The Conference of Non-Government Organisations, CONGOS, is an umbrella body for all NGOs and Civil Society organizations in Edo State. It functions under the ‘Akugbe principle’, (in Edo language to mean ‘unity‘) and to connote that when Civil Societies form a network to work together, they are stronger in voice, words and in deed.
Therefore, after the election of a new executive the CONGOS thought it expedient to pay a visit to ANEEJ, a civil society with a three-decade old history of activism for good governance, accountability and transparency in the management of oil resources and on cross-cutting issues.
The high-powered CONGOS team was led by their president, Abiola Daisy and seven other executive members who are Directors of Administration, Treasury, welfare, Finance, Strategy, research & planning and the provost Marshal.
In her opening remarks the CONGOs president said they came to officially present the new leadership to ANEEJ executive Director, the Rev David Ugolor and to identify with ANEEJ mission and vision of an Africa Without Poverty.
‘Another reason why we are here is to seek help with capacity building so that it can be included in our strategic work plan for this year. We seek assistance as well with empowering other members of our network to be duly registered with the appropriate authorities’, Daisy said.
The CONGOS president extended an invitation to the Rev David Ugolor, requesting that he attend and sit through one of their meetings as a gesture of support and solidarity for the new exco.
Rev David Ugolor while welcoming the new leadership of CONGOs said that the CONGOS visit is an opportunity to build bridges and deepen already existing relationship with CONGOS.
‘What can sustain an NGO or any Network is the ability to generate resources through human capacity. The NGO sector has gone beyond using just street protest as a method of advocacy but must now combine that with a deep quest to improve on the lives of our people with a knowledge-driven strategic action plan’, the Rev Ugolor told the CONGOS team.
The Rev Ugolor reiterated the need for the network to collaborate with government in the spirit of the Open Government Partnership principle of Co-creation, wherein government and Civil Society groups work together for the common interests as equals.
The Rev Ugolor committed to work with this CONGOS exco by attending some of their meetings and provide knowledge support at such meetings. He also offered assistance with development of their work and strategic plans. The Rev Ugolor made the multi-purpose ANEEJ hall available to the CONGOS for training, seminars and workshops and put the ANEEJ communications team at the disposal of CONGOS so as to help firm up the design of a CONGOS Communications policy.
ANEEJ team present at the visit of the CONGOS team include Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku(Communications Manager), Sandra Eguagie (Programmes Officer), Kelly Ovie Umukoro (Communications Officer), Ovie Assurance Erhisowhode (Programme Officer) and Ken Okocha (Media Resources officer).