Month: July 2019

NNNGO Newsletter on Understanding the Companies and Allied Matters Act – July, 2019

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An important step towards financial growth and the promotion of transparency and accountability within a nonprofit organization is strong financial management. Nonprofit organisations are expected to keep a tight record of their financial and accounting operations as this improves their documentation processes and helps to take stock of their spending. 

Under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, CAMA, nonprofits have an obligation to the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, to correctly keep records that explain how the organization spends and receives its money or other assets (day to day transactions). When nonprofits show records of how it runs; it helps the organisation demonstrate to regulators that it is actively operating and working towards its objectives and remains eligible as a registered nonprofit. This practice also helps to show whether or not the organisation is in good financial health and is being run efficiently.   

Nonprofits are to ensure that they keep operational records which will ideally be stated in the statement of accounts prepared by the bank; doing this shows that the organisation is operating as a nonprofit and meeting its obligations under the part F of CAMA and with relevant authorities, stakeholders and donors. Though this process might be delegated, it is the responsibility of the Board to ensure that the organisation’s accounting records are kept and prepared according to relevant accounting principles adopted by the organisation.

The law requires that nonprofits have preserved accounting financial records for a period of six years from the date of the organisation’s inception for effective transparency and accountability processes.

To adhere to this requirement, nonprofits are required to ensure that financial reports, receipts of transactions and all evidences of payments are correctly recorded, allow for true and fair statements prepared  and audited by an audit firm for large organisations while smaller nonprofits can prepare a statement of affairs (a profit and loss account). This document is vital to the process of filing annual returns with the CAC. 

This newsletter is supported by the Commonwealth Foundation. However, the ideas and opinions presented in this document do not necessarily represent those of Commonwealth Foundation, NNNGO or any other organisations mentioned. 

Creating Awareness about Hepatitis on World Hepatitis Day

Creating Awareness about Hepatitis on World Hepatitis Day

                                                                                  LOVE YOUR LIVER

A major global public health challenge, endemic in many parts of the world, with the highest prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia, the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infects more than 300 million people worldwide and is a common cause of liver disease and liver cancer. Viral hepatitis is the seventh leading cause of death globally, making it a silent killer and responsible for about 1.44 million deaths annually. Often times, many adults infected with the virus recover, but 5 to10 % are unable to clear the virus thus becoming chronically infected.

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver, commonly caused by a viral infection. However, there are other possible causes of hepatitis; autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol. Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the body makes antibodies against liver tissue while Hepatitis B is an infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. The virus is found in the blood and body fluids of an infected person and could be spread through unprotected sex with an infected person or sharing sharp objects with infected persons.

In 2015, hepatitis B resulted in 887,000 deaths, mostly from complications and 2,850,000 were recorded to be newly infected in 2017.  About two-thirds of patients with acute HBV infection sometimes have a mild illness that usually goes undetected, until the person becomes seriously ill from the virus. While the hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for at least 7 days, it has an incubation period of up to 75 days and maybe detected within 30 to 60 days after infection which by then could develop into chronic hepatitis B with symptoms comprising, a general sick feeling, diarrhea, aches and pains, high temperature, loss of appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, jaundice and dark urine.

The 5 types of viral hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A is always an acute, short-term disease, Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women. Causes of noninfectious hepatitis include alcohol and some toxins.

In Africa, chronic viral hepatitis affects over 70 million Africans; 60 million with Hepatitis B and 10 million with Hepatitis C. Sadly, the disease affects the most youthful and productive Africans, causing catastrophic financial liability in its treatment.

Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest population in the world; with children and young adults constituting the bulk of these numbers. It is important to note that the commonest cause of liver disease in Nigeria is Hepatitis B and although pregnant women are generally considered at a lower risk for HBV infection, the rate of infected pregnant women as high as 11%, have been reported in southern parts of the country. In 2016, the Federal Government affirmed that over 22.6 million Nigerians lived with Hepatitis, with about 30% unaware of their status.

It is most important that knowledge around the Hepatitis disease and how best to eradicate it is shared by everyone. World Hepatitis Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization and the theme for this year’s World Hepatitis Day is ‘Invest in Eliminating Hepatitis’, highlighting the need for governments around the world to take active steps towards combating the virus.

Coordinating a global response to hepatitis has paved way to finding cure for hepatitis C and treatment and vaccine for hepatitis B. Interestingly, vaccine against hepatitis B has been available since 1982 and the vaccine is 95% effective in preventing infection and the development of chronic disease and liver cancer, chronic hepatitis B infection can thus be treated with medications including safe and effective vaccines ensuring millions do not suffer anymore. Because Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere and much closer than we think, as humans, let us begin to love our livers so we could have healthier and longer lives.

Although, Nigeria has embarked on a journey to finding a cure by registering hepatitis-related cases, adopting universal vaccination, screening all donated blood, implementing policies aimed at prevention of mother to child infections and ensuring that all infants receive the hepatitis B vaccine immediately after birth, preferably within 24 hours, there is still a lot more to be done.

For you to love your liver and be able to live longer, you must know, prevent, test and be sure to treat Hepatitis. While care is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhea, it is important to encourage prevention through vaccination.

Promotion of Environmental Sustainability (ISTANBUL PRINCIPLE IV) July, 2019

The environment is considered the most important of the three pillars of sustainability, perhaps because the social and economic pillars are largely dependent on the existence of a functional environment. The inability to keep environmental issues in check weakens the other pillars of sustainability, therefore, it is safe to say that working towards a stronger and sustainable environment is key to ensuring a better quality of life, globally.

“Environmental sustainability is concerned with whether environmental resources will be protected and maintained for future generations”, implying that while humans engage in various activities to meet their needs and make life enjoyable, they consider environmental protection and desist from acts that cause damage to the environment or deplete resources that cannot be renewed.

In promoting environmental sustainability, civil society actors should ensure that in the course of balancing local and global efforts to meet basic human needs, the natural environment should not be destroyed or degraded as keeping the environment safe in order to sustain future generations is a commitment that everyone needs to be part of. Civic actors must, in actions and speech, encourage sustainable living- actively involving in the maintenance of factors and practices that contribute to the quality of the environment on a long-term basis.

When all the three pillars of sustainability are strengthened, people live in a system where high-quality life is the norm. They have a clean healthy environment, a satisfactory level of economic well-being and a robust level of social fulfillment.

CSOs are effective as development actors when they develop and support policies that promote environmental sustainability and encourage more sustainable environmental practices. Such as- moving toward renewable energy (like solar)instead of relying on non-renewable energy sources (like coal and power plants)which create pollution and alter the earth’s atmosphere.

A common approach needs to be agreed and; the people and the government should be aware of the damages their actions can inflict on the environment and the precautionary measures that need to be taken. This will go a long way in protecting both the social and economic aspects of society.

Nigerian Optometric Association – THE DARK CLOUD

On a stormy evening when the lights go out and eyes could not adjust to the darkness, one learns what it means to live with a partially distorted vision. Following sounds and relying on touching of objects, one might just for the very first time have firsthand experience with utter darkness.

285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision. About 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings. 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above. Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of moderate and severe visual impairment while cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle and low-income countries. In the UK, there are almost 2 million people living with sight loss. Of these, around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.

There is an estimated 9 million blind in sub-Saharan Africa and a further 27 million people are visually impaired. According to estimation, one percent of all Africans are blind.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health, 42 out of every 1,000 Nigerians aged 40 and above are visually impaired and as for the

On a stormy evening when the lights go out and eyes could not adjust to the darkness, one learns what it means to live with a partially distorted vision. Following sounds and relying on touching of objects, one might just for the very first time have firsthand experience with utter darkness.

285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision. About 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings. 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above. Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of moderate and severe visual impairment while cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle and low-income countries. In the UK, there are almost 2 million people living with sight loss. Of these, around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.

There is an estimated 9 million blind in sub-Saharan Africa and a further 27 million people are visually impaired. According to estimation, one percent of all Africans are blind.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health, 42 out of every 1,000 Nigerians aged 40 and above are visually impaired and as for the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) Lagos branch, more than one million Nigerians are completely blind while three million are visually impaired

There is an old Hebrew proverb that believes the blind were the most trustworthy sources for quotations. It has also been reported that the blind have the best memory.

Information on a visual impairment that cannot be treated can be difficult to come to terms with. Some people go through a process similar to bereavement, where they experience a range of emotions including shock, anger, and denial before eventually coming to accept the condition.

Visual impairment does not equate to the complete loss of vision. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15.88% of people who are visually impaired, face total darkness or are blind. The remaining 84.12% have a partial or residual vision, like color perception, light perception, movement or even form perception. They may be able to see in blurs or varying degrees of distortion, with literal blind spots in some areas.

The visually impaired possess several traits, some of them include; constant communication using normal language, responsiveness to the environment as any human, more nightmares than sighted people, color comprehension in unique ways, open curiosity about life and not all of them actually use a cane to navigate to learn more about their world.

Hope restored and joy rekindled for the visually impaired, Society for The Welfare of The Blind (SWBN) in 1990 resolved to care and addressing the developmental needs of the blinds in Nigeria, a need hinged on a fact that the blinds have been marginalized for far too long.

SWBN in 2012 through her visions, provided opportunities to the visually impaired, ensuring that inadequacies and shortcomings which for several years made their lives uncomfortable, meaningless and purposeless were reduced to the barest minimum.

SWBN has been able to advance their total wellbeing by providing reading materials in Braille which would help them live independently. In addition to the impacts are; successful production of textbooks in Braille to Federal Government College, Ijaniki, Lagos; Queen’s College, Sabo Yaba and St Gregory’s College. Construction of Zebra- crossing signpost at Cappa bus stop Agege Motto road, Mushin Lagos to minimize the frequent occurrence of blind people being knocked down.

The Executive Director, Tade Eniloa Ladipo recounted that on November 14th, 2012 SWBN visited Iyewa College and presented a Braille machine donated by Exxon Mobil to the visually impaired students of the school.

She concluded that the provision of grants to aid educational and vocational aspirations of some blind students in her community together with the construction of the blind library will go a long way in lighting up the dark tunnels of the visually impaired in her community.

(NOA) Lagos branch, more than one million Nigerians are completely blind while three million are visually impaired

There is an old Hebrew proverb that believes the blind were the most trustworthy sources for quotations. It has also been reported that the blind have the best memory.

Information on a visual impairment that cannot be treated can be difficult to come to terms with. Some people go through a process similar to bereavement, where they experience a range of emotions including shock, anger, and denial before eventually coming to accept the condition.

Visual impairment does not equate to the complete loss of vision. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15.88% of people who are visually impaired, face total darkness or are blind. The remaining 84.12% have a partial or residual vision, like color perception, light perception, movement or even form perception. They may be able to see in blurs or varying degrees of distortion, with literal blind spots in some areas.

The visually impaired possess several traits, some of them include; constant communication using normal language, responsiveness to the environment as any human, more nightmares than sighted people, color comprehension in unique ways, open curiosity about life and not all of them actually use a cane to navigate to learn more about their world.

Hope restored and joy rekindled for the visually impaired, Society for The Welfare of The Blind (SWBN) in 1990 resolved to care and addressing the developmental needs of the blinds in Nigeria, a need hinged on a fact that the blinds have been marginalized for far too long.

SWBN in 2012 through her visions, provided opportunities to the visually impaired, ensuring that inadequacies and shortcomings which for several years made their lives uncomfortable, meaningless and purposeless were reduced to the barest minimum.

SWBN has been able to advance their total wellbeing by providing reading materials in Braille which would help them live independently. In addition to the impacts are; successful production of textbooks in Braille to Federal Government College, Ijaniki, Lagos; Queen’s College, Sabo Yaba and St Gregory’s College. Construction of Zebra- crossing signpost at Cappa bus stop Agege Motto road, Mushin Lagos to minimize the frequent occurrence of blind people being knocked down.

The Executive Director, Tade Eniloa Ladipo recounted that on November 14th, 2012 SWBN visited Iyewa College and presented a Braille machine donated by Exxon Mobil to the visually impaired students of the school.

She concluded that the provision of grants to aid educational and vocational aspirations of some blind students in her community together with the construction of the blind library will go a long way in lighting up the dark tunnels of the visually impaired in her community.