Friday March 2, 2018.
Technology without human beings is nothing. But human beings with technology, everything is happening, the good and the bad. On the bad side, Nigerians use technology to steal from the public purse and stash the monies abroad in safe havens. Some devise ways and means to legitimize this stolen wealth by disguising such wealth in property bought locally and abroad. Property bought by Nigerians abroad are facing the scrutiny of the UK’s Unexplained Wealth Orders, UWO. In Nigeria, even though government wants those who have acquired property legitimately or illegitimately but who don’t pay a tax on those property to exploit its Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, significant responses have not been recorded. But there are still many property, land et all, illegitimately gotten, belonging to politically exposed persons and civil servants dotting our social stratosphere.
On the good side, enter Properti Tracka aka Ekwakwa Tracka, an ANEEJ platform to be built to tackle corruption by improving transparency in the acquisition of property in Nigeria. It will focus on creating an online platform nearly in the mode of the Ushahidi, to map and share information on property ownership by politically exposed persons and civil servants.
To do this, ANEEJ will train CSOs and Journalists on the issues of beneficial ownership and an understanding of how institutions like the Abuja Geographical Information Systems, AGIS, The Federal Capital Development Area, FCDA, and the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, run.
Thereafter, these trained CSOs will be the boots on ground to verify whatever information we get before they are uploaded on the Properti Tracka, and used to engage the Anti-Corruption Agencies like the EFCC & ICPC and to work towards resolving all the lacunas in the policies and laws which govern property acquisition in Nigeria. Ultimately, this is expected to lead to an asset recovery management institution. The pilot phase will be on three highbrow Abuja districts, Maitama, Abuja and Wuse.
On Thursday, March 1, ANEEJ used the opportunity of the Social Media Week, SMW, to discuss the Properti Tracka, in Lagos Nigeria.
Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku, Communications Manager, ANEEJ, represented the Executive Director, the Rev David Ugolor who was presiding over a crucial meeting on the PIB with host communities and journalists in PortHarcourt, Nigeria.
On the Panel to discuss Technology & Improving Governance at the SMW, moderated by Charles Abani, Chief of Party of Chemonics, Nigeria were Seun Onigbinde, Lead Partner BudGit, Dr. Udy Okon of Youth Alive Foundation, YAF and ANEEJ’s Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku. An array of Nigeria’s Silicon Valley crème-de-la-crème like Obi Asika, Peter Obi (former Anambra State Governor), were in attendance. Other sessions included a Skype discussion with Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, and another – Using Film and Social Media to influence Public discourse & Engagement.
The programme was put together by the USAID, EiE and organisers of the SMW.