2015 0

Caveat: This is not a research work, but an “activation” (for a duration of 6 months) for the Follow The Money team of CODE to help track and build knowledge around how USD 49.8 million will be used to procure and distribute 750,000 cookstoves and 18,000 Wonderbags to help reduce the 98,000 deaths that happen yearly from indoor cooking – largely affecting women and children in Nigeria.

It has been 185 days since the Federal Executive Council approved the the 9.2 billion Naira (USD 49.8 million) for the procurement and distribution of 750,000 clean cookstoves and 18,000 wonderbags to rural women, less than 50,000 clean cookstoves are available at the warehouse (the velodrome of the National Stadium), and just NGN 5 billion has been released to the Ministry of Environment from the Ecological Fund Office. Furthermore, only  NGN 1,253,778,750 ( USD 6.2 million) has been released from the Ministry of Environment to the contractor, Integra Renewable Energy, but the clean technologies are yet to reach the women they are meant for.

“But in January, we heard in the radio that these wonder stoves will help us stop felling trees indiscriminately, and also reduce heart problems contracted by our mothers while cooking with firewoods, but why have they not started distributing it to our rural women” Halima Andanu asked during one of our media engagements on a radio station two weeks ago. On the memo that was approved by the government, it should have taken the contractor 12 weeks (90 days) to deliver the clean alternatives. “We have to wait for [the] government’s waiver at the port to clear some of these goods through customs, and this can cause a delay. Likewise  the 15% that was given to our organization to start bringing in the stoves was agreed on after about 95 days since approval” said the representative of Integra Renewable Energy, the contractor that was procuring the clean energies at the 3rd stakeholders meeting on #WomenCookstoves.


On Tuesday, May 26, the Federal Government of Nigeria held a grand commissioning of the project that has not gotten to the hands of the beneficiaries. While the attention of most attendants at the event was drawn to the fact that the government has purchased the clean cookstoves, the fact still remains that less than 50,000 of the clean cookstoves are available, and no one knows when they will be distributed. Since January 14, 2015, the FTM team had requested for work plans, costed work plans, and the proposed beneficiaries of this intervention, but we are yet to get a response from the office of the Minister for Environment.

On May 29, 2015 this dispensation will end its tenure, and another Minister for Environment will inherit these conversations around this particular intervention – please be prepared. “We still have NGN 3.7 billion with us at the Ministry that we have not given to the contractor” affirmed Laurentian Mallam, the Minister for Environment. Furthermore, what has happened to the remaining NGN 4,287,250, 000 (USD 21.5 million) is still unknown. “I am just resuming into my office, and our office got the invitation to attend this stakeholders meeting two days ago” said the representative of the Ecological Fund Office (the office that was responsible for the disbursement of the NGN 9.2 billion) at the 3rd stakeholders meeting held on May 16, 2015.

As global investment in clean energy heightens at US$310 billion, this outgoing government intervention will add to this new energy finance as it expects to expand rapidly, especially as the country looks to reduce its reliance on greenhouse-gas emitting fossil fuels and adjust to the impact of climate change. “NGN 9.2 Billion will build a clean cookstove factory in the six geopolitical zones of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, and engage thousands of vulnerable women and young men with meaningful employment” a clean energy expert ascertained.

Furthermore, even if the latter was an alternative,  it is still the amount of the funds we’ll see on papers and on the headlines in the news, the beneficiaries are yet known, and when the other stoves will arrive still puts us in the dark on how the NGN 9.2 billion will affect the lives of our rural women. Perhaps, it would have been better if the government had been transparent on this initiative (meaning letting everyone know their work plan), and added to a repository of knowledge around clean energy funding. We are still optimistic as we hope the project implementers will become responsive. As promised “at the next stakeholders meeting on June 9, 2015, we would have been prepared to give information and updates on work plans, and beneficiaries of this project” insisted representative of the Ministry of Environment at the last stakeholders meeting on May 22, 2015.

Data Revolution in Africa: A Key to Africa’s Progress

codepress May 10, 2015 0

The High Level Conference on Data Revolution held from March 27 to March 30, 2015 at the UN Conference Centre in Addis Ababa. It was hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The main reason why I attended this programme was to participate in the side event on rebooting open data in Africa.

Connected Development attends High Level conference on Open Data

Participants at the high level conference of Data Revolution in Africa

After hours on deliberation, the key action areas identified by the open data community for the input to the African data consensus were- Geospatial data/geo-referencing of data, use of satellite data (agriculture, climate change ­ increase capacity of countries to use this data & open this up ­ most of these data is available (sold) outside the continent),  Open budget data,  identification of how municipalities can be given opportunity to analyse & collect data ­ local urban governance, giving power to NGOs in addition to building their capacity on Open Data,  Starting with the champions within governments, Respecting privacy & sensitive datasets, Knowledge and awareness around licensing, Working with research institutes on what data can be given to the public, Working on and making “operational data” open e.g. how many nurses per hospital,  Licensing of public data ­ needs to be “Open” by law.

On the role of data communities it was noted that data communities should work more with governments, private sector and research institutes, ensuring more communication and coordination between all data communities, work with the “excluded”, have a more integrated approach with other data communities, e.g. extractives, agriculture, not silos, work with governments to offer our expertise on open data ­ an opportunity such as this to feed to the HLC is critical, understanding and facilitating between different types of government data (e.g. government ministries, departments and agencies), driving the demand for data which should create ownership, use, add value to data, involve the

media who will communicate to citizenry, champion capacity building, work with community radio stations which will be good tools for grassroots awareness & advocacy as well as other actors/hybrid methods for disseminating, work with technocrats in governments, contributing to international data communities, champion governments on timeliness of data released: “Data delayed is data denied”.

At the local level, NGOs in developing countries like Nigeria, citing Connected Development  [CODE] have taken advantage of legalized opportunities available to promote the knowledge and use of Open Data in Nigeria. Through the Follow The Money platform, CODE has utilized the Freedon of Information Act to request information meant for public knowledge from private and government organizations to ensure accountability in the use of public funds. The most recent campaign of Follow The Money is the #WomenCookStoves campaign which tracks the 9.2

Billion NGN (US$49.8 million) released b the Nigerian Government for 750,000 clean cookstoves and 18,000 wonderbags for rural women.

The benefits of open data are numerous of which one of them is promoting accountability and transparency which end up boosting the development of countries in Africa. To achieve a world where data is open, it is important to build partnerships both locally and globally. As the post 2015 development agenda is being deliberated on, it is important to put open data at the forefront of the table to ensure that it is prioritized.

A big THANK YOU to the World Wide Web Foundation for sponsoring my trip to the HLC on Data Revolution. More information about the conference can be found Here

#WomenCookstoves :Tracking the 9.2 Billion Naira meant for Clean Cookstoves in Nigeria

codepress April 8, 2015 0

It is now 135 days since the government of Nigeria approved 9.2 billion Naira ($49.8 million) for the purchase and distribution of 750,000 clean cookstoves and 18,000 wonderbags, and yet beneficiaries who are rural women are still waiting to get hold of the new clean energy for cooking in their various homes. In Nigeria, on the book it has always been a laudable idea, but in the real sense of it, it is not new that some of the interventions coming from government promises, like the matter at hand, do not reach communities or people it was meant for.

But wouldn’t it have been interesting looking back at what has transpired in the last five months: Such as the Ministry of Environment [MOE] not responding to a request for information on work plans for the procurement and distribution since January 2015; even when the Minister, Madam Laurentia Mallam, decided to respond to it at a national conference, she couldn’t state the accurate funds that was approved and reiterated that the distribution of the clean cook stoves will be done through wives of state governors.

Likewise, it is a fact that the National Renewable Energy Programme of the MOE, which claimed to help in making the procurement and distribution transparent had several times held stakeholders meetings (referred to as an implementation committee) with only 10 participants on deliberating on how to make the project a success, while the office seeks help from partners it had decided to shut doors to, on communications and monitoring and evaluation.

At times one would ask, if this ministry, department or agencies would want to uphold fundamentals and international policies that guides the usage of alternative energies (although the Minister promised it would bring more carbon credits to the country), or is it that they are only interested in using it to foster political campaigns or gains.

Truth be told, the clean cookstoves might be expensive for the target audience (the rural women) it was meant for, but there is an underlying question of whether if it is given out for free, as the government as stated, will it be used by the women, and how are we sure there will be proper documentation of the change in behaviour by the women it was given to. The answer is farfetched, looking at the enormous resources that will be put into this, and that is even if there is a will.

Fortunately, the will is here! Not on the part of the government, but on the part of NGOs that faulted the distribution mechanism proposed by the government. On March 5, the government released 15% of the 9.2 billion to the contractor that was meant to assemble the clean cookstoves, and it was clearly stated that distribution mechanism have been reversed from using state governors wives to using local women – led NGOs and religious institutions.

From all indications, stakeholders were not consulted widely during project planning; and approval of the funds was done without due diligence. If the clean cookstoves were all to be imported into the country (as stated in the project memo), it thus defeat the fact that the government wants to encourage local manufacturing of clean cookstoves.

On the Long term implications of initiating incautious projects like this, the gains of alternative energy evangelism in the country will be reversed, as the prevailing market becomes consumed by the political gamble of government on clean technologies. Nevertheless, the global clean cook stove alliance should guard up their loins, as it might not be an easy task to revive the alternative energy economies in the country, perhaps, maybe another target audience such as people living in urban centres might be encouraged.

To follow stories of the tracking of the implementation of this project, feel free to visit

Liberating Communities: The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

codepress April 16, 2014 0

The Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE – Africa) in partnership with Cordaid organized a Business and Human Rights meeting of about 29 participants from the CSO community in Rivers, Nigeria.  The meeting was aimed at facilitating advocacy and empowerment to enhance human rights and security activism in the country through the Voluntary Principles.

Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights are a set of principles designed to guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that encourages respect for human rights.

Focus to enhance and advocate for the Voluntary Principle is now shifting back to concentrate on mobilizing the CSO community as against waiting for the conventional top – down (Government to People participation) while expecting the Government will see reasons to sign in and domesticate the Voluntary Principle

“Since Last year, LITE Africa and Global Rights had organized sensitization workshops and meetings for government officials and CSOs and now we had thought that mobilizing interested CSO communities with advocacy to stakeholders such as: media, human rights activist, particular government officials and other civil society organizations will be our next step.” Said Ihekaibe Chinyere , Lite Africa Program Officer

While governments, companies, and NGOs agree to proactively implement or assist in the implementation of the Voluntary Principles, the Principles are the only human rights guidelines designed specifically for extractive sector companies. While the government of Nigeria is yet to accent and domicile it, it is interesting to know that the government of Ghana has made a formal commitment to join the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

“This meeting will help to reinforce the importance of the CSO community involvement in planning or implementing advocacy strategies towards the actualization of the Voluntary Principle in Nigeria. Some members of the CSO community are stronger and can be leaders in the follow up of the Voluntary Principle actualization in Nigeria. The Voluntary Principles will help in the protection of the human rights of people in the communities where extractive industries are domiciled, promote the development of these communities and reduce conflicts.” Jerry Nwigwe, Senior Programmes Manager for LITE Africa said.

Furthermore he said, “Several events are expected to ride on the back of the human rights and business training. It is expected that this meeting will lead to, community enlightenment activities on the Voluntary Principle, training bringing together other stakeholders, and exploring new human rights education and advocacy strategies”


Earth Hour Nigeria Canvasses Awareness to Mitigate Climate Impacts

codepress March 31, 2014 0

Earth Hour proved the movement is now stronger than ever, with the event observed in over 162 countries including Nigeria and over 7000 cities, creating magical lights off moments in every continent of the world. The symbolic hour has grown into the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, with beyond the hour activities and initiatives happening throughout the year.

In Nigeria, Earth Hour organised by Connected Development [CODE] was observed in 5 cities – Abuja at the Transcorp Hilton; Lagos at the “Earth Hour Garden” opposite the Lagos State House of Assembly; Taraba at the Kwararafa University in Wukari; Portharcourt at the LeMeridien Ogeyi Place and in Benin City at the Youth House.

“It’s always extraordinary to see cities and landmarks involved in the ‘lights off’ event, but the most exciting thing about Earth Hour this year is seeing the amount of projects and campaigns that are taking action beyond the hour. From crowdfunding to campaigns that are creating environmental awareness across the West Africa region, Earth Hour is harnessing the power of the crowd far beyond the hour,” said Oludotun Babayemi, Country Director for Earth Hour in Nigeria.

The Earth Hour Team in Gummi Local Government of Zamfara State

The Earth Hour Team in Gummi Local Government of Zamfara State

Last year alone saw thousands of Nigerians petitioned the president to pass the climate change bill into law to create a climate change commission to superintend over climate change activities in Nigeria. In 2014, the bill has been reintroduced and passed to the Senate for harmonisation. Likewise, the Walk to Mali campaign has started inspiring different communities across the West Africa region with the Kwararafa University pledging a 20km reserved forest for the flora and fauna.

WWF-Uganda began the fight against the 6,000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month by creating the first “Earth Hour Forest.” In 2012, Russians also petitioned to get legislative change protecting the country’s seas from oil pollution and now are striving to protect an area of forest twice the size of France.

These Earth Hour success stories illustrate the movement has become a global collaboration to show what can be achieved for the planet.

In Nigeria, the Earth Hour celebration 2014 began its journey in Wukari, Taraba where community events were held all over the community and at Kwararafa University. Moving across to Wukari town where hundreds of community members joined the team and held a community sensitisation and advocacy on environmental sustainability hosted by the Taraba state coordinator, Anthony Agbor. The event within the community was grazed by the Boys Brigade Base Band and the Skaters Club of Wukari

The Earth Hour team in Wukari Taraba State of Nigeria

The Earth Hour team in Wukari Taraba State of Nigeria

The hour of inspiration then went back to its humble beginnings, as Earth Hour once again hit Abuja bringing to light the plight of one of the memorable hotels in the country with an environmental friendly atmosphere – The Transcorp Hilton. The Light out event anchored by Big Mo of Wazobia FM in Abuja, kicked off with the greetings to Nigeria cities taking part in Earth Hour, delivered by the FCT coordinator for Earth Hour, Oladotun Fadeyiye, while TED style keynote speech was given by Baaki John of the Women Environmental Programme (WEP) on environmental sustainability and women.

To drive action and support, a new exhibition waiting to be premiered as a movie “Walk to Mali” was screened during the hour, and the campaign also engaged people around the world to use their power and add their voice to protect vulnerable communities.

“To witness Earth Hour in Abuja for the third year in a row, the event makes a powerful impression on me,” said Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive of CODE. “To see people united in a single purpose of making our lifestyles less impactful on the planet, inspires me immensely.”

Continuing to the second home of Earth Hour, Lagos celebrated the event by empowering young school children with the message that people are the true everyday Super Heroes for the planet. Using none other than Spider-Man to join the global flagship event, the young stars from the Vicsum Private School were educated on  the value of efficient energy use. “How to Take Action” speeches were delivered by Olumide Idowu; Halima Baba –  Lagos State coordinator for Earth Hour and Babatunde Shodiyan from the department of Conservation and Ecology of the Lagos state ministry of Environment.

The Earth Hour team at Transcorp Hilton Abuja

The Earth Hour team at Transcorp Hilton Abuja

“We hope the power of Spider-Man joining in the largest movement for the planet – Earth Hour will inspire this future generation in becoming super heroes for their various communities on environmental sustainability” Halima Baba said.

Right now, Earth Hour is moving across the globe, following the setting sun, sending billions of people around the world a message that each of us has the power to make a difference. Each of us can be a Super Hero for the planet,” Reiterated Baba said.

In Portharcourt, the lights off event then went to the Le Meridien Ogeyi Place at GRA. Hosted by Gift Godden, the city coordinator for the event, Earth Hour drew attention to the “Black Gold,” and the need to reduce air pollution and Oil Spills. The participants were encouraged to collaborate on ideas in order to inspire change towards healthier air and communities.

“It is pertinent to include every stakeholder in the build up to this popular environmental movement, it will help us in achieving our advocacy campaigns towards an oil spill free environment” said Okoduwa Sylvester of the Ofure Center for Peace and Development.

The Earth Hour team in Lagos

The Earth Hour team in Lagos

The management of the Le Meridien Ogeyi place was quite excited to be part of this movement again, having won a sustainability award for taki

ng part during Earth Hour in 2013. “This movement will forever live in our memory, as it inspires institutions like ours to join in and do more to save our planet earth. Next year again, we will be part of this movement” said Henry Orie, the Food and Beverage Manager at Le Meridien.

In tandem with the crowd’s enthusiasm at events across the world has been Earth Hour’s massive digital presence, including the recently launched Earth Hour Blue to drive digital engagement beyond the hour. The revolutionary platform for the planet allows anyone in any country to use their voice or their dollar to take action and support projects of their choice across the globe, and further encourages participants to use their favourite social platforms to engage in their favourite crowdfunding and crowdsourcing projects.

Le Meridien Ogeyi Place shutting down for Earth Hour in Port Harcourt

Le Meridien Ogeyi Place shutting down for Earth Hour in Port Harcourt

As a newcomer to the crowdfunding scene, Earth Hour Blue has launched with WWF projects from Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Nepal, India, Russia, Uganda, South Africa, Madagascar, Canada and Columbia which are now all live on the crowdfunding platform powered by Crowdonomic.


codepress March 29, 2014 0



Saturday, March 29: WWF’s Earth Hour is set to break all records of participation in its eighth year, as Spider-Man tonight joined millions of everyday Super Heroes from across the world in the world’s largest celebration for the planet.


The event that has evolved into the world’s largest movement for the planet began its journey across more than 162 countries and territories from New Zealand, now sweeping across Asia with Spider-Man and the cast from the upcoming tentpole film The Amazing Spider-Man 2, including Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx, sending a message to the world that anyone can be a Super Hero for the Planet from the global flagship Earth Hour event from WWF-Singapore.


WWF’s Earth Hour event in Singapore saw lights switched off across the famous Marina Bay skyline, joining the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, Taipei 101, The Wat Arun Buddhist Temple in Bangkok, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and more, that have already taken part in the global celebration for the planet.


In Australia, a massive candle lit display on the lawn of Parliament House in Canberra spelt out, ‘It’s Lights Out For The Reef’ as thousands across the country witnessed a special documentary about the impact of climate change on the threatened natural wonder the Great Barrier Reef.


“Tonight Earth Hour will be celebrated by every continent, and people in every corner of the world will be reaching across boundaries of culture, politics, race and religion to acknowledge the power we all have when we come together for this incredible planet. Earth Hour and lights off is a powerful reminder that we can help to deliver the solutions towards creating a more sustainable future for the planet,” said Andy Ridley, CEO and Co­Founder of Earth Hour.


As the lights now switch off at India Gate, the beyond the hour focus for children will be felt with WWF-India’s year-long education campaign for a monumental 15,000 schools across India who are switching off for Earth Hour and switching on to more energy efficient practices.


Swayambhunath Temple in Kathmandu is set to come alive for Earth Hour, as WWF-Nepal kickstarts their target of reaching 500,000 people in the country to lead environmental change through The Generation Green Campaign.


Jamie Foxx who plays Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, said “It’s time to conserve, protect, and enjoy this planet of ours. Never underestimate your power, never underestimate what you can do.”


This year, WWF-Nepal also has the enlisted the help of none other than Spider-Man himself to support their Earth Hour Blue crowdfunding project, ‘A Flame Called Hope’. This project supported by Andrew Garfield aims to provide clean biogas energy to villages in Nepal’s Terai Arc.


“Earth Hour is a fantastic movement that has been created about conservation of our planet, which is something that should be on the top of our list as human beings. Let’s remember that the Earth is not ours, we are of this Earth. We all have a responsibility to each other in preserving our home, so it’s amazing to be a part of Earth Hour to help send that message, “said Andrew Garfield.


Earth Hour has now begun to trend worldwide, with participants sharing their event experience and commitment for the planet across social media platforms that connect the world.

At the heart of the movement’s digital growth is Indonesia, where Earth Hour has become a massive, year-round youth led movement enlisting the support of more than 1.5 million people across more than 31 cities in the country. Creating simple and creative environmental actions through film, performances, social media and public gatherings, the teams promote environmental activities related to saving electricity, reduction in use of plastic, using less paper and tissue, planting more trees and using public transportation throughout the year.

“Earth Hour is much more than an hour. Every person can do their part no matter how big or small to save the planet,” said Emma Stone.

This year sees Earth Hour launch a new crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the Planet, asking people to use their power to back a project or add their voice to solution based environmental projects across the world.


From donating to building climate smart fiberglass boats for Typhoon Haiyan affected fishermen in the Philippines, to giving Rangers in Indonesia better equipment to protect the forests and wildlife of Borneo and Sumatra and even helping fund indigenous communities in Colombia to generate sustainable means of livelihood that prevents deforestation in the Amazon – Earth Hour is calling on participants across the world to be Superheroes for the Planet by getting involved in Earth Hour Blue when the lights come back on.


“I’m delighted to see that the Earth Hour Blue crowd-funding platform is seeing real results,” said Director General Designate, Dr Marco Lambertini. “The WWF-Singapore led effort to fight wildlife crime in Southeast Asia has reached its minimum target from people who contributed online. Thanks to this funding, we can now start monitoring and providing emergency cover for families of rangers who have perished in the line of duty.”


Earth Hour will next hit the Middle East, Africa and Europe, where the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Istanbul will switch off for the first time, joining the Great Pyramids of Giza, the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, South Africa’s Table Mountain, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Buckingham Palace in London, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland before the hour of inspiration makes its way across the Atlantic to South America.


There, the Christ the Redeemer (statue) in Rio de Janeiro, The Angel of Independence in Mexico City will be key landmarks taking part in the continent, and The Empire State Building and Times Square in New York City, Niagara Falls, Los Angeles International Airport, the Las Vegas Strip and more will join in the world’s largest celebration for the planet from North America, before Earth Hour wraps up on the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia.


Earth Hour in 2014 sees the completion of the shift from event to movement status across the world, with the celebration cementing its place as a platform for beyond the hour activities for amazing environmental outcomes to protect parts of the planet including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Arctic in Finland and the Amazon Rainforest in Colombia.
The focus on outcomes was inspired by Earth Hour’s success in past years that led to better legislation through the Russian Parliament to protect seas from oil pollution, the creation of a 3.4 million hectare marine protected area in Argentina and the world’s first Earth Hour Forest in Uganda to fight against massive deforestation in the country. All of these outcomes were powered by the crowd, showing that change for the planet can be achieved when the individual and collective realizes their power.
People are encouraged to use their power by backing a project or add their voice at and sharing their #EarthHour activities on Instagram.



Notes to editors
B-roll footage and the 1st Earth Hour 2014 compilation video can be downloaded at


Additional b-roll footage in various formats can be downloaded at
To view the Earth Hour and Spider-Man Partnership Video, please go to:


Images for press for Earth Hour 2014 can be downloaded at


For media inquires or requests for press interviews, please contact:

Tina McKenzie, Global Media Relations Manager – Earth Hour Global +65 8316 6259

Benjamin Vozzo, Digital Communications Manager – Earth Hour Global +65 8223 1728


About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global environmental movement of WWF. Headquartered in Singapore, Earth Hour is one of the first opensourced environmental campaigns; it has grown from a symbolic event in one city into a global movement, crowdsourcing actions from individuals, businesses, organizations and governments to generate environmental outcomes. In 2014, Earth Hour Blue sees the movement enter the most exciting stage of its evolution, to be at the forefront of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing for causes, innovation and creativity for the planet.


About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.



About The Amazing Spider-Man 2
We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself:  the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man.  But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.


It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield).  For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone).  But being Spider-Man comes at a price:  only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city.  With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he.  And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common:  Oscorp.  Directed by Marc Webb.  Produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach.  Screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner.  Screen Story by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner and James Vanderbilt.  Based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.  The film will be released in theaters internationally beginning April 16, 2014, and in the U.S. on May 2, 2014.  #SpiderMan


About Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation.  SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies.  For additional information, go to


About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing, including licensing the Spider-Man universe to Sony Pictures. For more information visit ©MARVEL




codepress March 1, 2014 0

Sitting at the second technical committee meeting on the review of Nigerian standard for drinking water quality(NSDQW) NIS 554: 2007 organized by Federal Ministry  of Water Resources in collaboration with the Standard Organization of Nigeria [SON] , the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other stakeholders in the water sector, I remembered Tunga Guru, a community in Zamfara state which had only a pond to take water from.”This is our only source of water, and we have not seen anyone interested in giving us a hand pump like the other communities” exclaimed Ahmad Almakura, a Tunga Guru Community member.

As Tunga Guru isn’t the only community deprived of safe water, the memories of our community outreach to Gutsura dawned on me. “As we have given up on expecting the government to errect building on the new site they said we should relocate to, we have decided to move ourselves, but I have dug three wells at the new site, but couldn’t find water” lamented Muhammed Tukur.

So far, Nigeria is way off-track in meeting its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets of 75% coverage for safe drinking water and 63% coverage for basic sanitation by 2015. This is even more worrisome if one considers that access to safe, clean water is a cross cutting issue which affects all other sectors such as health and education with wider impacts on the economy.

In Nigeria, approximately 66 million Nigerians still do not have access to safe water (i.e. 44% of the population). Only 47% in rural areas do have access while 75% in urban centers do have access. Performance on sanitation is even worse. The sanitation coverage stands at 31% representing a reversal from 37% coverage in 1990.

As poor coordination of the activities of the various agencies working in the WASH sector also has proved to be a big setback in the delivery of effective services in the sector. This is because inadequate clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the different actors in the sector makes it difficult to maintain coherence and avoid duplication of efforts and resources, which is crucial for effective and efficient use of the limited resources available and for increased productivity. the committee meeting, was mostly dedicated to getting MDAs to know their exact roles in terms of WASH activities in the country, and modeling. It was agreed that to avoid contamination a minimum of 10m and maximum of 30m should be the distance between water sources and septic tanks. All parameters and maximum permitted limits for drinking water quality remain the same.

The most interesting part of the document was on data management which is on 6.4 on the living document. It stated that Water quality result shall be accessible to the general public; in essence water quality should be made open. But how open and available is water points and their quality in Nigeria? Having knowledge of water points and its quality will allow policy makers to donor agencies to make better decisions especially on where or what community needs water.

With the Federal Ministry of Water Resources data bank  still pending and “closed” it will be pertinent for stakeholders to keep advocating for its implementation. “I believe we have all seen and made adequate comments on the document so that this meeting will serve as a means to harmonize these comments in order to finalize the process and come up with a standard document that is enforceable with all stakeholders owing it and performing their responsibilities effectively” said Mr S. O. Ome, the Director Water quality control and sanitation.


 As building capacity of government officials, CSOs and journalist remains important in the data liberation evangelism, the Follow The Money team focused more on their data expedition class on Open Data Day held at CODE with 28 participants. They include government officials from Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative [NEITI], National Space Research and Development Agency [NASRDA], and the FCT Mass Education Board, participants from the private sector, the media and CSOs. With Oludotun Babayemi, a data enthusiast taking the participant through basics of data design, data cleaning and publishing data, participants were thrilled having insights on how to use data to tell stories “I have been bundle with so much information today, and I appreciate this session, I now know where to get data from and how to use spreadsheet for collaboration” explained an excited Chinyere Opia from HOT FM

Demonstrating the practical session at the Education Hackathon was quite strategic to use in complimenting the practical sessions that went into training participants on sorting, filtering and cleaning data. The Hackathon allowed participants to filter and sort Nigeria data on Education within datasets downloaded from the World Bank project sites, and also update mapping of funds from the budget office on capital expenditures meant for federal education institutions in Nigeria. [LOOK] how one of the participant described #ODDAbuja

In Nigeria, billions of Naira has been spent [through government spending and international aid] on infrastructures on education that, often wouldn’t reach the community [Please read achieving the MDG goals in Nigeria] that it was meant for. “Infact we have many challenges, One I will like to say is government providing books and infrastructures that will make the children to learn, and also levies on children which at times they might not be able to afford” says Blessing Hassana [Watch the video], Principal of a secondary school in Nasarawa state [that’s a state just 20km away from the capital city, Abuja], what will happen in other states? Perhaps, this says much about why there are still about 10 million out of school children in Nigeria.

With the Education Budget Tracker still being curated for government spending and international aid, the strategy is to focus on how many education projects are operational in these communities. This Education Budget Tracker which allows for education point mapping has huge potential as an effective monitoring and management tool for planning and decision making. It can really help government and funding agencies to know where to focus more on. Some places might need infrastructure, while some its maintenance and others might be training.

In this way, the Ministry of Education and other donor agencies will be able to monitor the impact of its large investments in the education sector. It will also allow transparent tariff settings that reward good performance and highlight inefficiencies. Moreover, it is interesting to know that this tool allows trusted local people to provide information about the education service delivery in their communities using their mobile phones. “Going forward for us, the Follow the Money team is seeking partnership with interested entities to pilot the usage of this tool in one of the states with poor education performance index in northern Nigeria” says Hamzat Lawal while demonstrating how we intend to use the tool to participants.

The Open Data Day evening session started with a brief introduction of the Digital Humanitarian Network and how its members have been using technologies before, during and after emergencies. How CODE intends to engage organizations and communities interested in emergency response across the West African region using technology was highlighted and some government participants were quite interested and keen in how CODE will integrate crisis mapping into their situation awareness room. “It is quite interesting to know that CODE is leading innovative ideas in the region to help in early warning and emergency response, it will be great to showcase this to the National Emergency Management Agency [NEMA]” advised Godstime James of the National Agency for Space Research and Development.