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SPACES FOR CHANGE (S4C) Volume 3 I July – August 2012 I Nigeria I West Africa E-Newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change Website:

Blog: the reform programs in the oil and power

From the editor’s desk In this edition: The PIB & YOU Strengthening Public Engagement in the Power Sector Reforms Here comes the CPSR!

Challenging Indiscipline in Lagos Schools

Research Work on the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund Begins

Media Advocacy on the Oil Sector Reforms

UNEP Report: One Year of Inaction

July and August were very busy months for us; packed full with powerful mobilization and coordination of online and offline campaigns for accountable reforms in the Nigerian oil and gas, and power sectors. We launched two major campaigns focusing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), and the power sector reforms using interactive and social media technologies. Through these campaigns, we stimulated public interest and understanding of the key policy developments in the oil and gas, and power sectors, while reinventing the participation of ordinary citizens in socio-economic decision-making. More than ever, citizens, especially young Nigerians are increasingly shedding their toga of apathy and are now undertaking independent scrutiny of the oil fiscal policies and the power sector reforms. It is now common for key policy makers, lawmakers and development experts to regularly join in, and participate in econferences and moderated discussions in S4C’s online platforms to provide expert analysis of social and economic policies or to communicate important updates regarding government policies and programs. We have also brought oil industry experts and critical stakeholders together to exchange information, forge alliances, build consensus around possible solutions to complex social and economic issues connected to


More than ever, citizens, especially young Nigerians are increasingly shedding their toga of apathy and are now undertaking independent scrutiny of the oil fiscal policies and power sector reforms.

Spaces for Change sectors of the economy. Over two dozen blog posts, hundreds of tweets and moderated online discussions in July and August clarified the corporate and institutional framework, the fiscal regimes including the new regulatory arrangements introduced in the draft oil legislation, the PIB. Widely disseminated e-conference reports and policy briefing papers helped draw attention to potential areas that could undermine the transparency and accountability priorities in the oil reform bill. We have also taken an interest in developing a right-based framework for monitoring the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). Our strategic engagement with the policy and legislative processes of the PIB, the power sector, and the SWF has just begun. In a word, we aspire to forge a movement that will contribute to making our society and our world a more just, equitable, and beautiful place. Happy Reading!

Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri Executive Director

This is the newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change (SPACES FOR CHANGE)


E-Conference: The PIB & YOU On July 14, 2012, Spaces for Change convened the first-ever econference on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Nigeria’s latest oil sector regulatory framework. The econference titled, “The PIB & YOU” brought together an unprecedented gathering President, Trade Union of stakeholders and Congress

industry experts across national and continental divides to have a dispassionate discussion centered on the PIB. For three hours, the econference’s five lead discussants; Jeremy Weate (Extractive industries expert), Samuel Diminas (Chevron Corporation, Opeyemi Agbaje, TV Host, USA), Opeyemi Agbaje Policy Analyst (policy analyst), Peter Esele (national labour leader) and Ledum Mittee (environmental justice advocate) offered in-depth analytical presentations and expert opinions on different chapters and issues affecting the PIB ranging from institutional governance and regulatory structures, environmental protection, host community inclusion, gas flaring penalties, fiscal competitiveness and labour concerns. Until the January 2012 uprising in Nigeria, citizens either lacked interest or were largely indifferent about oil sector activities, resulting in decades of under-reported and unchallenged corruption and impunity in the sector. The new PIB now offers a unique opportunity for citizens to reverse that trend through active participation and engagement in the oil sector legislative reform processes. Over 1,500 participants logged in from different parts of the world to join the online


discussions, while special steps were taken to ensure that key officials of government ministries, lawmakers (Senate and the House of Representatives), parastatals, oil multinationals and advocacy groups observed the proceedings. A simultaneous live streaming of the key issues and highlights of the conference discussions across several social media platforms especially on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook helped broaden participation and information reach to wider online audiences. The conference had a global reach, with participation recorded mainly from fifteen countries across six continents: Nigeria, United Kingdom, United States, Russia, Austria, Germany, Canada, Cyprus, Ukraine, Malaysia, Philippines, France, Senegal, Kenya and Ghana. A total of four (4) analytical papers, (24) queries and (5) commentaries on the Bill received prior to the e-conference were widely disseminated using the organization’s online portals and knowledgesharing platforms on the social media. The lead discussants addressed 30 additional questions collated on the conference day. Despite being among the world’s top oil producers, Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has been plagued by institutionalized corruption and impunity, with grave environmental and humanitarian devastations. Worse still, the laws governing the activities in the oil sector were dispersed in several pieces of legislation, coupled with the numerous amendments, policy statements and regulations, which were often difficult to locate. The absence of a coherent legal regime posed huge obstacles to efforts at improving local crude oil refining, energy efficiency, reducing oil imports and pollution, job creation and environmental protection. A review of the country’s oil policy became necessary in order to move towards an improvement in operational efficiency, productivity, viability and the international standard of operations in the oil sector. Building on the draft oil legislation proposed by the Dr. Rilwanu Lukman-led Oil and Gas Sector Reform Implementation Committee

This is the newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change (SPACES FOR CHANGE)

(OGIC), a technical committee inaugurated by the petroleum minister, Honorable Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke on January 17, 2012 reviewed and presented the current draft of the Bill. Aggregating over 16 legislations governing Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, the new policy covers in a comprehensive manner, all the relevant aspects of the industry: upstream, downstream, gas, petrochemicals and many other industry related matters. The thrust of the new policy, however, is to ensure the separation and clarity of roles between the different public agencies operating in the industry, mainly through the unbundling of the national oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC). Equally of significant concern is the need to infuse strict commercial orientation in all the relevant aspects of the industry mainly by moving the control of the downstream oil and gas sector from government-controlled monopoly to private participation. A major finding from the e-conference is that certain provisions of the revised draft are vague, contentious and inadequate when placed against global standards, and as such, much room still exists for modifications and improvement to align with the transparency, accountability, environmental concerns and other priorities urgently needed in the Nigerian oil industry operations. Across the board, the revised draft is widely perceived as a starting point towards the international best practices we seek, in the hope to improve on what exists. Using the organization’s array of online and offline portals, the e-Conference report was widely circulated; uploaded on diverse websites and online portals, which attracted extensive media coverage by the traditional print and electronic media.


Strengthening Public Engagement in the Power Sector Reforms Partly inspired by widespread reports of improvement in electricity supply in Nigeria, Spaces for Change convened an e-conference on August 18, 2012, with the aim of facilitating public understanding and monitoring of the Nigerian power sector reforms. For over three hours, the lead discussant, Dr. Sam Amadi, the Chairman of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) fielded questions and interacted directly with over 1,800 Nigerians living at home at in diaspora. NERC is the apex regulatory body ensuring that all the agencies implementing the power sector reforms comply strictly with laid-down regulations. A total of 52 questions - ranging from the current electricity generation and transmission capacities, the new metering regime, high tariffs, capacity-building of regulatory officials - submitted by the participants prior to the e-conference, were synthesized into topics for discussion. Typical of S4C’s online conferences, a simultaneous live streaming of the key issues and highlights of the discussions on Twitter, via the #PowerSectorReforms, enlarged the interactive space, enabling more participants from all works of life, and from different parts of the world to join the online conversation. Dr. Amadi’s informative responses to the queries explained in great depth, the important policy and programmatic approaches employed by the Federal Government towards achieving stable electricity supply. In particular, his explanations settled the dust regarding widespread speculations linking the reported improvement in electricity supply to the high rainfall season which keeps Kainji and the Shiroro Dams generating output at optimum

This is the newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change (SPACES FOR CHANGE)

As NERC chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi created knowledge platforms that will capacitate the staff to be at the cutting edge of the sector. He instituted the Distinguished Visitors Program, the NERC Fellowship for academics, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nigerian Universities Commission to create a curriculum for master and doctorate degrees on power system management. capacity. “You are right to say that the improvement in power is seasonal…After the rainy season we will drop about 200 to 300 megawatts”, Dr. Amadi said. As NERC chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi has created knowledge platforms that will capacitate the staff to be at the cutting edge of the sector. He instituted the Distinguished Visitors Program, the NERC Fellowship for academics, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nigerian Universities Commission to create a curriculum for master and doctorate degrees on power system management. NERC is also discussing with the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) for a professorial chair on energy law and regulation from NERC. Thanks to these efforts and other gas infrastructural developments, the power sector reform agenda is recording significant success stories. The e-conference attracted extensive media reportage in the social and traditional electronic and print media. In the past, official discussions of governance interventions, issues of implementation are rarely discussed nor explained to citizens. This interactive session is helping to change all that. It also provided a powerful boost to the eminence of participatory development, making clear that access to stable electricity is a fundamental human right, as well as a priority for the reform agenda.

cooperation and support for those initiatives. It is comprised of an independent group of experts, corporate bodies and civil society organizations, monitoring the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and consumer service issues in the power sector, in line with the reform agenda of Nigerian government. The CPSR operates within the scope of the Power Sector Reform Roadmap, the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act and all other governing regulations. As part of its independent monitoring role, CPSR has launched one-stop-shop online portal - – dedicated to educating citizens and providing up-to-date, regular information about the policy, technical and legislative undertakings in the power sector. In keeping with CPSR’s objective to serve as a feedback channel from consumers to the relevant implementing agencies of the power sector reforms, it documents citizen concerns and complaints related to metering, billing, consumption or access to electricity services. Documented complaints are routinely forwarded to the relevant implementing agency (ies) for necessary action.

Here Comes the CPSR! Building on the gains of the highly informative e-conference on power sector reforms, hosted by Spaces for Change (S4C) on August 18, 2012, a Coalition on Power Sector Reforms (CPSR) has emerged. The Coalition's main goal is to promote awareness of the power sector reform processes and activities, and facilitate citizen engagement,


CPSR will collaborate with key agencies involved in the implementation of the power sector reforms, development partners, nongovernmental organizations and citizens to

This is the newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change (SPACES FOR CHANGE)

achieve the above stated objectives. Membership is free, and open to all individuals, registered groups, civil society representatives, independent experts, social and economic advocates with demonstrable background and interest in the activities of the power sector. SPACES FOR CHANGE serves as the secretariat of the CPSR, and provides the Coalition with the necessary logistical, secretarial and administrative assistance.

Challenging Indiscipline in Lagos Schools On August 14, 2012, a member of Spaces for Change’s (S4C’s) youth network, Mr. Shoremekun Saheed Ololade witnessed a very shocking incident involving students of Ikotun Senior High School, IkotunEgbe in Alimosho area of Lagos State. At a local shop in the Ikotun district, he saw up to ten SS1 and SS2 students who had just collected their results from the school altering the scores on their report cards, and doctoring new results for themselves. Outraged by such brazen display of criminal conduct and indiscipline by the students, he alerted members of S4C youth network. Consistent with our mandate to transform Nigerian youths into effective future leaders, S4C petitioned the school authorities urging them to launch an investigation into the incident, with a view to identifying and correcting the students with altered results, and to further take stringent measures to avert a recurrence. Doing so would not only serve as deterrence to other students, but would also align with the state and federal government’s efforts to enhance qualitative education and promote positive youth development. The petition was signed by 56 members of the network.


On August 22, 2012, seven members of the Spaces for Change (S4C) youth network comprising Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, the executive director of Spaces for Change, Chris Xrix Ero; Gabriel Ogunbanwo and Don Abiodun Odedeyi embarked on a group visit to Ikotun Senior High School to formally launch a complaint with the school authorities regarding the incident. At a meeting with the vice principal of the school, Mrs. Adesanya, she admitted that the school authorities were much aware of the widespread dishonesty, particularly result records alteration, by secondary school students across Lagos State (not only her school). Propelled by the students’ growing notoriety for nefarious acts, her school retains duplicate copies of all results containing the actual grades, as a strategy for uncovering the rampant acts of misconduct by the students. Usually, no punishment, or deterrence measures are employed to prevent recurrence, the reason being that students with poor grades whether or not they tampered with their grades - will eventually repeat classes or withdraw from school as the case may be. Some parents The S4C team that visited Ikotun play a part in High School encouraging this sad trend in secondary schools. “Parents routinely come to the school to plead for more marks to be added to their wards who did not meet the promotion cut-off-points", she lamented. There are also cases where students have altered their results with assistance from

This is the newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change (SPACES FOR CHANGE)

some teachers, in the name of 'help'. These teachers then attempt to defend the altered results, even when the altered contents substantially differ from copies retained by the school authorities”. It is that unholy collaboration with teachers that further emboldens the students to the extent that they (students) absolutely see nothing wrong with what they are doing”, the vice principal disclosed. Apparently, the school authorities are overwhelmed by the intensity of exam malpractices among students, and teachers' complicity in such activities. We gathered that beyond relieving them of the responsibility to mark scripts and prepare results, the offending teachers are hardly punished. Outraged by the kid gloves with which such serious issues were being handled, the S4C team mounted pressure on the school authorities to ensure that this particular incident is investigated, and the perpetrators identified and disciplined. Accepting S4C’s offer to facilitate free leadership seminars and youth empowerment initiatives in the school, the VP promised to take action when a new school session resumes in September. S4C shall continue to monitor progress, and assess the new measures introduced by the school authorities to checkmate the students' excesses.

includes improving citizens access to information, particularly through the media, and civic education.

S4C executive director at The Policy Council hosted by Opeyemi Agbaje

Traditional and new media were utilized to share information and raise public awareness about the Bill, and other economic policies and programs affecting the oil sector reforms. S4C staff featured on several TV programs, radio talk shows and online portals where they presented econference outcomes and the organization’s

Media Advocacy on the Oil Sector Reforms Famed for its expertise in leveraging technology, crowd-sourcing concepts and web-based communication tools to promote public awareness and citizen engagement in policy and legislative processes of the Nigerian oil and gas sectors, Spaces for Change (S4C) took good work to scale through the launch of a vibrant media campaign to popularize the Petroleum Industry Bill. Through our media advocacy work, we strive to improve the effectiveness of government and its accountability to citizens, which


Victoria Ohaeri, in the studio of Radio 94.1 FM Lagos discussing the PIB and oil sector transparency

research findings on specific provisions of the Bill, highlighting areas in urgent need of legislative scrutiny.

This is the newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change (SPACES FOR CHANGE)

On July 20, 2012, Spaces for Change’s executive director featured on the popular TV program, The Policy Council which was aired on August 1, 2012; LTV 10.10pm; and on Saturday, August 4, 2012; Channels TV by 4.30pm and BEN TV, London by 5.00pm. Similarly on August 19, 2012, she was guest on the Democracy and the Rule of Law program showing on Galaxy TV, Lagos every Sunday at 4 p.m. The radio stations were not left out too. Public enlightenment campaigns on the PIB anchored on the wave-making phone-in radio program, Kobanji Direct, on Radio Continental, 102.3 FM Lagos on Tuesday, August 8, 2012 benefitted hundreds of thousands of listeners in Lagos and the South-west region of Nigeria. During the live program, Mrs. Ohaeri fielded questions from several callers regarding the oil sector polices, especially concerns related to the fuel subsidy. S4C also participated in a similar PIB-focused phone-in talk-show aired on Rainbow Radio 94.1 FM, Lagos on August 18, 2012. More than 20 Facebook community postings and about ten dedicated articles on S4C blog: identified gaps, weaknesses and opportunities for strengthening the transparency and accountability priorities urgently needed in the power sector. Other commentaries focused on how to expand participatory opportunities in oil sector decision-making processes. By working to stimulate public interest and trigger informed dialogue on key developmental issues affecting the oil and gas sector, S4C is determined to create a powerful movement of citizens that can push for policy and legislative changes in industry operations, especially as it relates to the management of the environment and the inclusion of host communities in decision-making.

Research Work on the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund Begins Spaces for Change has commenced a highlevel research work to identify salient features of the legal and institutional framework for the recently-launched Sovereign Wealth Fund. The research will identify and profile objectives and macroeconomic goals of the initiative and propose a rightsbased approach for Nigeria's Finance Minister, and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Iweala

making the SWF more transparent and accountable.

In the context of a policy program aimed at achieving fiscal prudence, enhancing the management of oil wealth, and building a savings base for future generations of Nigerians, the Nigerian Government has established a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), with an initial fund of $1 billion. Describing the Fund as a far-sighted initiative, Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, stated that the Fund places Nigeria “firmly on the path to economic transformation”. An institutional foundation for the management of the Fund, called the Nigerian Security Investment Authority (NSIA), was also established and a Board inaugurated in August 2012 to provide policy, technical and operational guidance for the management of the Fund. Premised on the need for prudency, particularly the proverbial “saving for the rainy day”, proceeds from SWF investments will provide capital injections in times of financial crisis, while ensuring that future generations benefit from the wealth of finite extractive resources. With the growing participation of developing economies in large cross border holdings – especially by investing their foreign exchange reserves, and managing these reserves as sovereign wealth funds - the scope and scale of these activities raise profound questions


This is the newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change (SPACES FOR CHANGE)

about the structure, openness and stability of the international financial systems, as well as the domestic governance framework and the accountability arrangements. As part of the research work, a moderated online debate held on August 29, 2012 on Spaces for Change’s (S4C’s) Discussion Forum on Facebook afforded a unique opportunity to crowd-source ideas from a broad spectrum of young professionals and economic experts from around the globe. The research findings will inform the production of a policy briefing paper that uses the human rights framework to analyze the Fund’s legal regime as well as proffer guidelines for ensuring that the activities of the NSIA comply with Nigeria’s human rights – social and economic rights obligations, and the highest standard of accountability and transparency.

UNEP REPORT: One Year of Inaction Spaces for Change’s (S4C’s) executive director was one of the speakers at an event held in Abuja, Nigeria to commemorate the one year anniversary of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP’s) assessment report of the environmental devastation in Ogoni land, Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The event, organized by Environmental Rights Action (Friends of the Earth International, Nigeria) brought together human rights activists, environmentalists, lawmakers, representatives of Ogoni indigenous communities and the media to reflect on the Federal Government’s one year of inaction, and explore strategies to actualizing the implementation of the report. Her presentation, UNEP REPORT: Impact on Women and the Youth highlighted the adverse impact of the extreme levels of environmental devastation on women’s traditional livelihoods and economic opportunities for the youth. It further explained the linkages between the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the


UNEP report, demonstrating why both documents are potent tools for demanding ecological justice in Ogoniland, and the Niger Delta in general. Among other things, the report disclosed that: 1. The impact of oil on mangrove vegetation in Ogoniland varies from extreme stress to total destruction. In the most impacted areas, only the roots of the mangroves remain, with no stems or leaves. The roots are completely coated in oil, sometimes with a 1 cm or thicker layer of bituminous substance. The pollution has accumulated over a very long period, perhaps over decades. 2. People in Nsisioken Ogale have been consuming water containing benzene 900 times above World Health Organization’s (WHO's) guideline. 3. Acute health effects of exposure to petroleum are reasonably well understood: dermal exposure can lead to skin redness, oedema, dermatitis, rashes and blisters; inhalation exposure can lead to red, watery and itchy eyes, coughing, throat irritation, shortness of breath, headache and confusion; and ingestion of hydrocarbons can lead to nausea and diarrhoea. In addition, environmental contamination associated with oil spills and its effect on livelihoods and general quality of life could reasonably be expected to cause stress among members of affected communities, and stress alone can adversely affect health.

This is the newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change (SPACES FOR CHANGE)

A last minute attempt by the Federal Government to establish the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), without adequate consultation with oil-producing communities, is perceived as a face-saving, and knee-jerk attempt to cover up one year of inaction on the UNEP report. Victoria Ohaeri of S4C, with Dr. Ojo, deputy head, ERA and Nnimmo Bassey, ED, ERA and chair, Friends of the Earth Int'l

A year after, beyond setting up a committee to review the report, nothing much has been heard about implementing the UNEP report's recommendations. Total inaction, from both the government and the oil companies continue to greet the shocking revelations contained in the report, making the Niger Delta the most oil-impacted tragedy in the whole world, with unprecedented social and economic consequences on the inhabitants of the region. The continuing destruction of mangrove forests, the extermination of aquatic life, the record high decline in fisheries and agricultural produce, the escalating oil theft through artisanal refining and 'illegal bunkering", and the resulting youth restiveness are some of the cogent reasons why action must be taken very urgently, to reverse and address the social, economic and cultural rights violations accompanying decades of oil exploration and production in the Delta. A last minute attempt by the Federal Government to establish the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), without adequate consultation with oilproducing communities, is perceived as a face-saving, and knee-jerk attempt to cover up one year of inaction on the UNEP report. Perhaps most telling is that a variety of the clean-up and corrective measures outlined in the report require very minimal resources to implement, but yet, action tarries. For instance, the report directs the Federal Government to mark and inform Ogoni people of all contaminated drinking water wells where hydro carbons were detected. This includes posting signs around all sites with "contamination exceeding intervention values". This has not been done till date, while operational, bunkering pollution and contamination of land and water sources linger unabatedly.


The embarrassing failure to execute such simple measures, are not only symptomatic of the absence of political will, but also reflective of the historical inaction, and official insensitivity to the rapidly deteriorating environmental conditions in the Delta, despite reaping huge revenue earnings from the region's resources. As communities, civil society groups and policymakers converged in Abuja to discuss ways of fast-tracking the implementation of the UNEP report, the quest for environmental justice in Ogoniland and the Niger Delta as a whole, will not be subdued until appropriate action is taken to reverse the continuous neglect of the region both by the government and the oil companies. About Spaces for Change (S4C) Established in May 2011, Spaces for Change (S4C) is a non-profit, human rights organization working to infuse human rights into social and economic decision-making processes in Nigeria. Using the human rights framework and youth-centered strategies, the organization aims to increase the participation of the often unheard Nigerian youth, women and marginalized constituencies in social and economic development, and also help public authorities and corporate entities to put a human rights approach at the heart of their decision-making.

CONTACT US! Address: 3 Oduyemi Street, 1st Floor, Opposite Ikeja Local Government Secretariat, Anifowoshe, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria Email: ; Telephone: +234-1-8921097; +234-81-84339156 Website: Blog: Follow us on Twitter: @Spaces4Change

This is the newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change (SPACES FOR CHANGE)


This newsletter edition profiles the programs anc activities implemented by Spaces for Change between July and August 2012

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