ANEEJ-LITE Joint Press Statement on Assessment of Niger Delta Development Agencies
7th December, 2015.
ANEEJ-LITE-Africa Calls for re-focus of Niger Delta Development Agencies for optimum performance
Benin City Edo State…Several years after the establishment of Niger Delta Development Agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, EDSOGPADEC, DESOPADEC and OSOPADEC, the Africa Network of Environmental and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment, LITE-Africa, have called on both the Federal and Niger Delta State Governments to re-focus the various institutions for the desired change and development of the region.
The Civil Society Organizations call is premised on their findings while implementing the Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) project which jointly assessed these Institutions to get a deeper understanding of their mandates, policies and activities they are pursuing. Both organizations are implementing the SACE project in Edo, Delta, Ondo and Cross River States, with support from USAID and Partnership Initiative for Niger Delta, PIND.
“The abandonment of important projects in the Niger Delta by the various institutions is a source of worry to most citizens of the region, This emphasizes the importance of having both the National and State Assemblies to step up their oversight functions and ensure the institutions are accountable to the people” Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor has said.
“In spite of the law establishing these institutions being clear on their mandates, ANEEJ and LITE-Africa finds out that in areas of citizen participation, public awareness, coordination and monitoring, there have been glaring inconsistencies in policies and procedures which has led to poor development outcomes related to infrastructural development and public utilities. Our joint project provided an innovative entry point for civil society to engage government intervention of these institutions to act productively’, David Ugolor said.
Executive Director of LITE-Africa, Joel Bisina on his parts said “a major challenge confronting the effective and efficient administration of public institutions in Nigeria has been widespread corruption, colossal waste and abandonment of several capital projects. What the situation goes to show is that conflicts in the region would have been mitigated if Niger Delta Institutions have had effective mechanisms to monitor their contracting and procurement processes. On the other hand, communities need to be properly equipped and empowered with skills and necessary information that will help them to demand for greater accountability from government agencies.” Joel Bisina said.