ANEEJ and LITE-Africa with their cluster members had a fruitful advocacy visit/engagement meeting with the leadership of OSOPADEC on the 5th of December 2017 at the commission’s office in Akure. The purpose of the meeting was to officially share with the commission the idea of the Niger-Delta Transparency and Accountability Index. It was also an opportunity to share with the commission the indicators which will be used to access the NDIs, and draw the attention of the Commission to commitments made during previous engagement together with recommendations of the CRC report.
Sandra Eguagie told the leadership of OSOPADEC of the Niger-Delta Transparency Index, the indicators, the commission’s role and also requested for one of the staff of the OSOPADEC to work with ANEEJ on the NDTI platform. Daniel Ayodele of LITE-Africa reiterated the commitments made during the engagement with the previous Chairman of the commission. Mr. Adeosun of Kominiti in Action Initiatives raised the issue of the coordinating unit that was created at the stakeholder’s forum by the commissioner for budget and Economic planning to avoid project duplication.
Chairman of the commission, Hon Gbenga Edema gave a brief note of welcome. He highlighted the following:
- They are pleased with the indicators and that their staff will be working with ANEEJ on the NDTI platform
- The commission accepts to be accessed by the Niger-Delta Transparency indicators alongside other institutions as is based on objectives terms. According to him this will promote healthy competition among the institutions
- They are currently working on the website to make it more functional and to allow for regular update
- The commission is using the bottom top approach for project implementation. They have held series of stakeholder meetings in the communities. The chairman promised that the tapes and minutes of the consultative meetings will be sent to ANEEJ/Lite-Africa and the tapes be uploaded in OSOPADEC website.
- The commission believes in Strategic planning, which is the reason for the creation of budget planning and statistics department.
- In the area of abandoned projects, the chairman made it clear that some projects will be sustained which they have already captured in the 2018 budget, others cannot be sustained because they have been outdate, example is the wooden bridge. Concerning the issue of duplication of projects, the commission is converting the proposed health centre, Mother and child to staff quarter which is just at the foundation level because the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs is erecting a health centre in the same community. The commission is ready to complete some of the abandoned projects that is sustainable, the commission is also talking to the Governor to re-award one of the abandoned road project.
- On the issue raised on the coordinating unit to be supervise by the ministry of budget and Economic planning, the chairman believes that OSOPADEC should be the coordinating unit and that the Governor of the state shared the same idea which gave rise to OSOPADEC hosting the second Niger-Delta council that was recently held in Akure. While on the previous commitment made by the commission, the chairman is not aware as there was no proper hand over by the previous administration.
- The Niger-Delta Transparency and Accountability indicators, advocacy memo and other ANEEJ publications were presented to the chairman of the OSOPADEC, Hon Gbenga Edema.