Tag: nigeria

Fuel Scarcity in Abuja: The Aftermath, and Fate of Black marketers

The queues on the street of Abuja have disappeared and the fuel scarcity is not as worrisome as it was a few weeks back. However, one cannot say if this is temporary or we should brace up for another possible fuel scarcity – perhaps a worse one, anytime from now.

Most fuel stations are now discharging Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as Petrol or Fuel, though most of them use one or two pump points even where there are as many as 20 discharge pump points. This means people who need the products may not be attended to immediately but what is a 5 minutes wait compared to a 5 hours queue? experienced at the peak of the scarcity.

The big question now is, why are black-market fuel sellers still lining up across some parts of Abuja city, with kegs filled with fuel and waving short pipes? On March 30, Media For Community Change Initiative tried to put a human face to the problem and understand the rationale behind the black marketers and their trade.After so much struggle, the young man understood that we were just asking what his name was and he replied, “Musbahu” without a smile as he tried to lift the 10 litres keg filled with fuel. Even with the help of an interpreter, he couldn’t tell what his age was, it didn’t seem to matter to him but he couldn’t be more than 12 years. We tried to ask if he was working for a Boss but it felt like the young boy was programmed to only tell the price of his trade “Na ₦3 500” and propose a reduced price of ₦2 800. Nothing else!

Just a few metres away, another young boy runs towards us with his 10 litres keg (popularly called jerrican), the keg boldly bears his name freshly written with a black marker, “Abdullahi”. He lifts and opens the content trying to convince me, “Oga, na better one!” He needed to do this for two reasons, the colour of the fuel in his keg was different from the others, slightly turning black. Secondly, he must have heard how weary people became with multiple news of vehicles engines being knocked off due to bad fuel.“What will you be doing if you aren’t here selling fuel”, I tried to ask him after confirming his name was truly Abdullahi as written on the keg. “Shouldn’t you be in school?” I sputtered in a mix of English and Hausa. He managed to explain “na my transport to go house I dey find, Oga,” there was silence and he walked away after a while!Awalu, another black marketer explained how just recently he has taken up this trade, “Me, I bi conductor for Utako, if work dey now I dey go – Lagos, Kano, Zamfara, anywhere.” He also agreed that the black-market business, “na quick money”, yet he would prefer to be gainfully employed elsewhere.Along the Airport Expressway, a few kilometres away from the City Gate, another black-market fuel seller crossed the road in a rush and almost pushed his 10 litres keg through the window. Suleiman was more expressive and seemed jovial. Couldn’t be that he had made much sales already at this early hour of the day; perhaps, this new line of work had brought in lots of returns lately.

When a black-market fuel seller tells you a 10-litre keg of fuel is worth ₦3 500, you do the maths and wonder why he is making a profit of over 100%, if he bought it at the standard cost of ₦165 per litre. After some haggling with Suleiman – we had a bit of back and forth. What I figured was that when black market seller reluctantly agrees to sell 10-litres of fuel for ₦2 800 or ₦2 500 but what they don’t tell you is that they bought at ₦2 200 or ₦2400 from the fuel attendants and only a paltry profit between ₦300 to ₦600 is made for every 10-litre black market fuel sold. At the peak of the fuel scarcity, it was possible to sell as many as 30 kegs at ₦3 500 each. So much profit – for an illegal trade!In an attempt to fill the puzzle of where the source of the constant flow of the black market fuel comes from, we tried to ask some fuel attendants, none of them was willing to share any thoughts. All we could get from them was, “we nur dey sell for keg” and it is not uncommon to see some attendants charging at people walking into the premises with kegs, “don’t bring that jerrican come here o.”

Over the last 8 weeks, this fuel scarcity has had its toll on various sectors of the economy. Small businesses had to resort to unscrewing generator tanks to get fuel, explaining why the cost of goods and services rendered by SMEs have shot up. In Abuja, we have seen transport costs rise by about 100%, in some cases 200%. No sector has been spared!

As we take in a breath of fresh air and smile at fuel attendants when we drive through the fuel stations, we dread seeing Nigerians back on the street, queuing for fuel or resorting to black market sources to fuel their day-to-day activities. So at the back of our minds, we ask ourselves, have we addressed the root of the problem? Will this be the end of fuel scarcity or should Nigerians brace up for another – perhaps a worse fuel scarcity, anytime from now?

Written by: Seyifunmi Adebote and Jimoh Oluwatobi Segun 

Photographs by: Kim Dashong

Reusable Sanitary Pads: One of The Remedies for Alleviating Period Poverty in Nigeria

By Demola Oriyomi Ojo. 

Sustainable development advocate and volunteer with SuS Pads & Hope Spring.

It is a fact that menstruation is a natural biological process. It is also a fact that every girl, from around the age of 12, until middle age, between the ages of 45- 55 will menstruate every month. Managing this monthly cycle can cause physical and financial challenge for many women and girls in Nigeria. These challenges are compounded by the fact that menstruation is shrouded in secrecy in some parts of the country. Up and down Nigeria, there are a lot of unhelpful myths and taboos around this natural biological process.

Many girls and women, do not have access to basic menstrual hygiene material.  Lack of these essential materials such as tampons or sanitary pads, makes many girls and women dread the oncoming or their monthly period. This makes women feel disempowerment and causes absenteeism in school-age girls.

In a bid to help alleviate period poverty in Nigeria, Hope Spring Water Charity came up with a new initiative called SuS Pads.  The project teaches girls how to make their own reusable menstrual pads, from suitable fabrics. According to Miss Bolu Olorunfemi, the project manager for SuS Pads. The rationale behind the initiative was to equip girls with the skills and knowledge they need, to avoid period poverty.  She added that if you have the skills to make your own reusable cloth sanitary pads, you will have a  hitch-free period every month.

This new period poverty alleviation initiative had its first workshop on November 20, 2019, at  Marvelous Eagle School Apo Village, Abuja.  Working with over 20 girls from the school, Bolu Olorunfemi and her team of one seamstress and four volunteers imparted the girls with crucial skills.  The workshop, which was called Make your own cloth sanitary pad, started with a short lecture about menstrual hygiene management.  It then went on to the practical aspect, where the girls were shown how to sketch out, measure and cut fabrics, into the shape of menstrual hygiene pads.  The girls were then shown how to sew the pads, using two sewing machines made available for the workshop.

Celena Daniel, a student of Marvelous Eagle Academy who participated in the workshop spoke about the workshop and how it impacted her  “the workshop has impacted my life remarkable because, during menstruation, I do stay at home in order to avoid shame as I experience stains on my cloth during menstruation. This training has enabled me to learn a lot on how to take care of myself during menstruation. I am also glad that I learn to make a reusable menstrual pad that does not cost much.  I am now confident  I can make for myself, and teach my loved ones at home how to make their own pads.

Another participant Nnaji Bridget said that “the workshop has helped a great deal, with this initiative, she would be able to save more money instead of spending on disposable pads every month. According to her, reusable menstrual pads make sense. I can use the pad for two years or more. 

Bolu Olorunfemi compared the SuS Pads initiative with previous  Hope Spring menstrual hygiene workshops, where they give disposable pads to school girls. She said “A popular adage goes; give a woman a fish and you feed her for a day. Teach a woman how to fish and you feed her for a lifetime. Therefore instead of gifting the girls’ disposable menstrual pads, it is more empowering to teach them how to make a reusable menstrual pad, that will last them for years. “ She and her team expect to help empower more women and girls, by teaching them how to make their own reusable pads.


Beyond the radiance and lushness of Nigeria’s Federal Capital City – Abuja, some communities around the city centre live in abject water poverty which has greatly posed serious health-related challenges to the lives of the people and continually limit economic growth in the country.

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Water Source for Zokutu Community, Abuja

Surprisingly, there are several villages, shanties, and slums that lie around civilization yet lack of basic amenities and infrastructures to reflect national development. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 1 in 3 people, that is, 2.4 billion, live without sanitation facilities while 663 million people still lack access to safe and clean drinking water. In 2017, this estimate changed to 2.3 billion people without sanitation facilities and 844 million people without access to safe and clean drinking water.

Zokutu community located in Kuje Area Council, one of the six area councils in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory is included in these statistics. Clean water is considered a luxury by the residents of Zokutu community exemplifying the enigma of deficiency in the midst of plenty.

Seyifunmi Adebote and Jimoh Oluwatobi Segun of Media for Community Change took a trip to see how 3000+ people lived in Zokutu Community without access to water.

A cave, 6 feet below ground level is the only source of water in the community, filling an all-purpose gap: bathing, laundry, cooking and drinking – without any form of purification. It is pitiable, yet true to posit that the level of development in Zokutu is next to nothing reflected in the poor road networks, the mud houses and limited telecommunication access.

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A cave as source of water for Zokutu Community, Abuja

On average, women and young children in Zokutu community have to visit the cave 5 times daily, sadly, the residential area is quite distant to the cave. Left with no alternative, day and night, people have to pass through bushy paths to scoop the oily, dirty, coloured, and smelling water from the cave to meet their basic domestic uses.

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Women about to fetch water in the Cave at Zokutu Community

Because of the very steep slopes, women and children, mostly, have to ascend and descend the cave bare-footed to maintain a strong and firm grip. There have been cases of people falling and insects attack on people fetching water from the cave. Not surprising that the residents of Zokutu community are largely exposed to numerous health hazards, particularly, water-borne diseases and this is complicated by the absence of functional health facilities.

“I have lived here for over 30 years and this is the only source of water we have. Many times, people in the community fall sick because of the water they drink and when we go to the health centre, the people to attend to us complain that there are no drugs. Most of us are not in good health.” Danlani Mudu, the Security Chief (Seriki n pada) of Zokutu community lamented.

MFCC Speaking with Yoana Bauta, Chief of Zokutu Community.

The Head of Zokutu community, 62 years old Yoana Bauta confirming Mudu’s position explained, “Sadly, the cave is the only option we have. The absence of a functional hospital has made things worse, in fact, some of our children have died in our hands. We are pleading that a borehole or other healthier source of water should be provided for the community”, Bauta grieved.

The unavailability of water has also affected the hygiene of ladies and women in this community, exposing them to menstrual health infections and illnesses. Another resident, 14 years old David, said that water poverty in the community has posed a threat to his education, as well as, that of his siblings and friends.”

Titilope Fadare, For Media For Community Change Initiative

Abuja, Nigeria.


Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation, as a Non-governmental Organization with a core focus in alleviating water poverty and providing WASH education in communities, found it imperative to extend WASH education to schools by establishing WASH clubs in Nigeria schools under the ‘Hope Spring WASH to School’ (W2S) Initiative.

With the knowledge that a child spends an average of 6 hours in
school. While it is predicted that about 50% of schools in Nigeria do not have any source of improve water supply, 80% of schools lack WASH education, these daily exposes school children to grave health risk.

The aim of the WASH Quiz competition organized by Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation was to create more awareness about Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) among Nigerian students. The event held on 20 March 2019, at IBI Training Centre, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, it is the first of its kind in Nigeria and was supported by WaterAid Nigeria, Media for Community Change, AgroNature Nigeria and EnvironFocus Nigeria.

In attendance were 58 students from 5 schools (both public and private schools.) List of schools in attendance includes;

  • Junior Secondary School Karmo, Sabo
  • Junior Secondary School Apo,
  • Solid Rock International School, Abuja.
  • Covenant International School, Abuja.
  • Junior Secondary School, Idu Koro.

Solid Rock International Schools was the overall winner with a total score of 85 points, after one hour of interesting WaSH quiz session. The questions were tailored towards assessing the contestants’ knowledge of WaSH and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Covenant International School, JSS Karmo, JSS Apo and JSS Idu Koro recorded 75, 60, 35 and 35 points respectively. A Life Straw Community Water Dispenser was awarded to the winner. Branded bags, shirts and caps were handed over
to all participants.

Hope Spring Water remains committed to expanding reach to more schools across the federation and are following up with potential sponsors and partners who are passionate about imparting lives through providing water resources.

We look forward to strengthening and sustaining these collaborations to achieve the goal of the WASH Club initiative in Nigerian schools.


Elections come with various opportunities, one of which is presenting the people an opportunity to exercise their fundamental human right by voting responsible public office holders. As millions of Nigeria head to poll, Media For Community Change has partnered with WaterAid Nigeria to educate people on the need to #Vote4WASH during the #NigeriaDecides2019 and thereafter.

This is very important to our organization seeing that poor or no access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facility is a big challenge in most local communities where we work. We understand that if leaders prioritise WASH sector and provide necessary infrastructures in their communities, it will transform the standard of living and improve health status.

Delivery of WASH services acts as a primary barrier to disease transmission and hygiene promotion, particularly handwashing with soap, has been identified as the most cost-effective disease control intervention. Yet 87% of the population do not have basic hygiene facilities and almost a third (29%) of hospitals and clinics in the country do not have access to clean water; the same percentage do not have access to clean water; the same percentage do not have safe toilets and one in six(16%) do not have anywhere to wash hands with soap according to a World Health Organization report.

Ekene May of MFCC explaining why you should #vote4WASH

Access to water, sanitation are crucial for good outcomes in health, nutrition, education & livelihoods and inadequate or poor WASH services have an impact on virtually all aspects of human development, disproportionately affecting the life chances of women and girls. No one should have to live without these basic life-saving services. Ensure your vote counts and demand these social services from your candidates and duty bearers.

Out of School Children in Nigeria: NGO Sent 31 back to School

To reduce the current high number of out-of-school children in Nigeria estimated at 13.5 million by UNICEF, and to combat the menace of illiteracy in Nigeria, Mr. Ibezim Chike Victor, the founder of the Mil-Vision Foundation has announced his organization’s plan to send 3 million out-of-school children back to school by 2030. Mr. Ibezim made this public during the official launch of the foundation’s activities at LEA Primary School Tunga-Maje, Abuja.

“Our vision clearly states that by 2030, we will send 3 million out-of-school children in Nigeria back to the classroom. We recognize that it is a very big task; however, we are committed to achieving this through the goodwill and donations of our partners, adequate monitoring, evaluation and reporting of our activities, as well as, maximally leveraging the individual and collective strengths of our volunteers.”

According to the Headmistress of LEA Primary School Tunga-Maje, FCT, Abuja, Hajia Usman Takwa, “We currently have 1812 boys and 977 girls but we still have so many out-of-school children out there in Tungan-Maja. The community is quite big and densely populated but we have only 97 teachers and limited infrastructure so it is beyond my power to get more students to school.”

At the official launch of the Mil-Vision Foundation which took place at LEA Primary School Tunga-Maje, Abuja on Thursday, January 10, 2019; thirty-one (31) indigent students benefited from a 100% per cent scholarship covering tuition fee, school uniforms, school bags, and writing materials.

According to the founder, “Our organization remains committed to providing quality education to indigent kids. We understand that education builds a nation. Developed countries today have invested heavily in education and it works for them.” Victor opined, “Primary school education is the most important stage in a child’s life, if a child is giving primary school education, it is easier for such children to speak for themselves, learn skills and live a more responsible life.”

To assist Mil-Vision Foundation to achieve her aim of getting 3 million out-of-school children back to the classroom, visit www.themilvisionfoundation.org.


The Global Climate Change Youth Movement is set to beat the Guinness World Record 2018 by engaging young people to create 100’000 climate change postcards. This project by The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC is a unique approach to engage children and youths to take immediate actions to stop global warming in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

As leaders and decision makers prepare to advance Climate Action during the Conference of Parties (COP24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Poland; Media for Community Change Initiative, an implementing partner in Nigeria has raised the voice of young people. Undoubtedly, children and youths make up the generations that can drive towards climate compatible as they will have to live longer with tomorrow’s climate. 



We are so glad to have served as an implementing partner for the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and Blue Luxury Investment to raise voices of children and youth in Nigeria about climate change!

In the last few days, we’ve engaged over 700 students across various schools in Nigeria on climate change and climate action; the students will set a new world record in the Guinness Book of Records having expressed their thought paintings on postcards.

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This project presented our team a unique privilege of interacting with different students in public and private schools across different classes. One thing stood out, their openness to learn more about Climate Change and the limitless expression of their creativity.

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With more enlightenment and an efficient support structure, perhaps they can convert these postcards expressions to practical Climate action.

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We believe the students can do more and be more if the policy makers in Nigeria and Africa at large can ensure quality education for students and quality investment into safeguarding our environment.

Many thanks to Uyolo, Blue Luxury Investments and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation for entrusting Media for Community Change Initiative with this very engaging and novel task. And to our local implementing partners – whole Aid Initiative and participating schools, We are happy that together we could make this a success.

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Watch this space for updates from COP24 in Poland!


Three out of every ten Nigerians lack access to safe and clean water source close to their homes. With a population of about 182 million people, this implies about 57 million Nigerians lack access to improved source of water supply.

Families in both rural and urban areas find it difficult to access safe and clean water for their domestic needs.

On this bid, The Hope Spring Water, a charity organization in the UK have its operation in Nigeria which is targeted at alleviating water poverty in both urban and rural areas in Nigeria through construction of boreholes, wells and water education.

The Hope Spring Water NGR chapter under the administration of Mr Temple Chukwuemeka is working closely with a corp member; Mr Eseoghene Johnson to construct a borehole for Jidu Community – An under-served community in Abuja, Nigeria.

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To remind you of our our theory of change which is to amplify the voices of the marginalized using the power of media, Media For Community Change is working with Hope Spring Water, Nigeria-Chapter to document the provision of clean water to Jidu Community in Abuja, Nigeria.

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To make this a success, we engage with the local leaders of Jidu community over the weekend, they told us how hard life can be without clean water.

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Y’all should anticipate for full documentation!



The real heroes are folks who defy all odds to selflessly and consistently work in local communities to birth sustainable development that impacts the lives of disadvantaged people.
At Media for Community Change, we constantly look out for such folks and we are always delighted to beam our spotlight on their interventions in rural communities and amplify their voices across the global scene.
On Monday, July 16th, 2018, MFCC’s Founder, Mr. Jimoh Oluwatobi Segun and our Project Director, Mr. ‘Seyifunmi Adebote met with My Hero Community Development Initiative’s Founder, Ms. Ajayi Rita, to profile some of MHCDI’s past efforts and discuss on how to forge strengths towards achieving greater successes in the coming months.
Leveraging the new media, Media for Community Change is super delighted to explore this partnership opportunity with “My Hero Community Development Initiative” for the social good of the people and towards making our world a better people.
We believe we can change our world, one community at a time and we are ready to make tremendous impacts. Will you join us?
Watch this space!