Growing up in Nigeria, we are made to memorize the multiplication tables and state capitals and governors, and as I grew into my adolescent years, I could recall phone numbers, birthdays, heads of states and other mundane information as car registration numbers (plate numbers), etc. Then I moved to the US, got wired to the computer, now it appears my memory is failing. And I’m not alone. Continue reading…
I love data. Few months back I was ranting to a colleague that there is no reliable health data online about Nigeria; then I was looking though the scientific journals for the prevalence rate of hypertension and type II diabetes. But I could not find any recent data. Then I discovered NIGECS [http://www.nigerianlgaclassification.com/index.html"]. Continue reading…
Data collected from a multisite survey conducted in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and six states, namely, Lagos, Anambra, Rivers, Borno, Plateau, and Kaduna found that motorcycle crashes accounted for majority (54%) of all road traffic injuries in Nigeria, according to data published in the Injury Prevention Journal.
Simple extrapolations from the survey highlight road traffic injury is a neglected public health problem in Nigeria: “Over 4 million people may be injured and as many as 200,000 potentially killed as the result of road traffic crashes annually in Nigeria“.
Title: The burden of road traffic injuries in Nigeria: results of a population-based survey
M Labinjo1, C Juillard2,3, O C Kobusingye
1 World Health Organization, Abuja, Nigeria
2 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
3 UCLA Department of Surgery, Los Angeles, California, USA
4 World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo
5 International Injury Research Unit, Department of International Health, and Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
This link — Wiki your Town Council goes to a story published on Technology Review where social media is being used in for civic purposes. The story discusses some ideas one of which is how users of the sites can “rate the [elected] officials on job performance, create social-networking functions around local issues, and let users make free Internet-based phone calls to the [elected] officials”. The story encapsulates what I would love to see emerge from the Nigerian community of web enthusiasts and social advocates, and the hordes of political and social commentators operating at home and abroad.
“For democracy to be meaningful and thrive, the governed must be informed, proactive, forward thinking, and able to monitor the activities of their elected officials.” – Grandiose Parlor, August 2007.
In that August ’07 posting, I mentioned Nigeria needs a similar web application – the “Nigerian Legislative Scorecard (NLS)”, as I tagged it then.
“The idea is to acquire and assemble those pieces of information in a manner that can be easily used to assess the performance of Nigerian legislators at the end of their terms.”
Even though I asked and didn’t receive any input on the idea then, the fact that a similar –- though much more elaborate -– concept is being developed elsewhere confirms my vision — and also tells the doubting Thomas out there that the idea is solid and should be explored further.
There is one fact all Nigerian pundits must face: punditry — whether online, televised or in print –- has a limit, especially within the viscous Nigerian milieu of executive arrogance and social irresponsibility. They can’t keep writing and talking about the same topics — poor governance, bad leadership, corruption, etc, day-in and day-out and expect to see changes. Not in Nigeria most certainly.
Nigerians have written volumes of commentary on political issues, appraised government policies, and even staged protests and demonstrations, but there is one thing they have yet to do: Grab elected officials by their throats and hold them accountable. Nigerians have failed to look at them eyeball-to-eyeball and ask questions. And in few times they did ask and got unsatisfactory answers, they have lacked the courage to wrestle them down and kick then out.
Nigerians must be able to assess their elected officials via their voting records, public statements, issue positions, and constituency engagements. These data can be aggregated and refined into blocks of information to demonstrate how well elected officials have served.
These are the kind of efforts that must be in play in Nigeria of the 21st century.
The good thing is that there are several templates to explore…what is needed is the will to start.
Three out of every five new graduates of Nigerian medical schools ‘eye jobs in telecoms companies and banks’, according to Nigerian Tribune.
Those that do not go for jobs in telecoms companies and banks ‘now prefer to set up health-related non-governmental Organizations through which they could earn hard currencies from foreign bodies.’
In 2007, some 37,000 doctors left Nigeria to seek better jobs abroad, according to Nigerian Medical Association/Guardian.
Of its 50,000 members, the association could only register about 13,000 in 2007 renewal of practicing licences.
The 13,000 registered are unevenly distributed in urban areas; about 6,000 doctors are in Lagos, some states have fewer than 300 doctors.
International aid to Africa should be used to boost doctors’ salaries and strengthen the recruitment and training of medical staff, according to WHO experts. The agency predicts that by 2015, countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Nigeria will still be short of doctors to meet their needs.
Nigeria doesn’t have to wait till 2015; there is crisis in the hospitals already. Is there going to be an emergency declaration as the Prez did on power sector?
What is the national health strategy? Is there any other mission aside from the UN’s cookie-cutter Millennium Development Goals?
It has been many months since the Health Minister got sacked on graft charges; a replacement is long over-due.
2008 Top 10 Internet Usage countries: Nigeria is first while South Africa is #4, yet it dictates I.T pace in the continent.
The Nigerian Vanguard newspaper reports that the National Assembly is full fraudsters. This was revealed in a statement credited one Nuhu Aliyu, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, and a serving Senator. Excerpts:
SENATOR Nuhu Aliyu [check his profile online ; http://www.nassnig.org/senate/Personal%20data/Aliyu/Home.htm], a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, stunned his colleagues yesterday when he declared on the floor of the Senate that the National Assembly had, as some of its members, fraudsters.
He said he even had in his possession a list of such legislators he investigated for fraud while in the police.
Senator Aliyuâ€™s comment came on the wings of concerns by Senators over the direction of the anti-graft war in the aftermath of the nomination of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, for a course at NIPSS, Kuru.
Notwithstanding Senator Aliyu’s allegation, the Senate in a near unanimous resolution adopted a motion, urging the Federal Government to remain steadfast in its commitment to the war against corruption.
The paper reports that “it was the second time that Senator Aliyu would publicly declare the presence of crooks in the two chambers of the National Assembly. During the consideration of the amendment bill on the Electoral Act on April 20, 2005 he regretted the presence of â€œcriminalsâ€ who he said he personally apprehended while in Police service.”
Investigative journalism has been lushed down the toilet! Three years is enough time for the media to dig in and reveal those fraudsters. Please visit Wikipedia to read about the role of journalism in a democracy and the basic elements of journalism. It appears all the Nigerian journalist cares for is running after cash-stuffed brown envelopes (eguje) and churning out mediocre reports, or simply complain about what is not right with the Nigerian system. Some publishers now focus more on organizing musical jamborees that upholding standards. What a mess!
Let’s examine the Senator’s statement from another angle. When the Senators asked to reveal the names and identities of the crooks, he kept mute. By failing to reveal the details of the criminal background of his colleagues, isn’t Senator Aliyu as guilty as those he accuses; as a retired top-ranking cop shouldn’t he know better, right?
Okay, Senator Aliyu has since removed his uniform for a babaringa, but as a retired top-brass cop, he should know there are ways the information he has sat on for years can be made public, with the necessary facts, and without compromising his identity. As long as there are people like Senator Aliyu in positions of power and authority, Nigeria can only muster take baby-steps, instead of giant leaps.
In my books, Senator Aliyu is an accomplice in this matter, and he isn’t any better than the crooks he once investigated. All it takes the Senator getting the information out is sending his dossier to New York Times, UK Guardian, or even Sahara Reporters!