Category: CSR

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Nigeria And Carbon Credit

The next few years will be important in the development of Nigeria and Carbon Credit.

Due to the increased number of large industries, combustible fossil fuels such as coal, power plant gas, oil, vehicles in Nigeria, the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has become alarming.

Carbon dioxide is a harmful gas to humans but essential to plants. It can linger in the atmosphere for a thousand years. An increase in the amount of carbon dioxide creates an overabundance of greenhouse gases that trap additional heat. This trapped heat leads to melting ice caps and rising ocean levels.

In other to reduce the rate of harmful effects of these gases, the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and the Paris Agreement of 2015  laid out international CO2 emissions goals. With the latter ratified by all but six countries, they have given rise to national emissions targets and the regulations to back them.

With these new regulations in force, the pressure on businesses to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint is growing. Most of today’s solutions involve the use of the carbon markets.

The carbon market has successfully turned CO2 emissions into a commodity by giving it a price. These emissions fall into one of two categories: Carbon credits or carbon offsets, and they can both be bought and sold on a carbon market.

A carbon credit is a permit that allows the company that holds it to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. One credit permits the emission of a mass equal to one ton of carbon dioxide. It’s aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Carbon offset on the other hand is a certificate representing the reduction of one ton of carbon dioxide emissions. It is a way of balancing the scales of pollution.  Offset schemes have been used successfully in the past to solve other environmental problems.

According to Bala Wunti, managing director of NAPIMS ( National Petroleum Investment Management Services), Nigeria has earned about €1 million from cutting carbon emission in its oil and gas production in joint projects between TotalEnergies and the NNPC subsidiary, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).

In May 2021, Total announced an ambition to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 together with society for its global business across its production and energy products used by its customers.

Through a joint statement developed between Total S.A. and institutional investors – as participants in the global investor initiative Climate 100+1 – Total said it would take 3 major steps towards achieving this ambition.

These include Zero across Total’s worldwide operations by 2050 or sooner, Net Zero across all its production and energy products used by its customers in Europe by 2050 or sooner, 60 percent or more reduction in the average carbon intensity of energy products used worldwide by Total customers by 2050 with intermediate steps of 15 percent by 2030 and 35 percent by 2040.

Since Total and NNPC has taken the first step in Nigeria, it will be good for other top organizations in Nigeria to follow suit. With this development, it is hoped that the reduction of CO2 in Nigeria will be swift.


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Why Ventilation is essential

Have you ever wondered why ventilation is essential?

Ventilation is the provision and circulation of fresh air across a room. It is a process that either supplies air into space or removes air from space by natural or mechanical means.

Considering that our lives depend on the intake of air. The quality of the air we inhale in our homes and offices should be closely observed. Although this isn’t the most pressing issue in society, it still plays a vital role in our health, comfort, and productivity.

Ventilation at home and our offices are important to keep the house/office and its occupants healthy and comfortable. It is necessary we learn about the importance of ventilation.

Everyone knows that air is essential to life, but not everyone understands that breathing polluted air is almost as bad as not breathing air at all, as polluted air slowly poisons the whole system.

  Here are some reasons why ventilation is essential 

It eliminates condensations that damage the home and office.

It makes the environment healthier.

A room without proper ventilation breeds dust mites. These dust mites and their airborne detritus thrive in homes that are not effectively ventilated.

When their detritus encounters the skin or is inhaled, it can cause allergic reactions, resulting in asthma attacks, eczema, watering eyes, itching, sneezing, and a runny nose.

It reduces the impact of VOCs.

VOCs are invisible gases, they originate from a wide range of sources including cosmetics, air fresheners, etc.

To reduce this gas, it is important to install an effective ventilation system that will constantly introduce clean, fresh air from the outside to dilute and control VOCs in the home.

It reduces the effect of Radon gas. Radon gas is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas, which is formed by the decay of small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils.  It produces another radioactive element called Radon’s Daughters, which can attach themselves to dust particles in the air and, if inhaled, they will stick to the airways of the lung.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has linked Radon exposure to between 3 and 14 percent of all lung cancer cases. In a Radon-affected area, it is necessary to install a Positive Input Ventilation system in the homes and offices to help to reduce Radon to safe levels, thereby reducing the risks to your health.

In conclusion, ventilation has a huge positive impact on our health and well-being. Indoor air pollution coupled with bad ventilation can lead to a number of health problems including headaches, allergies, asthma, rashes, and sinusitis. However, this can be avoided with the installation of a good ventilation system.

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Jollof Rice & The Environment

What does jollof rice have to do with government policy on LPG use? Well, the Federal government is making efforts to encourage citizens to utilize Nigeria’s huge gas reserve and discourage the use of firewood in Nigeria.

wonderwoman, firewood, LPG apathy, wonderbag, smoked fish

Mrs. Koffo posing with her wonderbag in her fish-smoking room.

Meet Mrs. Koffo, a smoked-fish monger at Ibeju lekki. Her husband is a fishnet maker while her son is a fisherman. We came across them during the Zenith Bank-sponsored LPG awareness and empowerment campaign at Ibeju Lekki.

LPG For The Home, Not For Business

Mrs. Koffo, was excited and welcomed the idea of LPG, which she soon started using to make meals at home. However, she frowned at it when she was told that it could also be used to smoke fish. At the time, She dried fish in an enclosed space. Here, she inhales a huge amount of smoke on a daily basis, thus jeopardizing her health.

Team members were quick to observe that Mrs. Koffo looked many years older than her stated age. In every likelihood, her many hours of “smoking” were responsible for this.

Yet, according to her, “the look, feel and taste of the fish will be different if she uses gas”. In the same way, some people would always opt for “firewood rice”(Jollof rice made with firewood), claiming it had a better taste.

Firewood Jollof vs LPG Jollof

The “look and feel” of smoked fish, and the taste of firewood Jollof, are but 2 of the many challenges still to overcome in the drive for LPG use in Nigeria. Policymakers and in this case, policy drivers, must be well aware of the cultural nuances in the country as the campaign progresses. Typically, these age-old norms are hard to change. And when change comes at a seemingly high financial cost, it is even more difficult to effect.

Although we had achieved moderate success during this campaign, we noticed that some traditional practices could hinder the use of LPG in many communities in Nigeria.



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It is December, just when the wind was getting chilly, with most people taking a deserved break from work to travel and be with loved ones. When the exchange of gifts becomes commonplace, it’s quite easy to overlook a few things, especially those that matter.

But, in the spirit of giving and community awareness, HUAWEI teamed up with Friends of the Environment (FOTE) to show love and care for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abuja.

Nigeria is ranked 8th among the 9 countries in the world with the highest number of displaced persons (1.2million) and 4th in Africa, trailing DR Congo, Sudan and South Sudan.

IDPs are simply people who are on the run from home, facing, as in the case of Nigeria, multi-faceted complex and often over-lapping issues like insurgency, communal conflicts, flooding and violence between pastoralists and farmers.

These people flee from their homes in search of basic human needs, food, shelter and clothing; and they live in little colonies or camps with aid from the government, organizations and individuals.

Huawei, showing a high level of social responsibility and empathy, visited two IDP camps namely Area One IDP Camp and New Kuchingoro IDP Camp with a combined population of just a little over 4,200 persons.

The donations made to the camps comprised solar lamps in particular, food items, clothing, and sanitary pads for women.

Speaking at the handover of the items, the Huawei representative reiterated their commitment to connect with people, not just on a technological level but also on the human and humane level.

While socially responsible organizations are reaching out to help IDPs, the surface in reality has barely been scratched. The Chairman of the New Kuchingoro IDP Camp remarked with glee that this was the first time they were receiving any form of aid since 2014.

According to Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), in the first half of 2019, about 142,000 new displacements were recorded in Nigeria, 140,000 by conflict and 2,000 by disasters.

Huawei has a tradition of caring for the less privileged, and it would go a long way if other organization would set their moral compass right and take a cue from the Asian tech giants.

Friends of the Environment remains committed to advocacy for the needy in society, while ensuring the use and application of energy efficient tools and practices at home and in the workplace.

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The Reality Of Carbon Footprint

If you really want to reduce your carbon footprint, have fewer kids and ditch your car…!

Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community.

The most common way to reduce the carbon footprint of humans is to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse. In manufacturing this can be done by recycling the packing materials, by selling the obsolete inventory of one industry to the industry who is looking to buy unused items at lesser price to become competitive. Nothing should be disposed off into the soil, all the ferrous materials which are prone to degrade or oxidize with time should be sold as early as possible at reduced price.

This can also be done by using reusable items such as thermoses for daily coffee or plastic containers for water and other cold beverages rather than disposable ones. If that option isn’t available, it is best to properly recycle the disposable items after use. When one household recycles at least half of their household waste, they can save 1.2 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Another easy option is to drive less. By walking or biking to the destination rather than driving, not only is a person going to save money on gas, but they will be burning less fuel and releasing fewer emissions into the atmosphere. However, if walking is not an option, one can look into carpooling or mass transportation options in their area.

Choice of diet is a major influence on a person’s carbon footprint. Animal sources of protein (especially red meat), rice (typically produced in high methane-emitting paddies), foods transported long distance and/or via fuel-inefficient transport (e.g., highly perishable produce flown long distance) and heavily processed and packaged foods are among the major contributors to a high carbon diet.

Finally, throwing food out not only adds its associated carbon emissions to a person or household’s footprint, it adds the emissions of transporting the wasted food to the garbage dump and the emissions of food decomposition, mostly in the form of the highly potent greenhouse gas, methane.

The carbon handprint movement emphasizes individual forms of carbon offsetting, like using more public transportation or planting trees in deforested regions, to reduce one’s carbon footprint and increase their “handprint.”

Furthermore, the carbon footprint in the food industry can be reduced by optimizing the supply chain. A life cycle or supply chain carbon footprint study can provide useful data which will help the business to identify critical areas for improvement and provides a focus. Such studies also demonstrate a company’s commitment to reducing carbon footprint now ahead of other competitors as well as preparing companies for potential regulation. In addition to increased market advantage and differentiation eco-efficiency can also help to reduce costs where alternative energy systems are implemented.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash – Having fewer children, eh? In Africa? That’s a tough call.

The most significant way individuals could mitigate their own carbon footprint is to have fewer children, followed by living without a vehicle, forgoing air travel and adopting a plant-based diet.

Having one fewer pair of small human feet padding around your home can help the environment, at least those were the findings of a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Looking at 39 peer-reviewed articles and governmental reports, the researchers determined that the best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions was to have one fewer child.

In reality though, shrinking one’s carbon footprint is difficult, and conscious choices have to be made to do it.

Researchers are aware of this, advocating that textbooks shift away from advocating for the low-impact solutions, like plastic bag reduction, and put forth possible solutions that are more radical, or at the very least, will have a bigger impact.

“Though adolescents poised to establish lifelong patterns are an important target group for promoting high-impact actions, we find that ten high school science textbooks from Canada largely fail to mention [high-impact] actions (they account for 4 percent of their recommended actions), instead focusing on incremental changes with much smaller potential emissions reductions.”

Of course, high impact and low impact choices can vary depending on where a person lives, something else the study points out.

For instance, switching from a gasoline automobile to an electric car still emits the equivalent of 1.15 tonnes of CO2 a year, but this number can go up if the electricity used in your area doesn’t rely heavily on renewable sources of energy.

“We provide mean values for our recommended actions,” the researchers write, “but we do not suggest that these are firm figures universally representative of each action, but instead best estimates.”

Still, taking bigger swings to help the planet may have enough of a spillover effect to save it, the researchers believe. At least until we’ve all gone vegan and are walking everywhere.

Take an action today to help the environment.

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How nature can help us heal from grief

Here’s how you can help friends and family during somber times.

Death is a part of life.

It’s a cliché. But clichés exist for a reason.

The fact is we are surrounded by dying each and every day. Every time we step out in our yard, we are seeing an abundance of life. But we’re also seeing the results of the death, decay and rebirth that is inherent in the cycles of life.

It makes intuitive sense, then, that a closer connection to nature may help us better come to terms with death and the grieving process.

That help may take many forms, and with debate still raging over whether grief should be treated as depression, any early restorative and healing interventions should be considered an important tool in preventing more severe problems from developing that may require medication.

Teaching us the facts of life (and death)

On one level, nature provides an intellectual frame of reference for death and dying — reminding us that death is a natural phenomenon that we can neither escape nor ignore. That context should not be underestimated, particularly in a culture that often seeks higher meaning in, or a reason for, a loved one’s passing.

The regenerative powers of nature

The allegorical role that the natural world plays in our grieving doesn’t just end in teaching us that death happens. Nature also provides undeniable physical evidence of another age-old cliché – life goes on.

In an article on nature awareness as a healing therapy, Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, explains this key healing quality of nature as it pertains to grief:

“Being in nature one becomes aware of the infinite circle of life. There is evidence of decay, destruction and death; there are also examples of rejuvenation, restoration, and renewal. The never-ending cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth can put life and death into perspective and impart a sense of constancy after experiencing a life changing loss or a death.”

Emotional connections

On a purely emotional level, too, nature can provide solace in grief, which at its heart is a response to the loss of someone or something to which we’ve formed a bond. Such emotional support may take the form of new bonds with animals, plants or natural landscapes — or it may involve finding comfort by visiting sites or scenery that were dear to both the deceased and the grieving party.

Nature-based solutions for general health

It shouldn’t be forgotten that nature plays a supportive role in nurturing our overall well-being and health, a key factor in helping somebody move on from grief and avoid the risks of prolonged depression.

In an article on biophilia (a posh term for our natural affinity to nature), Neil Chambers describes the growing field of research into a nature-based approach to heath care, the benefits of which include better recovery times in hospitals, improved concentration and fewer behavioral disorders in school age children, and increased emotional and mental well-being:

“Our mental and physical health is directly connected to biophilia. As a species that exists within nature, we are incredibly affected by its absence and presence. Yet, we function in cities and buildings that largely lack a connection to the environment. Studies indicate that this disconnect has caused myriad issues that we now expect to be corrected with modern medicine and drug therapy. Since the early 1980s, studies have explored how biophilia affects our physical health, and the findings are eye-opening. The act of simply reconnecting people to the natural elements brings about faster recovery rates, reduced stress, and eased symptoms of physical and mental disorders.”

How, then, can we consciously use nature to aid in the healing process? Below are a few starting points for exploration.

Explore nature-based rituals

Flowers and plants have long been a symbolic part of our rituals surround death, but there is a growing movement that seeks to create more profoundly nature-based ceremonies and processes. From woodland burials to grief walking retreats, there are a myriad of options for incorporating nature into the rituals we adopt.

Get outside more

Simply setting a routine to get out more in nature can be a great way to keep moving after the loss of a loved one. That might take the form of a regular walk you take alone, walking with friends, or even seeking out a walking group that is specifically tailored to those who are grieving, as described in this Globe and Mail story. In the video below, Maureen Hunter, a former nurse who began writing and speaking about grief after the death of her son, reflects on the importance of one of her regular walking spots:

Use visualization

Dyer also reminds us that simply holding images of nature in our minds, and in particular images of nature’s healing and regenerative properties, can provide a powerful inspiration to keep going when it feels like our world has been destroyed:

“Nature’s healing forces can serve as powerful recuperative images for those who have experienced a death or other significant loss. Images of the rebirth in nature can be useful as symbols for the strong internal forces, bringing hope of surviving the loss. From monumental newsworthy events to ordinary insignificant occurrences, one can witness the incredible destructive power and the amazing healing capabilities of nature…”

Start a garden

From opportunities for exercise to providing healthy food, gardening has many potential therapeutic qualities. For those who are grieving, it can also be a great way to both get motivated and to form a direct, intimate connection with the kinds of healing processes we have discussed in nature. IdeaStream reports on one community in Ohio which took this concept to a logical next level, starting a Grieving Garden with the intentional purpose of coping with an unforeseen tragedy.

Be creative

There is no “right” way to experience grief, and there is no “right” way to use nature to deal with it. Each of us has our own view of nature, our own opportunities to connect with it, and our own needs in terms of our emotional and physical well-being. If you are experiencing grief, or seeking to help someone who is experiencing grief, take some time to seek out ideas, activities and rituals that work for you.

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10 Ways To Make Your Community Healthier

The environment in your neighborhood and surrounding community has a huge impact on your health and lifespan. Where you live determines how safe your drinking water is, whether you have access to healthy food, how often you get outdoors to exercise and whether you breathe clean air.

In fact, an health statistics show that social factors, like your physical environment and quality of support services, account for over 50 percent of total deaths a year in Nigeria. That is, people living in dilapidated neighborhoods with fewer public services, safe spaces and supportive social networks are more likely to suffer poor health and premature death.

With poor health policies and corrupt public health officials perverting the course of quality living, there are plenty of smaller things you and your neighbors can start doing right now to help make your neighborhood healthier. Here are 10 ideas to help you and everyone around you live better and longer.

1. Grow healthy food

Photo by Agence Producteurs Locaux Damien Kühn on Unsplash

Garden-fresh fruits and vegetables grown naturally in your backyard with homemade compost and without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers are more nutritious than refrigerated produce shipped from long distances. Less reliance on transportation also means lower fossil-fuel use and fewer carbon emissions that cause health-harming climate change. Organize a healthy produce swap with neighbors who also have gardens or start a community garden. You can even use an empty lot.

If gardening isn’t popular or doable in your neighborhood, start a centrally located farmer’s market or buy a bulk membership in a CSA (community-supported agriculture) to get farm-fresh seasonal produce for you and your neighbors. Also ask local grocery stores, restaurants and schools to offer more healthy food and drink options.

2. Make your community more walkable and bikeable.

Each hour you spend in a car per day corresponds with a 6 percent increase in your odds of becoming obese. Obesity is linked to many chronic and deadly diseases. Too many vehicles on the road also leads to stressful traffic congestion, unhealthy greenhouse-gas emissions and accidents that injure and kill people and animals.

To make your community healthier and safer, advocate to make it more walkable and bikeable. Work with local officials to create pedestrian and bike zones. Ask for bike racks around town. Set up a “walking bus” where parents take turns escorting kids to and from school. Lobby for speed bumps, elevated crosswalks, lower speed limits and other traffic-calming designs to slow down drivers. Even small decreases save lives, as evidenced by a 2011 study from AAA which found you’re nearly 70 percent more likely to be killed if you’re struck by a car going 30 mph than by one going 25 mph. If you can’t walk or bike, consider carpooling.

3. Shop local

Photo by Jordan Christian on Unsplash

Buying from businesses in your community doesn’t just help them thrive, it also helps you and your neighbors in a number of health-promoting ways. For one thing, if stores are nearby you can walk or bike there, improving your physical fitness and reducing car use (see the previous tip). When shops are close and goods aren’t shipped from far away you minimize traffic jams, energy consumption, carbon emissions and habitat loss from sprawl. In addition, supporting community merchants strengthens the local economy, which in turn improves the health of your neighborhood and saves lives. Lower income and economic insecurity is widely linked to poorer health and lower mental well-being.

4. Reduce neighborhood waste

Litter isn’t just unsightly, it’s also dangerous for kids, wildlife and everybody else in your neighborhood. Improperly discarded cigarette butts, old tires, junk food wrappers, plastic soda rings, beer cans, chemicals and other trash can hurt or kill animals, start fires, promote harmful bacteria and clog stormwater drains (which causes flooding and contaminates groundwater).

Pick up trash when you see it or organize regular neighborhood cleanups. Start a compost pile in your yard instead of dumping food scraps and yard waste in the garbage, or set up a community compost center. Composting not only transforms waste into healthy nutrient-rich soil for your yard and garden, but it also cuts greenhouse gas emissions from the breakdown of organic matter in landfills and from fuel used to transport waste.

5. Plant trees

Photo by Matthew Smith on Unsplash

Besides absorbing air pollutants and carbon dioxide, protecting against climate change and providing oxygen, trees add to the health of humans, wildlife and neighborhoods in many additional ways. Plant trees in your yard (preferably native varieties adapted to soil and climate conditions) and encourage your neighbors to do the same. Consider organizing a community tree-planting project. Many cities and tree organizations like National Wildlife Federation’s Trees for Life program give away free seedlings to groups.

6. Encourage development of parks and outdoor spaces

Nature, trees and undeveloped fields and forests are good for your body and mind, according to several studies. It’s not just that they encourage you to get outside and move. Being in nature also cuts blood pressure, lowers the body-damaging impact of stress and promotes psychological well-being. Hospital patients who have a view of trees even tolerate pain better and go home faster.

Team up with community leaders to preserve green spaces, create parks, develop biking and walking paths, and establish more outdoor recreational areas. If you live in an urban neighborhood without many green spots encourage nearby schools, churches and community centers to open their playgrounds and other recreational spaces to local residents when not in use. Ask about indoor gyms, play areas, pools and even hallways for community use in bad weather.

7. Green the tiny spaces too

We all know those spots that could become real community assets with a little TLC. Maybe there’s an eyesore vacant lot that might be transformed into a public meditation garden or sitting park. Or how about that little strip of land between the sidewalk and curb that you and your neighbors could convert into a rain garden to absorb storm-water runoff and filter out chemicals, pesticides and other pollutants? Create a bigger rain garden in your yard to soak up rainwater from your downspouts, and urge your neighbors to follow suit.

8. Volunteer in your community

Join a group that’s working to make your community healthier — whether that’s providing nutritious meals to older neighbors, fighting poverty or improving the environment in your area. Other ways to get involved include attending municipal meetings, writing letters to community leaders, getting appointed or elected to a town board such as the planning commission, and even running for city council or other local office. Not only will you be directly involved in decision-making about your community’s growth, open spaces, parks and other services that affect health, but studies show that volunteering also boosts your own physical and mental health. All the more reason to encourage your neighbors to get involved too.

9. Clean up your energy use

Installing solar panels on your home allows you to generate electricity without producing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Too expensive? Do a bulk purchase with your neighbors and receive a discount. Solar co-ops like DC Sun allow communities to collectively green their energy use. If wind energy is more appealing, consider installing a small wind turbine on your property. Even better, organize your neighbors to create a community-owned wind farm.

10. Be neighborly

Research shows that connecting with people around you makes you healthier and boosts your lifespan. Specifically, studies show that having a strong social network helps cut stress levels that can harm your immune system, coronary arteries and gut function, plus it elevates stress-busting hormones.

Introduce yourself to neighbors and stay in regular touch. Create a welcoming front porch and reach out to passersby. Or put an outdoor lounging space in your front yard instead of the back yard to improve your approachability. Organize a neighborhood party. Keep your community even healthier by creating a neighborhood “care watch” committee that provides local residents in need with home-delivered meals, rides to the doctor and help with everyday tasks.


SDG 5: Gender Equality In Nigeria – A Critical Political Analysis

Gender equality refers to a situation where women and men have equal conditions for realising their full human rights and potentials; are able to contribute equally to national, political, economic, social and cultural development and benefit equally from the results. Furthermore, it entails that the underlying causes of discrimination are systematically identified and removed in order to give men and women equal opportunities. Equality is therefore understood to include both formal equality and substantive equality, and not merely simple equality to men.

According to the UN, “gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will nurture sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. A record 143 countries guaranteed equality between men and women in their constitutions as of 2014. However, another 52 had not taken this step. In many nations, gender discrimination is still woven into the fabric of legal systems and social norms. Even though SDG5 is a stand-alone goal, other SDGs can only be achieved if the needs of women receive the same attention as the needs of men. Issues unique to women and girls include traditional practices against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, such as female genital mutilation.

According to the United Nations Development Programme statistics

  • Globally, women earn only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn doing the same work.
  • 35% of women in the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.
  • Less than 20 percent of the world’s landholders are women.
  • Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday.
  • Two thirds of countries in the developing world have achieved gender parity in primary education.
  • Only 22.8 percent of all national parliamentarians were women as of June 2016, up from 11.3 percent in 1995.

Nigeria like other countries in the world is responding to the clarion calls made variously by the United Nations to rid societies of all forms of discriminations especially gender based discriminations.

In fact in the year 2000, Nigeria took a bold step adopting and passing into law the National Policy on women guided by the Global Instrument on the Convention of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The country indeed has tried to respond to this development from the international arena by articulating policies and programmes that seeks to reduce gender inequalities in socio economic and political spheres, however, the success of bridging the gap between men and women is far fetched. All efforts made to attain gender equality in Nigeria seems like a charade.

Politically, Nigerian women are negligible and undermined force, with little political involvement. Economically, they constitute the majority of the peasant labour force in the agricultural sector, while most of the others occupy bottom of occupational ladder and continue to be channelled into service and domestic occupations. The consequence of the unequal status between men and women is high level of economics and political powerlessness among women, powerlessness in turn retard development of any level, politically, economically and socially.

A critical analysis of the political system of Nigeria casts a huge doubt on the achievement of the sustainable development goal 5: gender equality.


Political Issues

In Nigeria, there are prevailing concerns such as religious and cultural bias against women participation in politics; low membership in political parties and party structure. Even the hostile political environment does not stimulate the right response in women, nor does it pique their interest; and creates imbalance in the political sphere.

Women who constitute about half of the population have been continuously sidelined in public life to the extent that they never held more than 15% of elective offices (see table for statistics of elective positions) compared to what obtained in other nations of the world, particularly in developed nations.

Prof. Olayiwola Olurode noted that Nigeria lags far behind in women political participation index on the African countries saying, “Nigerian women have about the worst representation of 5.9% in the national legislature when compared to most other African countries example Uganda (34.6%), South Africa (43.2%), Ethiopia (27.7%), Cameroon (20%), Niger (12.3%) and DR Congo (8.0%)”.


1999 2003 2007 2011 2015
Office Seat Available Women Seat Available Women Seat Available Women Seat Available Women Seat Available Women
President 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
Vice President 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
Senate 109 3(2.8) 109 4(3.7) 109 8(7.3) 109 7(6.4) 109 8(6.4)
House of Reps 360 12(3.3) 360 21(5.8) 360 23(6.4) 360 26(7.2) 109 19(5.3)
Governor 36 0 36 0 36 0 36 0 36 0
Deputy Governor 36 1(2.8) 36 2(5.5) 36 6(16.7) 36 3(8.3) 36 4
State House of Assembly 990 12(1.2) 990 38(3.8) 990 52(5.3) 990 62(6.3)
SHA Committees Chairpersons 829 18(2.2) 881 32(3.6) 887 52(5.9) 887
L.G.A. Chairpersons 710 9(1.2) 774 15(1.9) 740 27(3.6) 740
Councilors 8,810 143(0.02) 6368 267(42) 6368 235(3.7) 6368


The issue being that women in Nigeria face a lot of odds when they contest against men. For instance

i. The issue of the chauvinistic traditional system

The following are notorious facts in Nigeria

  1. It is an abomination for women to claim equality with men especially in decision making programme such as politics or wanting to head a man under any circumstance, it’s a taboo.
  2. A woman does not take a separate decision apart from her spouse.
  3. The idea of women in politics is a rude agenda in Nigeria and an abomination to most men. Naturally, there is stiff opposition from even educated men politicians to women.

ii. Women conception of politics

In Nigeria, there is a belief that Nigerian politics is based on high political virility, those who have all it takes to compete in the turbulent environment, and those who can match violence. It is assumed that men possess superiority, strength, competitiveness and self reliant and are preferred to tussle in political endeavour, whereas, women are considered too passive to engage in politics and governance. This consensus is also constructed by societal norms and values which through socialization has defined different gender roles according to biological differences. Their perception of politics as a dirty game and continued fright at the thought of violence has alienated them from mainstreaming politics.

iii. Funding and high cost of election

Although equality affects men but the rate at which it affects women is more pronounced in Nigeria. The cost of financing political parties and campaigns is a big obstacle to women. The minimum cost of gubernatorial election could go as high as 200 million naira and how many men can mobilize such huge amount of money for women? Which political party would nominate a woman for that post considering her very small contribution to party finance and formation?

Women are said to be amongst the poorest people in the world and a poor person can not play significant role in politics. Over 90% of women live below the poverty line in Nigeria. Those that are educated are not rich and the rich ones are uneducated or are not politically inclined. Therefore this disadvantage position cannot allow women to match naira for naira in Nigeria monetised politics. This partly explain why they are reluctant about active participation in politics.

iv. The place of the women participating in politics

Although women actively participate in the membership of political parties, the only serve as supporters for male to acquire political positions. Politics is said to be game of members yet women’s numerical strength has not impacted positively on the political life and decision making structure of the nation. Men constitute a large percentage of the party membership and this tends to affect women when it comes to selecting or electing candidates for elections. Men tend to dominate the party hierarchy and are therefore at advantage in influencing the party’s internal politics. Women usually constitute a smaller percentage of political party membership because of the social, cultural, religious attitude of different Nigerian societies.

v. The general perception of politics in Nigeria

It is generally believed that politics is a dirty vocation; one that is reserved for unrefined people who have little scruples with bending the rules and subverting due process. Female politicians are therefore seen as accomplices of vile male politicians who are bent on manipulating the popular will of the people. They are treated as deviant male politicians. Politics is time consuming and it demands great attention. Juggling their traditional ascribed roles with an interest in politics without a supportive spouse could result in needless conflict.

Female politicians are often perceived to be divorcees and marital failures. Also, violence and threats, the do-or-die nature of politics in Nigeria has had its own fair share of women who have to pay the ultimate price for venturing into politics. Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Suliat Adedeji and many others are easily recalled as helpless victims of the sanguinary predilection of Nigeria’s politics. These issues highlighted have gone along way to affect women’s participation in politics and has therefore lead to a very low level of political interest.



In order to have women, gender equality initiatives, the government needs to work towards changing the structures which produces gender inequalities in our society.

Building on the premise of the existence of a clear inexorable interconnection between women’s deprivation and some socio-economic and political factors, it therefore follow that, to address women gender equality on any front, effort must be made to address the aforementioned gender issues.

Nigeria cannot afford to continue to treat half of its population and a significant part of the productive force as inferior being. We need to give our womenfolk the full chance to participate in all sectors of society. The roles of women as house makers cannot be downplayed. Women touch anywhere, cannot be matched. To ensure and achieve gender equality in Nigeria, economic and political powerlessness of women must be addressed. But that does not seem likely, does it?

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SDG 3: Good Health And Well-Being “In Nigeria”

The chief objective of SDG 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

According to the United Nations Development Programme statistics

  • Each year around the world, more than 6 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday.
  • Children born into poverty are almost twice as likely to die before the age of 5 as those from wealthier families.
  • Measles vaccines have averted nearly 15.6 million deaths since the year 2000.
  • Over 6.2 million malaria deaths were averted between 2000 and 2015, primarily of children under 5 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Maternal mortality has fallen by almost 50 percent since 1990. In East Asia, North Africa and South Asia, it has declined by around two thirds.
  • An estimated 2.1 million people were infected with HIV in 2013, down 38 percent from 2001.

Giant strides have been taken in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality, but working towards achieving the target of less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030 would require improvements in skilled delivery care.

In Nigeria, the major challenge to the attainment of the SDGs is the lack of awareness and inadequate sensitization of the public of these goals, what they entail and how their implantation impacts the quality of life of the average citizen. Studies in Nigeria show that more than 50% of the population is unaware of what the sustainable development goals are or how they affect their own development. How then can these goals be achieved if people do not know about them or how they fit into the implementation of the goals?

Governments have the prerogative to ensure that people understand that they play a large role in taking up actions especially regarding identifying one particular goal which speaks to them the most, connecting it all on how best the other goals can be achieved.

Unfortunately, people in Nigeria continue to experience avoidable deaths; they continue to die of treatable illnesses. The habit of periodic medical check-up has still not been formed and swaths of the population only go to the doctor or to the hospital when seriously ill only to be misdiagnosed or wrongly medicated.

Most of the time, people seek medical assistance when the illness has reached an advanced stage. In some cases, no medical attention is sought due to paucity of funds. In such situations, individuals are forced to seek quack or native doctors. It is rather absurd!

The realization of SDG 3 face a serious challenge as so very little has been done when there is clearly much to do.

Since independence, Nigeria has survived on public health “guesstimates”, rather than informed estimates. There is no single dependable, reliable, validated and easily verifiable public health dataset in Nigeria. Even organisations that ought to have these datasets like the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) do not have a validated, verifiable dataset of those enrolled into the insurance system. All attempts to have national ID cards, proper censuses and nationwide surveys have failed to deliver verifiable results. This account for seemingly “150 – 200%” coverage rates on National Immunization days, even when there are obvious deficiencies in the process. The basis for most calculations and projections are very faulty. Good Health And Well-Being cannot be attained in Nigeria when there are no real baseline data with which to compare progress.

There is the absence of formative, midcourse and proper end-line evaluation. Lots of resources may be invested into the management of SDGs but all that would be futile if little was done in terms of progress (formative), midcourse and end-line (summative) evaluations to effectively and scientifically look at the progress of the roll-out of the SDG program. If these are to be done, it would give the managers early warning signs on when the delivery of the SDG program is going off-course, and thus, necessitate midcourse corrections. Evaluations, audits and consequent corrections would need to be carried out. Rather, the program is dependent on oral reports, informal adhoc data from program managers designed to make the National President and the world happy, as well as positive newspaper reports of opening of new healthcare centres, donation of medical equipment and increased employment of healthcare workers. These are wrong measures of success.

In a recent study conducted by the Pan African Medical Journal and presented at the 38th/39th West African College of Physicians Annual General and Scientific Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, there were more than 10 different healthcare workers’ strikes in Nigeria over a 36-month period. These paralyzed the healthcare industry, resulting in avoidable mortality and morbidities, as well as catastrophic health expenditure and resultant outgoing medical tourism.

Children and pregnant women are the worst victims of the healthcare worker industrial action. Without access to affordable healthcare services, deaths are inevitable.

The upscale of social discord, killings and bombings in the northern part of Nigeria; and kidnapping in southern Nigeria reversed the gains of so many years of investments in healthcare in Nigeria, especially in affected communities. Today, there are several hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons who are current victims of communicable diseases, malnutrition and several other social problems. This figure was estimated to be 1,538,982 as of April 2015 by the internally-displaced monitoring centre. As these people live on charity, have limited access to healthcare services, school enrolment and healthy shelter, their health and emotional conditions are far from ideal. These people are also denied access to quality care, even when they could afford it. Sexual exploitation and harassment has led to several unwanted pregnancies and maternal deaths. Fear of attacks has led to mass exodus of healthcare workers resulting in brain drain of the health sector, closure of healthcare facilities and deserted communities, causing difficulties in accessing healthcare during emergencies, outbreak of communicable diseases, and many avoidable deaths and complications.

The absence of National Health Insurance Scheme is a genuine cause for concern. As at mid-2012, NHIS still covered only about 3 percent of the population (that is about 5 million individuals). By the time of this report, less than 6 percent of Nigerians have access to health insurance schemes in Nigeria. Again, this figure is not verifiable, nor is it reliable. People pay for services from out-of-pocket expenditure, accounting for more than 60% of healthcare costs in Nigeria. This results in various types of delays including accessing care, seeking care, receiving care at the health facilities, obtaining prescribed care, and delays in leaving the healthcare facility after treatment has taken place. These delays deepen the physical challenges of the patients and facilitate nosocomial infections, which usually results in additional associated cost of care.

Difficult as it sounds, it is not all doom and gloom for Nigeria. The SDG 3 can be met but only with seriousness and commitment. The Federal government must engage in meaningful collaborative effort with state and local governments to stem off the enigma surrounding the country’s healthcare system. The era of paying lip service to healthcare should be done away with.

Proper and measurable process (formative) evaluations are critical at key intervals and should be built into the implementation plans. This will help keep the implementation of the SDG 3 program on course, and when deviations occur, make corrections early enough to achieve the goal as at 2030. Systems should be developed and put in place in all segments of the health system – including fund management systems.

Individuals should be trained and retrained to ensure proper reorientation with a new integrated care mentality. These trainings should also be aimed at building transparency into the system, developing skilled data managers and excellent evaluators who will conduct both the process and summative evaluations.

The time to work differently in Nigeria is now. Positive change is a choice, and not a chance occurrence. Change results from choices made, not a product of what is happening. It is triggered by purpose, passion, focus, sacrifices, and discipline. Nigeria must make positive changes to achieve Good Health And Well-Being come 2030.


FOTE, UNDP & Zenith Bank Empower Women

As part of efforts at reducing health hazards and protecting the environment, Global Environment Facility (GEF) of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Friends Of The Environment (FOTE) in partnership with Zenith Bank, have empowered over 100 women in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State on the use and benefits of cooking gas.

Chairperson of FOTE, Mrs. Joanna Maduka, said the programme is aimed at preventing health hazards from environmental pollution among rural women in the country.

She noted that from baseline study conducted during the pre-event survey, it was discovered that 86 per cent of the women cook with kerosene stove and firewood, while 14 per cent make use of gas.

“Averagely, 86 per cent of the people surveyed spend between N5,000 to N10,000 monthly on firewood and kerosene while those who use the LPG spend averagely N3,500 on refilling the gas. On further discussion, all of the women indicated their interest in the use of gas. However they lacked the initial sum for purchase of the cylinder and gas burner,” she said.

Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Zenith Bank, Mrs. Eunice Sampson, advised the women to take advantage of the reduced prices in LPG, insisting that it would help improve their health and also protect the environment.

Watch Video Below

The event was also used to introduce the Zenith wonder bag, a heat retention cooker, which saves more than 30 per cent of regular energy costs. The event is the first of a seven-part awareness campaign, which includes four more local councils in Lagos and two local councils in Ogun State.