Since the removal of the erstwhile Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, most Nigerians and critical players in the nation’s financial industry have renewed hope that the Government under his watch is determined to see through economic reform policies to heal the country’s ailing economy and bring us out the present economic duodenum. It is trite to emphasize that the CBN is strategic to actualising virtually all the set, reforms objectives of the government and the aspirations of the citizens for social reliefs from prevalent agonising economic pains, anguish, sufferings, and hardships the country is currently experiencing.
This task of cleansing the Central Bank’s Augean Stable is, however, extremely onerous especially when we consider revelations of illicit transactions, compromising sleaze, financial recklessness, and rudderless management in close to a decade reign of ex – Governor, Emefiele. This is why President Tinubu set up a Special Investigation Panel led by Jim Obazee to conduct a forensic audit of the account of the apex bank during the tenure of the former helmsman of the apex bank.
There are reports of clandestine as well as overt schemes by CBN cabals to frustrate the investigations of the Obazee led Investigation Panel. Preliminary reports filtering into the public domain, however, seem to show that there are lots of worms, maggots and poisonous vermis in the decadent cans of the CBN. Many top management officers of the Bank have been fingered in the various financial malpractices during this period. The detention of the former Director of Finance of the Central Bank, Benjamin Fakunle by the Department of State Security Services, DSS is pursuant to a crafty attempt by Emefiele led management to cover its tracks with a suspicious Audit Report. Obazee Panel has fingered improprieties in the seven-year financial account audit of the Bank which is alleged to have deviated from globally recognised, International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS. While Fakunle is also alleged to have paid a whooping N401 Million for the spurious audit document in violation of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria regulations.
This is just perhaps a tip of the iceberg of financial crimes committed by Emefiele led management team of the Central Bank. Most of which, with diligent investigations and prosecution constitute grave economic sabotage crimes against the nation and her citizens.
For us to comprehend the magnitude of the crimes committed by the CBN against the nation, we call into record the advisory of respected legal activist, Femi Falana, SAN to President Tinubu on empty federal treasury. Falana’s Low Hanging Fruits treaty offered a Twenty-Two (22) list of areas where the nation’s funds are cornered, awaiting the Federal Government’s summoning of requisite to access same. A former Editor of the PUNCH Newspapers, Bola Bolawole picked just Twelve (12) from Falana’s low hanging Fruits of the Federal Government’s Funds which an indolent, compromised Central Bank leadership left to fallow outside our national treasury. The sum total of these Twelve Items is N78 Trillion. Yet, President Buhari was busy borrowing to finance our annual National Budget of less than N22 Trillion!
If we just use the statistics of Mr. Femi Falana alone, it is clear that the resources of our great country in the hands of individuals, corporate cabals and even some compromised global institutions is sufficient enough for the government to address the infrastructural deficits afflicting the country. An Apex Bank that is up and doing in discharging its statutory responsibilities and patriotic duties would not have presided over a national economy that is prostrate, broke and insolvent. Funds that could have provided for social needs like sound transportation system – smooth road network, basic healthcare service, qualitative education for citizens, portable water, affordable housing, employment and security of lives and properties.
We unequivocally call on all anti-corruption agencies to beam their searchlights on the operations of the Central Bank and its principal management officials during this period to fully account for dereliction of their financial, fiduciary responsibilities to the country and citizens. We are confident that the funds outside our national coffers are sufficient to provide the necessary financial sinew to kick start Nigeria socio economic transformation and much vaunted technological-industrial advancement.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has asked the President of the country to shed more light on his request for N500bn to be used to provide palliatives for Nigerians following the removal of petrol subsidy announced during his inaugural address on May 29, 2023, in response to claims that the subsidy regime favoured the rich more than the average Nigerians, among other reasons.
In a release issued by the organization’s Director of Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo on behalf of Mr. Debo Adeniran, CACOL’s Chairman, he noted, “It would be recalled that President Tinubu’s request was contained in a letter sent to the National Assembly and read during plenary by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas. In his letter, the President proposed an amendment to the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act, saying “The request has become necessarily important to, among other things, the source for funds necessary to provide palliatives to mitigate the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy on Nigerians. Thus, the sum of N500bn only has been extracted from the 2022 Supplementary Act of N819,536,937,815 for the provision of palliative to cushion the effect of petrol subsidy removal.”
According to the CACOL’s boss, “We believe Nigerians need to know more about the N500bn the President is requesting. He should make the details of how the money would be spent more clearly to the average Nigerian. Inasmuch as we are not against the provision of palliatives for Nigerians who have been negatively affected by the removal of the fuel subsidy, we are calling on the President to reveal the details of how the money will be spent”.
In a country where a humongous amount of money had been expended in the past years majorly on palliatives and the low number of people that benefitted from the said palliatives, it will be unthinkable for this administration to follow the part of the past administrations.
We are all living witnesses to the way and manner some foodstuffs that were meant to serve as palliatives for Nigerians were locked up in warehouses across the country by some greedy and selfish people in power at the detriment of pauperized, traumatized and famished Nigerians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To avoid the mistakes of the past administrations, the Tinubu-led government should publicize how it intends to spend the money, the names and locations of the beneficiaries, the modalities for disbursing the money and the conditions attached to the disbursement (if any), and other details that would set the minds of Nigerians at peace knowing fully well that the money would be used as planned”.
The CACOL Head adds, “Moreover, we observe that even if the names of those to benefit in the conditional cash transfer or whatever method the government wants to use to disburse the N500bn are published, the money may not impact significantly on the livelihood of the beneficiaries. If any palliative would be given, it should reflect in the cost of macro-economic products like petroleum but since the argument is that if petroleum is cheaper, it will be smuggled out of the country, then the palliative can be used to subsidize electricity, since it is not likely that electricity would be smuggled out of the country. It can also be used to subsidize the cost of building materials or telephony thereby having a direct impact on affordable housing and communication among the people. Reduction in prices of these products will affect everybody rather than selective conditional transfer to some privileged few that has been done in the past and nobody has openly acknowledged that it impacted positively on their lives”.
BAWA’S INDEFINITE SUSPENSION: CACOL COMMENDS PRESIDENT TINUBU.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, hashailed President Bola Tinubu for approving the indefinite suspension of the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, AbdulRasheed Bawa, from office.
In a press release issued by the anti-graft coalition’s Director of Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he noted, “It was reported that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has indefinitely suspended the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, AbdulRasheed Bawa, from office, to allow for a thorough investigation into his conduct while in office following “weighty allegations” of abuse of office against him.
The suspension of the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, AbdulRasheed Bawa, from office is a welcome development that is long overdue due to the sensitive nature of his office. We had earlier joined other Civil Society Organisations to call on the immediate Past President, Muhammadu Buhari to relieve Bawa of his appointment in order to allow for thorough investigations of allegations leveled against him.
It should be noted that we wrote the Senate not to confirm him based on the allegations leveled against him when he headed the Port Harcourt office of the anti-graft agency but the Attorney General smuggled him in and got the National Assembly to confirm him. Moreover, because of the way and manner the immediate past Acting Chairman of the agency, Ibrahim Magu was eased out of EFCC, we opined that Magu was yet to be removed from the office permanently and that he was still the Acting Chairman of the agency. So by this action coming from the President, we have been vindicated as we have opposed Bawa’s nomination from the beginning.
“It must also be noted clearly, that we are not opposed to the commission’s mandate to fight corruption, but we are opposed to the seeming politicization of the agency under Mr. Bawa, its clear fixation on certain individuals in society, needless media trial, alleged corruption within the agency, and the manner in which EFCC officials act above the law by corrupting our judicial processes with impunity.
“We therefore commend President Bola Tinubu for heeding to the yearnings of the people by taking drastic action which the past administration found too difficult to take. This singular action by the President would send a note of warning to all other holding one position of authority or the other that they can be called to give account of their stewardship at any time.
“We would like to advise that the selection of the next Chairman of the Commission should be based on merit and political consideration should be downplayed. This will allow the agency to function and discharge its duties without fear or favour. The good work of fighting corruption to standstill by the agency should also be supported by the government”
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has called on anti-corruption agencies, National Judicial Council and the Presidency to urgently set machineries in motion to investigate Senator Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa over his statement that he obtained favours from his wife on behalf of his fellow senators.
In a release issued by CACOL and signed by TolaOresanwo, the anti-corruption organization’s Director of Administration and Programmes, on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he stated, “It would be recalled that Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa, the current senator representing Bauchi North senatorial districtin a video clip which surfaced yesterday, spoke at the valedictory session of the Ninth Senate. Bulkachuwa claimed that he encroached on his wife’s (ZainabBulkachuwa, a retired Justice of the Appeal Court) “freedom and independence” in the course of her official duties as head of the second highest judicial office in Nigeria.
“We watched the video which has gone viral and we were aghast that a serving Senator could condescend so low to the extent of currying unmerited favouron behalf of his colleagues from his wife who was privileged to be in a position of judicial authority. More alarming is the fact that the Senator has the boldness, audacity and temerity to come out in the presence of the press to confess his ‘many sins’ to the Nigerian state. This shows the level of impunity being exhibited by our so called representatives of the people.
Since Senator Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa has dramatically blown his own whistle, he has finally confirmed the reason why so many Nigerians have lost faith in the judiciary. Can we say all the cases his wife handled during her days on the bench are dispensed without fear or favour? The Senator’s statements in the viral video shows that corruption in high places is on the increase in the country and drastic measures must be taken to stem the tide. The President should not overlook this serious infraction committed by a person who is supposed to know and protect the laws of the land. It is one anomaly that shows the rot not only in the judiciary but in virtually every arms of government.
The anti-graft czar added, “Considering the strategic and critical role of the legislative and judicial arm of government, we believe people like Senator Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa, are not worthy in character and personality to represent any particular group of people in the country. We therefore call on Anti-corruption Agencies, the National Judicial Council and the presidency to swing into action and immediately investigate the claim by the Senator. He and his wife should be quizzed to determine the cases he intervened in and correction or redress should be made in those cases while he along with his wife should be appropriately punished to serve as deterrent to others.
N910BN MDAs SHORT-TERM LOANS: CACOL CALLS FOR URGENT RECOVERY
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has called on the Accountant-General of the federation to urgently recover short-term loans it advanced federal ministries, departments and agencies from the Special Funds Accounts totaling N910 billion.
In a release issued by CACOL and signed by Tola Oresanwo, the anti-corruption organization’s Director, Administration and Programmes on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he stated, “We received the news that the Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, which scrutinized the 2017 report of the Auditor General for the Federation discovered the anomaly. According to the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF), query, loans and debts arising from Special Funds Accounts totaling N910,039,557,742 showed that the balances remained unpaid throughout the year even when they were meant to be short term”.
“It should be noted that the Committee observed that there was a continuous abuse of the Special Funds by the Executive arm of government as the withdrawals were continually made for political expediency outside the purpose which the funds were meant for. The Senate therefore ordered that all outstanding loans should be recovered by the Accountant General of the Federation and evidence of recovery presented to the Auditor General and Senate Public Accounts Committee within 60 days”.
The anti-corruption Czar opined that “It is disheartening and demoralizing how public funds are being mismanaged by the management of most of the MDAs. Inasmuch as we are not against giving out such loans based on the exigencies of the time and paucity of funds that may arise occasionally, the office of the Accountant General ought to have scrutinized the purpose for which these short term loans were sought before giving it out to the MDAs concern. There ought to be concrete arrangements for repayment of the loans and penalties that payment default would attract ought to be made crystal clear for the MDAs concern to know before giving them these loans. In case of default, the loans ought to be deducted from the appropriation to the MDA concerned in the following year’s budget.
“As we have said earlier, we have observed that there have not been serious punishment for impunities like this hence civil servants and public officials who were supposed to hold their position in trust for the members of the public and the generality of Nigerians engaged in financial recklessness knowing fully well that there will not be backlash for their actions. This trend is not peculiar to the MDAs only, as both the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) and other existing financial laws are either inadequate or contradictory in addressing modern challenges posed by corruption in the country”.
The CACOL Boss further enthused, “We want to commend the Senate Public Accounts Committee for investigating the whereabouts of this huge sum of money and for giving a marching order that all outstanding loans should be recovered by the Accountant General of the Federation and evidence of recovery presented to the Auditor General and Senate Public Accounts Committee within 60 days. We would also want them to go beyond this order and ensure that all MDAs that defaulted in paying back these loans are published, the amount being owed should also be deducted from their next appropriation and their management should be made to face the full wrath of the law in order to serve as deterrent for others.”
CACOL CONGRATULATES PRESIDENT TINUBU, CAUTIONS HIM ON FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has congratulated the incoming President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was sworn in as the 16th President of the country. The Anti-Corruption organization however cautioned the President over his recent decision to stop fuel subsidy regime in the country.
In a release issued by CACOL’s Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by the anti-corruption organization’s Director of Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo, he stated, “We do not agree with Mr. President that fuel subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources rather we want to align ourselves with the school of thought that believes that subsidy should not be removed from fuel, it doesn’t matter who uses fuel. Those buying Luxury items like expensive cars/vehicles should be made to pay more at the point of registering their cars and renewing their vehicle papers based on the cost and the age of the vehicle. These sets of people are the ones using petroleum products more. Same policy should apply to those using expensive or high capacity generators who should be made to also register them with the government. All the luxury goods should attract higher taxes and rates, these will generate the needed income that can serve as alternative to the subsidy the president is trying to remove.“
We at CACOL believe that our people especially the middle class and those occupying the lower rung of the social strata would be forced to face the following consequences of fuel subsidy regime removal:
General increase in the prices of fuel and other related products.
General increase in the cost of transportation.
General devaluation of the commanding power of wages
Lowering of general living standards.
The decision will foist on the people multiple economic discomforts pitiably on the same people who are just coming out of the bad effects of crashing state revenues and variants of poverties of material well-being, the difficulties associated with the recent unavailability of petrol, the hard pains suffered from the lack of cash, resulting from the seemingly deliberate Emefiele driven fiscal policy and failed currency redesign
“We would like to advise that Mr. President should not come in to cause agony and increase the level of misery of the people most of whom are already living below the poverty line and who are also looking up to him to proffer solutions to the myriads of problems facing the country. Moreover, the promise of renewed hope would have been eroded if the President carries out his planned suspension of the fuel subsidy regime removal. Instead of removing the subsidy on micro products like fuel, he should rather extend subsidy to other products like foodstuff, the government should create food banks and produce marketing boards to receive all what farmers especially and other food producers harvested from their farms and buy at profitable rates and sell back to the masses at subsidies rates.
He should also ensure that another way of compensating the poor for the crimes of the rich is to ensure that public education system is completely free from the nursery level to first degree level and other levels of education (from Masters’ to Ph.D level) should be generally available to those who can afford it.
We are particularly disappointed that Mr. President carried out his threat to remove fuel subsidy without adequate consultations with the various stakeholders and without considering the implications of the decision on the small scale enterprises and majority of our people who have been impoverished by the misgovernance imposed upon them by successive governments in the past.
The CACOL Boss added, “We would like to use this medium to call on the President to declare his assets, because he has come to equity and he should be seen to have come with clean hands. We want to know his assets and liabilities, and he should make it open to the generality of Nigerians. We are making this demand because we want him to run an open and participatory government and a government that is not shrouded in secrecy. He should also appoint people of competence and impeccable character so that there would be ‘right pegs in right holes’ so that at the end of the day, those of us who have reposed some level of confidence in him would know the indices and indicators we can use to appraise his government, whether to praise it or condemn it.”
“That we seem to be supporting his ascendancy doesn’t mean that when things are commendable we will not commend it and when they are condemnable we will actually condemn whatever misstep we identified. We would also want him to make the implementation of his campaign promises to be SMART so that we may know the parameters to access his performance in office. ”
THIRTEEN PERCENT DERIVATION FUND: MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
The principle of derivation as encapsulated under the proviso to Section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. It is geared towards providing recompense to the producers of any natural resources for the expropriation and sequestration of their rights to control and manage same, by the Nigerian State.
The percentage of revenue paid to the oil-producing states from the oil that is produced from their areas has been a matter of contention since oil was first discovered in Nigeria. The 1999 constitution provides that at least 13 percent of the revenue derived from natural resources should be paid to the states where it is produced, though there have been substantial delays in calculating and paying these sums. The federal government only began making payments in accordance with the increased allocation in January 2000, although they fell due from June 1999, and in practice has never paid the 13 percent minimum. Nonetheless, allocations from the federal government to the oil-producing states have increased markedly since 1999, rising to 25 percent of the amount paid out to states from the “federation account” in 2001 (the equivalent of just over U.S.$1 billion), from 12 percent in the second half of 1999 (or approximately $120 million). The main oil producing states – Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers – have about 10 percent of the population of Nigeria. These payments have not satisfied residents of oil-producing areas who feel they still do not receive adequate benefits from the oil. Individuals and groups from across the political spectrum in what is known as the “south-south” zone of Nigeria have demanded that the oil producing states assume “full control” over their natural resources, and pay tax from those revenues to the federal government. They also demand the repeal of a number of laws that give control over land and mineral resources to the federal government.
Despite claims of neglect and abandonment, investigation has revealed that governments of oil-producing states in Nigeria had over the years, failed to utilize the resources provided them to develop their states and the region. Data obtained from a series of reports from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, revealed that oil-producing states in Nigeria received N7.006 trillion as payments under the 13 per cent Derivation principle over the last 18 years, from 1999 to 2016.
The oil producing states are Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Delta, Cross River, Edo, Bayelsa, Abia, Ondo, Imo, Anambra, and of recent, Lagos State. Analysis of the payments showed that from 1999 to 2003, N360.4 billion was paid to oil-producing states; N1.338 trillion were paid to the states between from 2004 and 2007; 2008 to 2011 saw the states receiving N2.36 trillion, while from 2012 to 2016, the states received N2.947 trillion. Ironically, the 2017 budget of all the states, inclusive of Lagos, stood at N3.165 trillion, about half of the amount received by the states from the Federation Account under the 13 per cent derivation principle.
The huge sum notwithstanding, the Niger Delta region is still suffering from massive infrastructure decay, widespread poverty and environmental degradation, among numerous others. The 13 per cent derivation fund has been a subject of controversy between the oil-producing communities and their various states government, with the former asking the Federal Government to stop paying the money directly to the communities and not into the coffers of the state.
The federal government has announced on several occasions the priority it gives to development in the Niger Delta, including by establishing a Niger Delta Development Commission. But the announcements have not led to significant improvements on the ground. In particular, little of the money paid by the federal government to state and local governments from the oil revenue is actually spent on genuine development projects: there appears to be virtually no control or proper audit over spending by state and local authorities-despite the federal government’s creation of an Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) with the mandate to investigate such wrongdoing
Recently, the revelation of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State that President Muhammadu Buhari approved and paid the arrears of the 13% derivation fund to Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Akwa Ibom states came like a bombshell. Wike spoke on the arrears during the inauguration of the N17billion Port Harcourt Campus of the Nigerian Law School. The governor said President Buhari’s gesture was the major source of revenue for his projects, including the flyovers, the law school and the cancer centre. He was quoted as saying: “Monies that were not paid to the Niger Delta states since 1999 mainly 13 per cent deductions, the President approved and paid all of us in Niger Delta states.” Wike repeated his comments at two other events afterwards.
Wike’s revelation has raised another series of questions such as what have the other governors who received a similar windfall been doing with their own? How much was received by each state? And did they just receive it and keep quiet? How will they expend it? Or will they just walk away with it or utilize it as campaign funds in an electioneering period like this or use it for other extraneous purposes that are not related to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state who are supposed to be the major beneficiaries? Another important question that comes to mind is how such conspiracy of silence was possible in a democracy and where there are a plethora of checks and balances put in place which is expected to put people in the know.
We at CACOL, would like to know the exact amount collected by each of the states involved, how the money was spent or is being spent. We would also use this medium to call on the anti-corruption agencies to investigate the governors of the states concerned including Rivers, so as to be sure that the quantity and quality of the projects executed is commensurate with the money collected.
CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP FOR CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS & MEDIA EXECUTIVES.
30TH AUGUST, 2022
TOPIC: Social inclusion:
Sine qua non for peaceful co-existence beyond 2023. – Debo Adeniran
Table of contents
What is Social Inclusion and Exclusion?
Who are those Socially Excluded?
Consequences of Social Exclusion
Benefits of Social inclusion
How to Advocate for Social Inclusion
The role of CSOs and the MEDIA
What is Social Inclusion And Exclusion?
Social inclusion refers to a process by which efforts are made to ensure equal opportunities for all, regardless of their background, in order to enable full and active participation in all aspects of life, including civic, social, economic, and political activities, as well as participation in decision-making processes.
Social inclusion can be approached as a goal, an objective, and a process. Its process affects almost all societal activities, and should therefore be approached from various dimensions
Social exclusion is understood as the condition (barriers and process) that impede social inclusion.
Social exclusion is a process through which individuals or groups are wholly or partially excluded from fully participating in all aspects of life of the society, in which they live, on the grounds of their social identities, such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture or language, and/or physical, economic, social disadvantages.
Social exclusion may mean the lack of voice, lack of recognition, or lack of capacity for active participation. It may also mean exclusion from decent work, assets, land, opportunities, access to social services and/or political representation.
It may be described as a direct opposite of social inclusion.
Who are those Socially Excluded?
There is a substantial variation from country to country regarding which groups are subject to exclusion. In Nigeria:
Women and girls,
People living in rural communities,
Persons with disabilities,
Ethnic and religious minorities;
Migrants and internally displaced people;
People without official identification are particularly vulnerable to being excluded.
Consequences of Social Exclusion
Social exclusion robs individuals of dignity, security, and the opportunity to lead a better life.
It leads to agitations from the concerned group
Feelings of political distrust
It is an albatross to sustainable inclusive growth and popular political participation.
Benefits of Social inclusion
Every individual and member of society gains from a more inclusive society
It encourages and promotes individual development and supports empowerment.
Inclusive participation is quintessentially a bottom-up process where action is undertaken by ordinary people.
It enhances the quality, credibility and most importantly, ownership of the decisions taken.
Every one have a sense of belonging
It engenders social cohesion and reduces social vices and crimes.
That is why the principle of inclusive society or “society for all” is not an abstract notion but a very practical policy goal
The Role of CSOs and the MEDIA in Engendering Social Inclusion
Become a voice for social inclusion in your own space
Ask political candidates for their stance on issues bothering on social inclusion since democracy is dependent on the participation and representation of all citizens in democratic institutions and processes.
Collaborate and form coalitions to advocate for social inclusion.
Paper Presented by Adewale Adeoye, Executive Director, Journalists for Democratic Rights, (JODER) on 2023: Electioneering Activities: Setting the Agenda for Political Actors Through Reportage and Conversation at the workshop organized by CACOL with the theme : Election and the Troubled Democracy: The Role of the Media and CSO held in Lagos on Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen
I think this is a timely workshop that fits into the current socio-political milieu. The media has a traditional role that includes to:
·If a may add: To Set Agenda for Local, National and Global Sustainable Development Goals
The above responsibilities should be discharged to the public guided by objectivity, truth and transparency in the promotion of the greatest good of the greatest number.
The media has been part of Nigeria’s remarkable history, the country’s ups and downs, the country’s walk on valleys and in the mountains, through thick and thin.
Our society has a long history of media intervention which predated the 1914 amalgamation of Nigerian various ethnic groups.
I affirm that the media has performed creditably since December, 1859 when the first Newspaper, Iwe Irohin was printed in Abeokuta, now the capital of Ogun State, Nigeria. Long before Iwe Irohin, our ancestral communities employed traditional media to communicate and pass information to the people through the organs of traditional government and a vendor who broadcasted information in the night and day, in the market square or from home to home on the administration of the commonwealth.
From 1914, the media took a dramatic character with the publication of Iwe Irohin in 1859. Let me add that Nigeria has one of the most robust media traditions spanning close to two centuries.
The media played a leading role in the anti-colonialism campaign. After 1859, the Nigerian media mushroomed with speed of light. The focal point was a vigorous campaign against injustice, slavery and colonialism.
From 1880, since the outbreak of the Second World war, over 50 newspapers were published in Nigeria. Some of the newspapers were the Lagos Times, 1880,Lagos Observer, 1882, Eagle and Critic,1883, Lagos Weekly Record, 1891, Lagos Standard, 1894, Nigerian Daily Times, 1921. Indigenous newspaperswere not left out. Some of the newspapers published in indigenous language were -Eko Akete, 1922, Eleti Ofe, 1923, Irohin Osose, 1925. and West African Pilot ( 1937). The publications were not restricted to the West of Nigeria In the North, in 1939, the first Hausa Newspaper, Gaskiya Tafi Kwabo, based in Zaria, began publication. Even though the earliest journalists mostly had secondary education but they had deep knowledge about the challenges of their people. The sacrifices they made were enormous.
For instance, in 1909, there was Lagos Astrological Review published by Adeoye Deniga. He wrote his newspapers with his hand. It is important to mention that the newspaper industry flourished in the era of colonialism with chains of newspapers owned by private individuals. From 1940, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe controlled the largest chain of newspapers in Nigeria. He owned the following newspapers: Nigeria Eastern Nigerian Guardian (PH),Nigerian Spokesman (Onitsha), 1943; Southern Nigeria Defender, (Warri, 1943); Daily Comet (Lagos/Kano), 1944; Eastern Sentinel, (Enugu, 1955), Nigerian Monitor, (Uyo, 1960). He was for 16 years the Managing Director of Zik group of newspapers (Fred Omu-Journalism in Nigeria: Issues and Perspectives-Published by Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ-Lagos Council-1996)
It should be observed that many of Nigeria’s most outstanding anti-colonial leaders were media practitioners like Nnamdi Azikiwe, who established the West African Pilot, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who established Nigerian Tribune in 1948, Chief Anthony Enahoro who was Editor of Daily Times and reputed to have moved the motion for Nigerian independence, Ernest Ikoli, Herbert Macaulay and many others. This shows remarkable contributions of media practitioners to the emergence of the modern Nigerian state.
The growth in print media was trailed by broadcast media with the establishment of the Western Nigeria Television Station in December 1959, the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.After WNTV, the South West region set up the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service, (WNBS). The following year, the Eastern Regional Government established Eastern Nigeria Television in 1960. In 1962, the Nigerian Federal Authority established the Nigerian Television Service (NTS) which became the predecessor of the Nigerian Television Authority, (NTA)
Next was Wire Service. The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) was set by the Military Government in 1976 by Decree No 19 of 1976. The focus of NAN was purely information and news. Within a very short time, it became the largest wire service in West Africa and one of the largest in Africa. It grew to establish networks in all the major regions of the world including Asia, Europe and America providing first hand information about socio-political and economic developments in Nigeria to the world. NAN also played a major role in providing the platform for the advancement of Nigeria’s foreign policy which made Africa its centre piece as at that period. In 1992, NAN was empowered through Decree No 87 to engage in commercial activities and also to ‘Promote national unity and stability.’ The introduction of profit into its content was to ensure NAN was self independent as a long term strategy yet, the decline of NAN inability to balance commerce with public service remains a dark spot.
It should be noted that the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC) was established in 1992 by Decree No 38 of 1992. The Decree empowered the Commission among others to advice FG on the implementation of the National Mass Communication Policy.
Today, with some 33,071 television stations in the world backed with 193million hours broadcast, Nigeria has about 120 TV stations with some 96 networks belonging to the NTA. There are some 50 newspapers across the country and a countless chain of online media. There are some 625 broadcast stations in Nigeria. Only recently, President Buhari gave licenses to 159 new Radio stations.
Today, the print and electronic media have become the most dominant sources of information that influence the actions and inactions of Nigerians and also shape the past, present and future of the country. In Nigeria, about 40 percent of the people have access to TV in their homes while over 150million Nigerians have access to radio either through their phones, their radio sets or in their car. The radio is the most influential means of communication in Nigeria.
The Role of the Media is Democracy and Good Governance.
Governing a country is largely dependent on conception, distribution and interpretation of information by the people. Information dissemination shapes the form of stability, instability and sustainable development.
For more than a century, the Nigerian media has shaped the future of the country. The impact has been more positive than negative. The media has continued to set socio-political agenda for the country. The media on many occasions have come under vicious attacks from the state. During the era of military dictatorship, the media was a target. The media did not flinch. The media was one of the few bastions against tyranny and human rights abuses at a very great cost. In the years that succeeded independence, the media took up the battle against the military which ran and ruined Nigeria between 1966 and 1999 with a democratic interlude between 1979 and 1983. In the 13 years of Gen Ibrahim Babangida’s tyranny, the media were shut down on many occasions, offices ransacked and journalists either were killed or disappeared.
The media will therefore continue to stand up to the face of repression, corruption and ineptitude that characterize governance in Nigeria.
The character of the Nigerian Media
The next 100 years after 1859, there was no single media owned by the government either print or electronic until the establishment of the WNBS in December 1959 by the Western Nigerian Government.
However, the first radio station in Nigeria was established in Ibadan in 1932 through Radio Diffusion System using wire linked with microphone. Kano followed in 1944. The first private radio station, Raypower was established in 1994 while the first privately registered Television station, Galazy TV, was established in May 1994.
The post colonial government also did not establish any flourishing print media until the forceful takeover of Daily Times and later New Nigerian Newspapers by the Military Government. While the Nigerian print media has been driven by private ownership, it is not the case for the broadcast media, until recently. There was no single privately owned TV Station in Nigeria until 1994 and there was no privately owned radio station in Nigeria until 1994.
Objectivity, Truth and The Nigerian Media
While journalism has made tremendous contributions to socio-economic and political history of Nigeria, there are challenges that we need to overcome. First, we must realize that the Journalist is a social animal, a human being and an ethnic subject. S(he) is from a particular location in time and space. S(he) naturallyown biases, emotion, feeling, aspiration that reflect culture, faith values and civilization. The temptation of substituting individual consciousness for that of the community is always there. There in the temptation to be subjective.
However, the profession of Journalism is to report phenomena without prejudice either personal or collective. The journalist is not working for himself but for the community. Today in Nigeria, one of the major challenges of sustainable development is the drift of journalism from objectivity to subjectivity. In the past one decade, journalism has suffered unprofessional viral infections and ailments that undermine the essence of the profession itself as the fourth Estate of the Realm. There are a number of factors responsible for this which I may not be able to exhaust in this presentation. I wish to state here some of the challenges that threaten the historical and professional obligations of the Nigerian media:
Reporting DIVERSITY in Nigeria
With over 180miliion Nigerians, majority of who are poor and vulnerable, the media need to design an interventionist framework that allows voices from the valleys to be heard. Some of the diversity issues relate to women, the physically challenged, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, women and children. Increasingly the media space is being dominated by the highbrow political class, the media space is being manipulated by the rich, by the ethnic majority, by religious majority and by the physically able and by men.
The media should realise that there are political minorities whose views needed to be heard to enrich the political discourse. In recent events, the media has focused strongly on its own understanding of the ‘big issues’ mainlyreflecting the opinion of influential politicians, high level personalities as if the whole world is all about them. Issues that affect the physically challenged, women, children and the impact of Government policies on vulnerable groups are largely submerged, reported as footnotes, not reported or viewed with contempt. I provide here a checklist of diversity issues that the media should necessarily address.
How do we report ethnic issues without reflecting our personal biases? Issues of ethnicity should be reported within the framework of global standards that reflect conventions and treaties of which Nigeria is a signatory, in the absence of national and local laws that strengthen self determination. For instance, the coverage of self determination activities including those who adopt peaceful means have been largely reported within the context of violence and banditry forgetting about global obligation of Nigeria to the universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO convention 169, the convention on biodiversity and the African charter on peoples’ right.
The media portray the issues as ‘banditry, unknown gunmen, hoodlums’ which undermined the very serious issues of self determination, exclusion, weak legal framework, absence of the rule of law, poverty and the growing resistance against over centralisation of power and politics in Nigeria. The media sometimes substitute ethnic consciousness with tribalism, supplants the right to self determination with official statements that emphanise ‘threat to Nigerian unity’ without understanding the importance of justice.
Official statements are sometimes reported without a critical appraised within the purview of human rights and available data. For example, self-determination is protected in the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights all of which recognize the right of “all peoples” as contained in Article 1 of the UN Charter states ‘the right of self determination clearly while in Chapter 1 it also recognizes the integrity of the state. (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). We cannot discourse or report conflict and violence in Nigeria without a clear understanding of the history of our country, its emergence in 1914 and the various constitutional conferences, the post-colonial administrators who have failed to include the people in determining the nature and form of their constitution which is partly responsible for the crisis we have at hand today.
INDIGENIOUS ISSUES AND ENVIRONMENT
This is one of the major issues in Nigeria that demands the correct perspective of the media. Communities across Nigeria are showing deep resentment about the encroachment on their land, the threat to their language, their ancestral values and their heritage. This remains a source of conflict across Nigeria. The media has the historic responsibility to put in proper prospective the position of the indigenous communities and their ingrained fear.
The environmental is linked to the survival of the people which is connected to the prospect of peace or instability in Nigeria. Environment has to do with land, resources and spirituality.
The UN stated in the book Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity thus: ‘Spirituality it the highest form of consciousness, and spiritual consciousness is the highest form of awareness. In this sense, a dimension of traditional knowledge is not local knowledge, but knowledge of the universal as expressed in the local. In indigenous and local cultures, experts exist who are peculiarly aware of nature’s organising principles, sometimes described as entities, spirits or natural law. Thus knowledge of the environment depends not only on the relationship between humans and nature, but also between the visible world and the invincible spirit world. ‘Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity- A complementary Contribution to the Global Biodiversity Assessment-United Nations Environment Programme, (UNEP-By Darell Addison Posey-pg 4, 1999)
When reporting the environment and the economy, the media space should not be dominated by corporate institutions, multi-nationals and big time investors and their profit. Equally important are in what ways do their activities negate the livelihood of the indigenous communities, their land, their forest dependency, their spirituality and their language? How does the multi-billion dollar Federal Capital City (FCT) impact on local communities, the indigenous owners of the land? While the media report corporate activities on sustainable bases, the pains of local communities where corporate institutions make their money on a seasonal basis are undermined except when the communities have cultural festivals. Issues of environment should take into cognisance the international framework like the The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which “is the international legal instrument for the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources” that has been ratified by 196 nations including Nigeria. Recently, the Indigenous Inhabitants of Abuja came out to speak on their agony. Their land was taken away in 1976 with stipend paid as compensation. Today, they are threatening brimstone. We owe Nigerians the obligation to report their travails in historic context with the right perspectives.
WOMEN AND YOUTHS
We cannot deny the improvement associated with the rights of Nigerian women in the past decades, but there are many rivers to cross. On paper, Nigeria lay claim to being committed to women empowerment and there are laws that advance the course of women. But generally, the Nigeria woman remains constantly disempowered. For instance, women are employed as entertainers, cooks, dancers in political rallies. Their participation is used for photo opportunism, while political actors rarely present their actionable programmes on women rights. Politicians conceive of empowerment as giving out crumbs to women, providing cosmetic assistance that does not establish any sustainable and institutionalised policies.
The media should be the voice for women and youth empowerment. It should be the leading campaigner for greater inclusion of younger people who are today largely attracted to drugs, alcoholism and have provided a potential pool for constant recruitment by extremist groups. There are reports that some 84% of the newly registered 10.4m voters are young people, between the age of 18-30.
As the 2023 general election approaches, younger people have demonstrated their strength. Last year September, young people (18 and 34) recorded 71.33 percent registration out of which 40.63n percent were students. At the end of the last registration exercise, 8,784,677 young people newly registered out of the 12,298,944. Students were 4,501,595 out of the figure. This is an indication that reporting the place of youths in the democratic process is an obligation of the media.
Journalism and professional obligations
The journalist either conservative or progressive should discharge duties professionally. This means the journalists must never substitute personal consciousness for the consciousness of the people. The media should understand issues from their historic contexts. You cannot be a good journalist without understanding the history of your country’s political economy and the main actors. You cannot be a good journalist without a good and deep sense of history. You are not a good journalist if the people you are expected to educate are ahead, at all times and more knowledgeable than you are.
It means to educate, inform and entertain, the journalist requires constant reading, not just consuming internet information but the journalist must keep the mind open to history, to local and global information, to the changing dynamics of socio-political economy so that the media actor will be able to properly educate, inform and entertain the people.
THREAT TO MEDIA INDEPENDENCE
Political and economy influence. The media ownership in Nigeria is skewed in favour of the rich, those who control the means of production and distribution, who are anxious and even desperate to protect personal interests and provide iron cast class-shield for themselves and their contemporaries. The media is constantly confronted with the desire to balance public interests with corporate and socio-economic and political interests of the ruling class.
Increasingly, in Nigeria, politicians, some of who are corrupt are taking over the media space not just as owners but also as managersThe Nigerian state has constantly provided the environment for the domination of media ownership by the affluence glaringly expressed in the form of the high cost of obtaining licenses for either radio or television. The political elite whose actions are expected to be challenged by the media are themselves investing in the media industry.
Public Media Institutions as Political instruments
There is also a major challenge in the way publicly owned media are administered. Even though State TV and Radio stations are owned by the public, financed from public funds, they are administered as if they are the private organs of the State Governors and State Officials. The same applies to media institutions owned by the Federal Government. State owned media at the Federal and Local levels fail to provide equitable access to vulnerable communities and the opposition political parties at the state and Federal levels.
The media also faces sustained threats from economic depression which affects many publishers. Today, only very few media institutions pay sustainable wages while majority of them owe their workers. The consequences are high inter-labour mobility, brain drain, lack of access to working tools, low morale and diminishing interests of young graduates in journalism as a profession.
The State, Terrorism and Free Speech
The media also faces increasing threats from intolerant regimes at the local and national levels which come in the form of arbitrary arrests, detention and even threats to life. The recent case is that of Mr Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters who has been grounded in Nigeria by the Nigerian state since his arbitrary arrest in 2019. These are also tricks devised to subdue free speech.
Apart from state sponsored attacks, the media is facing threats from mushrooming armed gangs, terrorists and bandits who recently have made the media their targets. With a state that cannot even protect her own top officials, how can such a state protect ordinary citizens?
Summary ofWhat Agenda the Media Should set?
·The responsibility of the media is to set agenda for peace and stability, sustainable development and livelihood based on truth, the rule of law and objectivity.
·Set agenda for content and form of governance which includes but not limited to Environmental, economic, political and cultural issues.
·The media should set agenda for reporting diversity, ethnic minorities, the national question, terrorism in historic context without overlooking the class variables. The media should not only deepen the debate but also enrich it.
·The media should set agenda for the drastic reduction of corruption, electoral violence, work for ethnic conflict prevention and peace building.
·The media should set agenda for the physically unable and the challenges they face in assessing polling booths, politics, power and the dividends of democracy.
·Women and Gender issues
·Youth political and economic empowerment while challenging under-aged voting, exclusion and ensure electoral accountability.
·The administration of public media institutions to reflect the content and form of ownership.
·Corruption in the electoral process. This is a major challenge for the media.
·The Media should constructively engage the political aspirants not for the purpose of advertising their programmes but for the purpose of engaging them on their policies.
What is to be done?
·In countering the offensive from repressive institutions and violent non state actors,the media needs a very strong vision not only for collective action but for joint campaign for freedom, justice and media right.
·The pro-media rights groups, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, (NUJ) need to strengthen their capacity, network with traditional allies like the Nigerian Labour Congress, (NLC) for collective democratic bargaining.
·Training of journalists should be the kernel focus of all media institutions. Veterans should be engaged to share experiences with the younger generation of media practitioners.
·Civil society groups should invest in media ownership to stop the monopoly of the media stake-holding by the political class.
As Nigerian trudges on through exceptionally tough and delicate terrain, the media should rise to the occasion to confront corruption, mismanagement of public resources, moral decline and ineptitude in high and low places. We do this not just for the society but also to the sake of the very foundation laid by the fathers of journalism, free speech and democracy in Nigeria. Ultimately,a media that condones the errors of those in power end up as victims of the vicious system they nurture and promote.
(Being a remark presented at the “a day capacity building workshop for civil society organizations and media executives” organized by the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) on Tuesday 30 August 2022 at Rights House, 43, Adeniyi Jones Avenue, Off Oba Akran, Ikeja, Lagos State)
I am delighted to be here, representing my Principal, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director of the Corporate Accountability and Public participation Africa (CAPPA)at this occasion organized by the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) to build the capacity of civil society and the media in Lagos State towards achieving the goal of bolstering support for anti-corruption and social inclusion among critical groups and strengthening policies and programs for anti-corruption at the state level as the country prepares for elections in 2023.
No doubt, the 2023 general elections will be a defining moment for Nigeria. If done right, the elections can help consolidate Nigeria’s democracy and serve as a shiny example for the West African sub-region which faces the grim reality of a recrudescence of usurpation of power by the military and other anti-democratic forces ’,.
Hence, this kind of initiative undertaken by CACOL is essential to help build citizens’ civic awareness of their civic obligations and capacity to engage critical stakeholders to ensure not only the integrity of the elections but also to guarantee that the government that emerges from this exercise work for the public good.Right from its birthplace in Ancient Athens, democracy has always been underpinned and undergirded by citizens’ participation. Therefore, the health of every democracy is directly proportional to the quality of citizens’ participation and awareness. This is why I am particularly elated by the topic of my presentation which talks about “asking the right questions” and “demanding SMART deliverables”.
Nigeria’s democracy is marked by a gross deficit of governance, Over the years, the performance of elected public officials has been seen to be below not citizens’ expectations. Also, campaign promises are rarely fulfilled once politicians are in power. This situation has led to widespread dissatisfaction and distrust in the political system. A study undertaken by the Pew Research Centre in 2019 found that “Only 39% of Nigerians are satisfied with the way democracy is working in their country, while 60% say they are not satisfied. Almost six-in-ten (59%) say the statement “elected officials care what ordinary people think” does not describe their country well. In addition, a 57% majority believes that no matter who wins an election, things do not change very much for people in Nigeria”
Asking the right questions
A major factor responsible for unsatisfactory governance outcomes is the lack of productive engagement between the electorate and the political parties and their candidates. Instead of asking the right questions, many voters prefer to settle for inducement and other largesse politicians provide during campaigns. PVCs have now turned into means of earning free money during elections instead of a powerful tool for making transformative changes. Hence, voter inducement was widespread during the recent off-cycle gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states,. For the poorest of the poor in Nigeria, election day is an opportunity to earn enough to cook a pot of soup rather than a day to define the destiny of the nation. No doubt, this is a sad commentary on the state of democracy in Nigeria.
However, while poverty may explain electorates’ predisposition to inducement, several studies show that many citizens also lack the requisite knowledge to engage political actors. For citizens to ask the right questions, they need to be informed, organized, and active. They also must be equipped with the requisite knowledge “to make decisions about policy choices and the proper use of authority, along with skills to voice their concerns, act collectively and hold public officials accountable”.
For the purpose of this engagement, I have identified six (6) broad categories of questions citizens must always ask candidates and elected public officials. These are:
(1)What is to be done? What are the issues?
(2)How will it be done? i.e., budgeting process, mode of implementation (Public, privatization, or PPP), contract system, or public works? (Lekki Epe Tollgate)
(3)Who will pay for it? i.e., will it lead to increased taxation? (E.g. Tollgates for New Roads)
(4)Who will it serve or benefit? i.e., the rich, the poor, etc. (for instance, ultra-modern markets and housing estates which are often built at the expense of the poor and to which they have no access)
(5)How will it extend to the next generation i.e., sustainability, does it come with usurious debt that will affect the next generation? Is it environmental-friendly?
(6)How will women, youth, and other vulnerable segments of society be affected?
Obviously, the above six (6) categories do not exhaust the subject, nevertheless, they can provide an important framework for citizens to engage candidates and elected officials in order to make informed electoral choices.
The acronym “SMART” stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It refers to specific criteria to guide in the setting of goals and objectives for better results. The term “SMART” was first proposed by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. Particularly in the field of project management, the idea is that every project goal must adhere to the SMART criteria to be effective. Therefore, when planning a project’s objectives, each one should be:
(1)Specific: The goal should target a specific area of improvement or answer a specific need
(2)Measurable: The goal must be quantifiable, or at least allow for measurable progress
(3)Attainable: The goal should be realistic, based on available resources and existing constraints
(4)Relevant: The goal should align with other business objectives to be considered worthwhile
(5)Time-bound: The goal must have a deadline or defined end
What are SMART goals?
The goal should target a specific area of improvement or answer a specific need. Because it is the first step in the SMART goal process, it is important to be as clear as possible. For example, note the difference between “I will make lunch” and “I will use wheat toast, peanut butter, and strawberry jam to create a tasty sandwich for myself to eat”. See how specific it is? This example also illustrates the importance of word choice. Not only are you noting which ingredients or tools will be used to achieve the final goal, but you are also articulating who benefits. Details like these color your goal description, making it easier for collaborators to visualize and align intentions with your project.
The goal must be quantifiable, or at least allow for measurable progress. In this step, you’ll choose what your progress markers or project KPIs are and how you’ll measure them. This might mean adopting the right tools or restructuring your KPI’s to something that you can easily monitor. You’ll also need to define who is in charge of measuring your progress, when these measurements will take place, and where the information will be shared.
The goal should be realistic and based on available resources and existing constraints. Typical project constraints include team bandwidth, budgets, and timelines. Project managers should look to data from similar past projects for insight into what’s achievable this time around.
The goal should align with other business objectives to be considered worthwhile. You can also break your project goal down into smaller, equally relevant goals that will keep the whole team focused. Be diligent about eliminating irrelevant goals and subgoals to save significant time.
The goal must have a deadline or a defined end. This can be measured in hours and minutes, business days, or years depending on the project scope. To set your project timelines, get feedback from major stakeholders about their deadline expectations, and compare it to team members’ inputs.
How does it relate to citizen engagement of political actors?
The SMART criteria provide a framework for engaging political actors whether they are candidates or elected public officials. Oftentimes, politicians make outlandish pronouncements and promise that they do not intend to implement. Sometimes, a newly elected public official announces they are unable to fulfill campaign promises because of the state of finance of the government they have just been elected to lead. By using the SMART criteria, citizens and electorates can be armed with a tool for productive engagement and for making informed political choices, and demanding accountability.
Therefore, SMART deliverables can be defined as a set of government priorities and projects that meets the criteria of specificity, measurability, and attainability and that are relevant and time bound. For example, in the area of public education, citizens must demand government projects or programmes that are:
(1)Specific: How many school buildings will be renovated or built anew and how many students are targeted to be enrolled? How many new teachers need to be recruited?
(2)Measurable: How will the project be implemented, how much will it cost and what are the Key Performance Indicators?
(3)Attainability: What is the status of the resources of the state? How will the project be funded?
(4)Relevance: What are the present level of school enrollment and the condition of school infrastructures and how does this project align with the overall objective of the state.
(5)Time-Bound: How long will this project last? Is it within the financial year or within the four-year tenure?
I do hope that I have within the limited time available been able to increase our awareness and knowledge of the tool and skills to engage and promote active citizen participation in the political process. Obviously, these discussions and engagements are so crucial and therefore ought to continue beyond the 2023 general elections. Once again, I thank CACOL for inviting me and hope for greater collaboration between CAPPA and CACOL in the effort to promote anti-corruption, social inclusion, and accountability in governance and political processes.
Policy and Research Lead
Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa