Burdened by the decaying Nigeria’s governance and worsening corruption, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, (ANEEJ) says it is now poised to foster initiatives and activities to advance good governance and anti-corruption in Edo State and Nigeria at large.
Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, said at a town hall meeting on issues around Open Government Partnership, the Edo State Integrity and Accountability Strategy (EDSIAS) and the Civil Society Advocacy to Support Anti-corruption and Rule of Law in Nigeria (CASARN) project close-out
The group has been implementing the Civil Society Advocacy to Support Anti-corruption and Rule of Law in Nigeria (CASARN) project since December 2019 and it is expected to end by April 2021.
The project is part of the implementation of the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council.
According to Ugolor who was represented by a member of the board of ANEEJ, Comrade Nowinta Igbotako, ” the goal of the CASARN project is to enhance governance in Nigeria by contributing to the fight corruption, strengthen rule of law and the protection of human rights by reinforcing prevention mechanisms and enhancing civil society and public engagement.
While enumerating the achievements of the CASARN project as implemented by ANEEJ, Ugolor said, “in line with the goal and objectives of the project, ANEEJ has implemented a number of activities and has been involved in series of initiatives to advance governance and anti-corruption in Edo State and in Nigeria at large.
“ANEEJ has trained CSOs and journalists on several issues, including Open Government Partnership (OGP) and its committments, open contracting and public procurement observation in Edo, FOI issues and advocacy, budgeting and budget/project monitoring.
“We have also worked with other stakeholders to develop an Integrity and Accountability Strategy for Edo which has been validated by stakeholders. An implemention structure and implementation plan has equally been developed.
”To facilitate civil society organisation’s involvement in the implementation of the strategy, a CSO monitoring and evaluation framework has been designed. This will support an independent monitoring of the implementation of the framework.”
He also listed ANEEJ’s evolvement of innovative compliance ranking of federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) as one of the achievements of the CASARN project.
“Through the implementation of the CASARN project, ANEEJ has evolved an innovative compliance ranking of federal Ministries, Department and Agencies on the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO).
”This ranking is the first of its kind in Nigeria and has been acknowledged by the OGP national secretariat, open contracting partnership international, Bureau of Public Procurement, development partners and other key stakeholders”, he noted.
The ANEEJ chief appreciated the ROLAC program team and commended the European Union for funding the project through the British Council.
In his remarks, representative of ROLAC, Imonitie Omokhodion intimated participants on the provisions of the Edo State Integrity and Accountability Strategy (EDSIAS), its implementation structure and action plan and addressed concerns raised by some CSOs on the implementation of EDSIAS.
On his part the ANEEJ/CASARN programme manager, Innocent Edemhanria briefed participants on the assessment criteria for the MDAs on their compliance on the Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) and urged CSOs to take interest in monitoring govermenmet project to ensure value for money spent and enhance maximum benefits for the people.