Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2015 in Lillehammer, Norway

The Norwegian Association for Investigative Journalism, SKUP, is hosting the upcoming Global Investigative Journalism Conference in October 2015.

It is the second time, that the GIJC takes place in Lillehammer, Norway. The first – and very succesful – conference in Norway was in 2008. SCOOP will fundraise to support as many participants as possible.

Riga Summer School of Investigative Reporting 2014

The Centre for Media Studies at SSE Riga invites you to attend the third Summer School on Investigative Reporting run by professionals with globally recognised reputations.

  • Get inspiration and learn techniques from the reporter that uncovered the huge scandal of illegal tapping of phone messages by newspapers in Great Britain – Nick Davies.
  • See what can be done when using all the new tools available when gathering information and presenting your story. The Guardian is a frontrunner – Laura Oliver is the one who can tell you about it.
  • Meet a real-life Lisbeth Salander – Miranda Patrucic – and learn how to map money hidden in offshore companies. She will be joined by Paul Radu, an expert on corruption and organized crime.
  • Follow Paul Myers when he takes you into the world of unknown and hidden information on the Internet. Advanced research shown by a master.

Read more

 

SKUP Annual Conference, Norway

CIJ Investigative Film Week

CIJ Investigative Film Week at City University, London

See program and registration details

 

 

Fuel trade in Nigeria, Benin and Togo – an unstoppable illegal business

In Nigeria, nearly 150 000 barrels of petrol are stolen daily out of an estimated daily production of two million barrels, to service an illegal business in Benin and Togo. The authorities in these three countries take measures to curb the phenomenon but in vain. The sale of petrol in the informal sector has resisted all manner of solutions and continues in full swing, and with its own host of consequences : fire outbreaks, loss of human lives, profiteering and blunders by the security and control forces, losses for the national economy,  pollution of the environment, etc.

The illegal sale of “kpayo” or “boudè” (Editor’s note: local name in Benin and Togo for illegally sold fuel), is carried out under the very eyes of everybody particularly the police, the gendarmerie and customs, as well as the authorities charged with combatting the illegal fuel business. In spite of the numerous measures, this business endures because since Nigeria’s borders with its neighbours are largely porous, some quantity of this subsidised fuel appears through fraudulent means in the neighbouring countries where a litre of petrol is more expensive at the filling stations.

Since this highly inflammable product is not sold under appropriate conditions, fire outbreaks and illnesses are frequent. Petrol sold in the informal sector is seven times more than what is sold in accredited filling stations. Every month more than 17 million litres of fuel are brought into Beninese territory, which makes more than 200 million litres per year; considering the average price of the litre sold to the consumer, the annual turnover of the illicit sale in Benin will thus be close to 150 billion CFA Francs, which is about 300 million US Dollars. In Togo, the loss to accredited petrol dealers was valued at more than 60 billion CFA F (i.e. about 120 million US Dollars) for 2011. Yet the major illegal importers and bulk dealers are well known but are left untroubled because they are protected by politicians and the communities which assure them of their support during elections jousting, because they invest in social initiatives. It is clear that beyond the official speeches, the authorities have given in to this illicit business which is hurting the national economy.

Investigation carried out by Brice HOUSSOU (Bénin), Jean-Baptiste ATTISSO (Togo) et Daouda  ALIYOU (Nigeria).

Published January 6, 2013 on the blog: Nigeria Infos.

Published January 8, 2013 in FRATERNITE, Bénin.

Published January 8, 2013 in L’Indépendant Express, Togo.

Read the article in English .

Read the article in English on the blog Nigeria Infos.

 

Pirates routed

Over the last three years, Benin’s coastal areas have witnesses extraordinary phenomena. These are acts of piracy and armed robbery. Ships are attacked, valuable items are taken away and especially petroleum products are siphoned. The year 2011 saw an upsurge of the phenomenon where about twenty attacks were recorded. As a result, Benin’s coastal areas were declared risk zones by the International Maritime Organization. The impact of the attacks against ships no longer needs any proof. Thus, insurance companies have doubled their premiums; tonnage at the Cotonou harbor has diminished, since it dropped from an annual figure of seven million recorded earlier to less than six million in 2011, representing a loss of custom revenue amounting to 81 million dollars.  In addition to all this is the diversion of traffic to safer shores.

By Jean-Paul IBIKOUNLE.

Broadcasted January 5, 2013 at 10.15 on Radio Bénin.

Listnen to the program in French Pirates en déroute.

Proliferation of evangelical churches in Benin: when the battle of interest sacrifices the law

There is almost no part of a town or village which does not have at least a peculiar kind of evangelical church in Benin. The proliferation of these places of evangelical worship has become a reality for which an investigation in the cities of Cotonou and Ouidah, in southern Benin have revealed a phenomenon of worship become the refuge and businesses for persons out to make easy money.

By Norbert HOUESSOU.

Published December 28, 2012 in LE  TELEGRAMME.

Read the article in French: Prolifération des églises évangéliques au Bénin – quand la guerre des intérêts sacrifie la foi.

Local government reforms called into question

Inter-city transport in Bénin has gone through reforms, particularly in the city of Bohicon, which demand that passengers, supposedly for their security, must go to a transport station in order to travel. These reforms seemed finally to have been the initiative of a young Armand Gansè, who was sent to the Bohicon transport station by the municipal council to oversee the sale of non- performing assets. Having observed that anarchy held sway in this sub-sector and that unions had abandoned their role, sought to ensure better control of the sale of tickets and also to give a human face to travel conditions, he took the initiative to send all bus taxis to the lorry parks, eliminated others, and given the state of the roads and the level of the fuel prices, increased transport fares. This situation did not go down well with travelers who are resisting these reforms. There is resistance also in the ranks of taxi drivers whose unions think that it is not the role of the municipal council to fix prices and demand practicable fares, while they lauded the effort to compel all travel operations to be carried out from the stations.

It has been observed that the anarchy which reigns in the sub-sector is no other than the consequence of the state’s failure to assume its responsibility. Suddenly, these reorganization efforts have become popular in other communes, which are learning from Bohicon.

By Jacques Manasse.

Published November 27, 2012 in Nouvelle Expression.

Read the article in French Les réformes de l’administration locale mises en cause.