In an assessment carried out by Social Action on ‘states of openness in the Niger Delta’, Edo state came out tops in the statistical analysis of open budget indices.
Social Action has congratulated the Edo State Government for ensuring that Edo State blazed the trail in the open budget process. Social Action’s message was conveyed during advocacy visits to senior government officials in Benin City on 21 July 2017. Officials visited included the Chairman, Committee on Information and Appropriation, Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Damian Lawani, the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Edo State, Taiwo Francis Akerele and the Commissioner of Budget, Planning and Economic Development, Maryam Abubakar. Social Action’s Public Finance Accountability team included Programme Officers Prince Ekpere and Peter Mazzi and members of Edo State Open Budget Cluster.
From right to left: Doifie Buokoribo (Board member), Isaac ‘Asume’ Osuoka (Executive Director), Vivian Bellonwu-Okafor (Head of Advocacy) addressing the media at Social Action’s National Advocacy Centre, Abuja
Based on the text of the Press Conference by the Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action), June 21, 2017, Abuja
The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) was passed by the Senate in May 2017 (the Federal House of Representatives is still working on the bill). Social Action has undertaken a thorough study of the PIGB. The result of our examination is contained in the briefing paper, “The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), 2017: Implications for the Environment and Local Communities”.
In May 2017, the Nigerian Senate passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which is revised version of the original Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that was presented to the National Assembly by the Yar’adua administration in 2008. This briefing paper by Social Action provides an analysis of the PIGB, which focuses almost exclusively on the creation of new commercial entities to manage privatized national petroleum assets. There is a glaring neglect of host communities’ interest in the proposed new institutions. The PIGB does not provide for health, safety and environment concerns; there is no provision for an end to gas flaring. The PIGB proposes to remove all powers of the Federal Ministry of Environment (and its agencies) over environmental regulation and enforcement in the petroleum sector. Read Full Report
Social Actions and Nigerian groups organise mass rally against fossil fuel and pollution
Mass #Breakfree Actions in Ogoni, Nigeria. On the 30th of March 2017, hundreds of climate activists, as well as concerned and affected Nigerians, joined ongoing actions around the world aimed at pressing home the need to address our dependence on fossil fuels which poisons our planet and threatens to eliminate all of us. This problem is even more pungent in Nigeria where the effects of fossil fuel-related pollution and climate changes are emerging as major disasters. From sea level rises that threaten to consume whole coastal lying communities to crude oil pollutions which continue to deprive many of viable livelihoods, the continued extraction and dependence on fossil fuels has devastating consequences for Nigeria and especially the Niger Delta.
Women and men from over 20 Communities in Delta State Nigeria, have charged the Nigerian government to urgently take steps to put an end to the continued degradation of their environment, rights violation and destruction of their health and livelihood sources through continued gas flaring by oil and gas companies in the area or be prepared to face strong resistance to this evil act by community men and women.
In line with its mandate to ensure that government policies meet the needs of citizens in a transparent and accountable manner, Social Action and partner Edo Civil Society Organizations Forum organized a citizens’ town hall meeting aimed at providing an opportunity for citizens to interact with candidates seeking election to the office of governor of Edo state. Top on the agenda was to extract commitment from the candidates to maintain certain standards of transparency and accountability which include open budgets, citizens’ participation and public access.
Nigeria is yet to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which is inspired by the European Union (EU) with the aim of eliminating trade restrictions between it and ECOWAS member states. Following years of secretive negotiations led by the EU, the EPA text was finalised in 2014 with promised benefits to developing countries like Nigeria including better access to EU markets and integration into a global economy. However, with negative reactions from Nigerian manufacturers, civil society actors and trade experts citing the imbalanced benefit to European producers having unfettered access to the Nigerian market over local industries, the former President, Goodluck Jonathan refused to sign the EPA. During the 49th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS, in Dakar, Senegal in June 2016, the government of Muhammadu Buhari delayed endorsing the EPA, opting instead to continue consultations with Nigerian citizens. As a contribution to the consultation process, this briefing examines the EPA in the context of the Nigerian economy and offers alternative paths for sustainable economic development. Read Full Report
As Nigeria begins to come to terms with the perilous state of the economy with the drop in oil prices, a warning has gone to the country to be wary of the dangers inherent in borrowing.
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives, Honourable Kingsley O. Chinda gave this warning at a conference on “Promoting Accountability in the Management of Public Debt” Organized by Social Action in November 2015, in Abuja.