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Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) has launched a platform to spotlight civic space efforts and issues. PLAC with the support of the Ford Foundation has launched an online magazine, ‘PLAC BEAM’. This online resource aims to tell the story of civil society in Nigeria, beginning with the late 1980s, which was a significant turning point that marked the emergence of human rights groups. Unfortunately, some of civil society’s most important works very often do not get the attention they deserve and even go completely unnoticed, with the result that the full import and benefits are often lost on the rest of the society. Hence, the need for a platform to highlight some of such projects, the individuals behind them and what they have accomplished over time. The issues highlighted in this maiden edition bear out this need for information.

PLAC BEAM is broadly categorised into interviews, NGO spotlight, resources, trends and issues. Its first edition released in July 2021, explores the history and plethora of issues around civic space in Nigeria. The cover story, The Beginning of Modern Human Rights Movement in Nigeria details the emergence of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), one of the first human rights organisations in Nigeria.

Other topics discussed in this edition range from an interview, Sowore and Three Decades of Activism to The Children Who Must (Not) Die,’ which is an insight into the work of a charity organisation based in Kuje, Abuja, tackling some harmful traditional practices among the region’s rural communities for two decades and counting. Some other topics include: Nigeria’s Twitter Ban and Matters Arising,’ which explores the regulation of social media platforms and the activities of technology firms from a global perspective and A Unique experiment in Abuja Targets Out-of-School Children,’ which spotlights the “School Without Walls initiative,” an unconventional, free education arrangement for less privileged and displaced children.

The growth in the number of non-profits in Nigeria has not been without the notice of the authorities. There has been a move in recent years to increase their regulation, now reflected in several laws. This is discussed in detail in Legal Constraints to Operations of Non-Profits in Nigeria  and Legislative Attempts to regulate NGOs.

This edition also contains several resources that provide more information on non-profit organisations, their operations and how to incorporate one in Nigeria.

See the July 2021 issue of PLAC BEAM: