Nigeria

Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1925 Full/Associate/Related Membership in the World Alliance of YMCAs: Full Member Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1965

Descriptions

Mission Statement
The YMCA of Nigeria adapted the Paris Basis and Kampala Principles to suit local conditions until 1994 when a National Strategic Development Plan Workshop was held at the University of Lagos. One of the highlights of that workshop was the adoption of a Mission Statement which runs thus: “We provide relevant community based programmes and services that develop the mind, spirit and body of the youths and the less privileged on the basis of equality and justice and in accordance with the Christian mandate” The statement was considered relevant to the past, present and future aspirations of our YMCA which initially focused on Youth Development Programmes, Leadership Training, Formal and Informal Education and Vocational Training. While these original thrusts are still relevant today, the statement is equally germane to new challenges arising from such phenomena as HIV/AIDS ethnic/religious conflicts, political violence and gender inequality.
History
Often described as the giant of Africa, Nigeria is a vast and densely populated country along the West Coast of Africa. It covers 923,768 sq.km with a population of 120 million. It was a British – Colony until October 1960 when it became independent. During the colonial days up till the late sixties, agriculture formed the bedrock of the nation’s economy supported by such mining resources as tin, limestone, iron- ore, lead, zinc and gold arriong others. However, oil discovery brought about a mixed scenario. First there was economic boom as the country’s foreign earning from oil export rose sharply. Later local and international observers began to sense a doom behind the boom as the original mainstays, of the economy, particularly agriculture, were either neglected or down-rated. Consequently, economic growth cannot match population growth. Masses of the people live in abject poverty while the bulk of the nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of few elites. Today income per capita in Nigeria is less than fifty thousand naira (N50,000) or five hundred dollars (US $500). There are 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja that constitute the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The first YMCA organized group was formed in the city of Kano in 1925 but that local church based group soon faded away until 1944 when the Lagos YMCA Central Club which later developed into the Lagos YMCA was formed. Taking a cue from Lagos, which was the country’s former capital city until the early nineties, YMCA groups sprang up in other cities and towns. YMCA work in Nigeria was further advanced by Fraternal Secretaries from YMCA movements in the UK (1958), International Committee of the YMCAs of the USA and Canada (1963) and German YMCA (1964). In 1962, the National Council of YMCAs of Nigeria was formed as an umbrella body of autonomous Local Associations. However, it was through the formation of the National Council that the YMCAs of Nigeria applied and were registered with the World Council of YMCAs at the meeting in Tosanzo, Japan in 1964 under the founding National President in the person of the late Chief Timothy Oluwole Oyesina. It was through this registration and affiliation that the franchise of the international YMCA family was brought to the National Council and subsequently to the Local Associations. YMCA work suffered a serious setback during the 3-year civil war the country went through in 1967 – 1970. Subsequently, the days of fraternal secretaries were over in April 2000 when the last from Germany left the services of the Northern Zone YMCAs. However technical personnel for VTCs (Vocational Training Centre) and other special projects are still being recruited from Germany.
Programmes
Our main programmes centre around youth Empowerment, Gender Sensitivity, Poverty Alleviation, Leadership Development, Political and Civic Education and Capacity Building towards self reliance. We organise youth camps at local, national and international levels. Through leadership programmes we train the young people to develop the capacity to assume leadership roles in the affairs of the YMCA and their communities. At our 34th Annual General Meeting and Conference held last July, 2000 at Yola, Adamawa State, the National Council reaffirmed and implemented the policy of 30% youth representation on the National Executive Committee and directed Local YMCA boards to follow suit. We have organized leadership courses for various categories of our lay and professional members. We have Vocational Training Centres in different parts of the country for printers, carpenters, fitters, farmers, fashion designers and native cloth weavers. One of our National Standing Committees on gender issues is headed by a woman with a view to promoting the participation and leadership of women in YMCA affairs. We are currently involved in Adolescent Reproductive Health Project in collaboration with the USA YMCA and Packard Foundation. The objective of the project is to enlighten the youth on the prevention of the dreaded HIV/AIDS so that they can make wise choices for healthy reproductive lives. Another area of concern to us is Peace and Justice.
Country Profile
British influence and control over what would become Nigeria and Africa’s most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, Nigeria continues to experience longstanding ethnic and religious tensions. Although both the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections were marred by significant irregularities and violence, Nigeria is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence. The general elections of April 2007 marked the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in the country’s history. In January 2010, Nigeria assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2010-11 term. Population: 149,229,090 Age Structure: 0-14 years: 41.5% (male 31,624,050/female 30,242,637) 15-64 years: 55.5% (male 42,240,641/female 40,566,672) 65 years and over: 3.1% (male 2,211,840/female 2,343,250) (2009 est.) Birth Rate: 36.65 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) Death Rate: 16.56 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.) Infant mortality Rate: total: 94.35 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 11 male: 100.38 deaths/1,000 live births female: 87.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.) Life Expectancy: total population: 46.94 years country comparison to the world: 216 male: 46.16 years female: 47.76 years (2009 est.) HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 3.1% (2007 est.) HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 2.6 million (2007 est.) HIV/AIDS – deaths: 170,000 (2007 est.) Ethnic Groups: Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups; the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5% Religions: Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10% Languages: English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 68% male: 75.7% female: 60.6% (2003 est.) Government Type: federal republic Capital: Abuja Geographic coordinates: 9 05 N, 7 32 E Time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) Independence: 1 October 1960 (from the UK) Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal Currency: Nairas (NGN) Population below poverty line: 70% (2007 est.) Transnational Issues: Disputes – international: Joint Border Commission with Cameroon reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately cedes sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a phase-out of Nigerian control within two years while resolving patriation issues; the ICJ ruled on an equidistance settlement of Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea, but imprecisely defined coordinates in the ICJ decision and a sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River all contribute to the delay in implementation; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission’s admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries. Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 5,778 (Liberia) IDPs: undetermined (communal violence between Christians and Muslims since President OBASANJO’s election in 1999; displacement is mostly short-term) (2007). Illicit drugs: a transit point for heroin and cocaine intended for European, East Asian, and North American markets; consumer of amphetamines; safe haven for Nigerian narcotraffickers operating worldwide; major money-laundering center; massive corruption and criminal activity; Nigeria has improved some anti-money-laundering controls, resulting in its removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) Noncooperative Countries and Territories List in June 2006; Nigeria’s anti-money-laundering regime continues to be monitored by FATF **Information retreived from CIA – The World Factbook: www.cia.gov
Contact
National General Secretary: Sam Ehuwa, nigeriaymca@yahoo.com National Council of Nigeria YMCAs 14 Coker Road Ilupeju Lagos NIGERIA Tel: 234 1 860-583 Fax: 234 1 2694642/685252 Telex: 21514/21207 Email: nigeriaymca@yahoo.com