There is a popular quote that “Nigeria is a country blessed with milk and
honey”. One of the reasons for this quote is the immense human and natural resources that
can be found in the country. Asides crude oil and other natural resources, Nigeria is also
blessed with fertile land, entrepreneurial and hardworking people and at some point
–before the discovery of oil – was a leading producer of groundnut, cocoa, oil palm and
other cash crops. Sadly, years of abandonment of the agricultural sector due to the advent
of crude oil led to the decline in the productivity of the agric sector thereby fueling food
insecurity, cravings for imported goods and ultimately loss of foreign exchange. The thrust of the story was to look at the inability of increased government funding to translate to appreciable food security in the country. The investigation addressed corruption in the award of contracts for the construction of dams and provision of irrigation infrastructure in Nigeria and the impact on rural populace. The project was funded by MacArthur Foundation and Intenational Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) and it exposed flawed procurement processes and also unravel the impact of abandoned dams and irrigation project on the rural populace.
What makes this project innovative?
Apart from the ease of reporting the investigation, the project took paid attention to wrapping data in words and making such graspable to the audience. The positioning of photos and images in the project also garnered praises from readers.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
It was quiet intriguing that indigenes of one of the concerned communities reported in the project reached out adding that they could relate better with the story and promised to further deepen demand for transparency and accountability from their political leaders and representatives. If anything, the project should be commended for providing citizens with actionable data that is then used to demand accountability, equity and justice from their political representatives. Being a small newsroom, the only available metrics is that it was shared on facebook 30 times and garnered over 5000 views.
Source and methodology
Locations where dams and irrigation projects have been sited across the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria were researched. Data was also aggregated from Fiscal Responsibility Commission and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission on dams and irrigation projects in Nigeria from 2011 till 2018. Additionally, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request was done requestion for a larger data set and analysis from Nigeria's Ministry of Water Resourcces and Agriculture. Analysis was done to determine the existence, ownership and eligibility of the companies (contractors) that got these contracts and see whether there is a violation of the 2007 Procurement Act (in Nigeria) or connection with politicians or top civil servants.
Basic technology used is TIlda
Olajide Adelana Olawale Akinola Ajibola Amzat Olayinka Ade