During the year in review, we made giant strides and experienced some challenges as well.
Our staff, beneficiaries, partners and donors were key enablers of our success. During the year 2019, ANEEJ, was able to, with support of staff and board members attract more local and international funding.
We mobilized over 700 NGOs, community based organisations and individuals across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria with DFID/UKAID support, under the Anti-Corruption in Nigeria programme (ACORN), to track the utilization of $322.5million stolen assets for the Conditional Cash Transfers under the Nigerian Social Investment Protection Programme.
The one-year disbursement of the Abacha II Report will be released in a World Press conference in January 2020.
The Monitoring Recovered Assets through Transparency and Accountability, MANTRA, project under the ACORN Program of the UKAID has provided innovative approaches in addressing asset recovery issues in Nigeria and internationally. The MANTRA model is helping to influence and change the narrative around the transparent and accountable utilization of recovered stolen assets in Nigeria.
With the support of our MANTRA partners and development agencies, we have been able to demonstrate that recovered assets can provide sustainable financing avenues for social investment for the poor in Nigeria.
We are happy that the MANTRA model has become a global brand that helps in the tackling of grand corruption in Nigeria and other African countries.
Also within the year, ANEEJ secured the British Council/European Union, EU, grant to deepen our anti-corruption work, together with the support of the MacArthur Foundation to undertake an Independent Review of the first National Action Plan of the Open Government Partnerships, OGP.
Our Niger Delta Governance project currently supported by the German government through Bread for the World-Germany also developed a new tool, the Niger Delta Governance Index. The Index will help to provide empirical evidence to measure governance trends within the region.
Our regional initiative within the year in review attracted a new DFID/MODAC grant to undertake a groundbreaking project on using data to tackle corruption in the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
ANEEJ presence at local and international meetings and conferences also provided great visibility opportunities to showcase our knowledge products at the Ottawa OGP summit, the World Bank and IMF Annual Conferences in Paris, OECD-DAC Conference, Reality of Africa conference in Nairobi Kenya and others.
With the year 2019 in review, there were challenges ranging from shrinking civic space, funding and critical shortages of skilled development workers.
In all, we give thanks to God for the opportunity, and guidance in carrying out good work in 2019. We look forward to a productive year 2020 with all our local and international stakeholders.
Our guiding principles is the Do-No-Harm to your fellow human being. We allow our work speak for us. The vision of ANEEJ is Africa without poverty. We encourage you to join us in 2020 to actualize this dream.
ANEEJ will resume from the Yuletide holidays January 6 2020.
Let me also use this opportunity to inform you that in February 2020, I will be celebrating my birthday, and 25 years since ANEEJ was founded. Friends, stakeholders and partners will receive invites from the committee of friends set up to coordinate and plan the event.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Rev. David Ugolor, ANEEJ Executive Director.