Our attention has been drawn to a recent publication in the social media signed by one Mr. Curtis Ugbo on behalf of Benin Solidarity Movement (BSM).
We ordinarily will not want to dignify such an outburst with a response, but as a responsible civil society organization known locally, nationally and globally for our various developmental works spanning over 25 years, the misinformation served members of the public.
First, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice did not receive any money from the Edo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice for the implementation of SoSIN project or any other project in Edo State.
Secondly, it is important to state that DFID does not give money directly to government whether Federal, State or Local. In that regard, no Attorney-General, whether at the Federal or state level can receive DFID money directly for distribution. DFID can only support government through third party entities and they do not have any secrets about who they have funded and to what level.
ANEEJ is currently being funded by DFID for our MANTRA project and we know from our experience that DFID does not pay their partners in Naira and one wonders where Mr. Curtis Ugbo and his colleagues got the N3billion figure they have bandied.
Thirdly, the claim by Curtis Ugbo and his team that ANEEJ does not work on migration and human trafficking issues is not true as our work in that area spans over a decade and we can provide evidence of our work in that area. Here in Edo State, collaborated with the Initiative for youth awareness on migration, emigration, development and reintegration (IYAMIDR) to implement joint activities for several years and given the impact and visibility attained, the CEO was appointed by the Present Edo State Governor as Special Assistant on migration. Besides, ANEEJ is a member of the migration subcommittee of the OECD-DAC Civil Society Reference Group based in Paris.
ANEEJ remains a leading Civil Society Organisation in Nigeria committed to the principles of transparency and accountability and if Mr. Curtis Ugbo or any of his colleagues in BFM wants any information from us regarding our projects, our doors are open to them.
Mr. Leo Atakpu
Deputy Executive Director,
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ)