Group picture of Social Action's team and members of the PE&E unit of the ICPC IN ABUJA

Social Action has consistently engaged government institutions and other key stakeholders in the public and private sectors to promote and galvanize support for the campaign for public finance transparency and accountability.
On the 7th of July, 2022, members of the National Advocacy Office of Social Action paid an advocacy visit to the Public Enlightenment and Education (PE&E) unit of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize Social Action with the anti-graft agency and seek possible collaboration on issues relating to anti-corruption and the fight against public finance fraud particularly in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Speaking to welcome Social Action’s team, the Director of the unit represented by Mr. Okor Odey said the Commission is happy to welcome organizations like Social Action who are conscious of time and work actively to reduce corruption in public offices.

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In a society where the defenceless becomes the haunted, such society will in no time breed violence. This was the message of members of the Civil Rights Council who visited the Area commandant in charge of Bori command with a written complaint of extortion, illegal arrest and harassment of citizens by police officers under his jurisdiction. In the complaint letter dated 22nd of June 2022, the same day the visit was made, members of the Civil Rights Council led by the Bori Chapter Chairman, Comrade Dumka Deemue highlighted the nefarious activities carried out by men of the Nigerian Police Force at the popular Kpopie junction and other parts of Bori.

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Wave FM acknowledges Social Action contribution to Societal Development

L-R Mr. AdetolaAdeasake, Mr. Peter Mazzi, Mr. Rex Igiri, Peace Agbo, Excel Uwaezuoke during the Visit.

The management of Wave FM invited Social Action for a courtesy visit on the 23rd of June, 2022, at their Port Harcourt office. The General Manager of the Station, Mr. Rex Igiri, who presided over the meeting, received the representatives of Social Action alongside his colleagues Mr. Adetola Adeasake, the Head of Administration and Accounts and Mr. Excel Uwaezuoke, the Head of Programmes. He thanked the Social Action team, represented by Mr. Peter Mazzi and Peace Agbo, for honouring the invitation and expressed his delight for the support the station has always received from Social Action via different programs and collaboration. According to him, the main purpose of the invite was to say “thank you and express their appreciation” for past and present support by the organization while looking forward to working with them anytime the opportunity present itself.

He further briefed Social Action Team on the next edition of the quarterly programme “Walk for Safety, Walk for Security”, tagged “Walk for Food Security.” Though the program is still in the planning stage and scheduled to hold in October, he felt the need to get meaningful input of stakeholders like Social Action for a successful outing. Mr Igiri noted the theme was specifically chosen to draw attention to one of the biggest challenges facing the country at the moment with the view to galvanizing support to address it.
Speaking on-behalf of Social Action, the Communications Coordinator, Mr. Peter Mazzi applauded the station for reaching out to Social Action and acknowledging the works of NGOs and Civil Society Organization in promoting social change. He stressed that in order to make any meaningful social and economic development, the government, CSOs, the Media and the citizens must play their parts. But he added that the citizens must take the lead as they have the critical mass to drive the needed policy change from the duty bearers. He also assured the General Manager that Social Action would continue to give its unflinching support to programs targeted at making positive impact to the best of available resources.


Courtesy visit group picture (L - R) 1 Mr. Isaac Botti and Faith Osuoka of Social Action, Mr. Victor Arokoyo, Ms. Talatu Aliyu of Christian Aid Nigeria and Comfort Agbebaku of Social Action.

Social Action paid a courtesy visit to Christian Aid Nigeria’s Office in Abuja on Wednesday 2nd June 2022.

The objective of the visit was to introduce Social Action and its goal of improving women and girls’ safety, security, human rights, promoting gender equity, mitigating climate change impacts in the North East, and promoting socio-economic justice in communities. The visit was also to seek possible collaboration with the Christian Aid in empowering vulnerable and marginalized groups in hard-to-reach conflict areas communities of Nigeria to demand good governance.

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Citizens’ engagement, public institution accountability and transparency have emerged as crucial priorities and formed a part of a broader demand for the realization of good governance and societal reforms; therefore, engaged citizenship and demands for accountability and transparency are mutually inclusive. The idea of citizenship is beyond the membership status, it is also an expression that involves a deeper understanding of civic responsibilities to one’s community; it is a necessity for a virile democratic system. Recognizing this inevitable role of citizens is key to efficient and effective social and political institutions and processes.

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The Federal Government has directed all unexecuted contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), between 2000 and December 31, 2019 be revoked and beneficiary contractors that received mobilization to refund the all monies to NDDC accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) according to report by Vanguard news, dated May 23rd, 2022. This was made known by the Commission’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Dr Ibitoye Abosede. According to him, this is in accordance with the Public Procurement Act and in line with the terms of the contracts for the award of the said projects.

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Nigerians are witnessing the starkest economic inequalities, social alienation and political despondency in the history of the country, and this is a product of a corrupt system that has dismantled the economic, social and political foundations of the country. This nauseating development has rubbed off on all sectors of the economy and the downstream sector is not immune to it.

Nigeria boasts of four state-owned petroleum refineries in Warri, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt, yet these refineries have been dormant and unproductive for many years. As a result, the country imports refined petroleum products from other countries like the Netherlands, etc. The saddening part is how the government claims to spend billions of naira annually on the purported maintenance these non-performing refineries. According to report by Business day, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wasted N604.127bn in maintaining the refineries in 2017, this waste of taxpayers’ money was done without any meaningful output from the comatose refineries and this waste has continued even to present time. It is obvious that these refineries are used as a conduit to drain the national purse.

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Social Action presents the views of members of polluted  communities in Ogoniland who decry the failure of the Nigerian government to provide emergency services such as clean water a decade after the UNEP Report. Ten years after the UNEP found high pollution levels, including scandalous amounts of carcinogenic substances in groundwater in Ogoniland, the Nigerian federal government commenced some water projects in 2021, with implementation slow and tardy.

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Social and development activists in Nigeria have called on the Federal Government and National Assembly of Nigeria (NASS) to grant local governments in the country financial, political and administrative autonomy as a matter of urgency. This call was made on Monday during a one day virtual Town hall meeting on, “Addressing Obstacles to Local Government Independence in Nigeria” organized by Social Development Integrated Centre, Social Action with support from the United Nations Democracy Funds.

Speaking at the event, Comrade Akeem Ambali, National President of NULGE said the major obstacle to Local government autonomy in Nigeria is the lacuna in Section 162(6) of the 1999 constitution as amended; “Each State shall maintain a special account to be called “State Joint Local Government Account” into which shall be paid all allocations to the Local Government Councils of the State from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State”.

Operating a joint account with the state, according to the Comrade does not favour the local government as the state political actors cash into this opportunity for private enrichment. “The heavy corruption, greed and insatiable appetite for immense wealth by state political actors are major obstacles to achieving LG independence in Nigeria”, he said. To address this bottleneck situation, local governments should be funded directly from the federal allocation.

Comrade Ambali suggested a bottom-up approach to governance in Nigeria.  Along with financial autonomy, the local government should be given political and administrative autonomy. Rather than the state electoral commissions, Independent National Election Commission (INEC) should be allowed to conduct unbiased and transparent elections for local governments.

He further stressed the need for community policing and the entrenchment of Local Government Service Commission to ensure quality assurance and a proper audit system in LG operations. These strategies would not only break LGs from the shackles of the state governments but also strengthen democracy tenets in Nigeria and create employment opportunities at the grassroots, Comrade Ambali asserted.

In her summation, Comrade Hauwa Mustapha, a development activist, said it is sad to note that the local governments are seen as appendages to the states, rather than as a tier of government. This dis-functionality has led to a breakdown of governance and facilities, reduction in human capital and extreme poverty at the grassroots. She, therefore, called for a proper definition in the constitution on the roles and power of local governments as a tier of government. She also called for a collective movement for local government autonomy in Nigeria. This movement she stressed will advocate for citizens’ rights at the grassroots, gender empowerment, fiscal and resource control and an accountable Local government system.

Other members of the panel, Barrister Che Oyinatumba of Kubwa Express and Dr Udy Akpan of Youth for Change Initiative also called for behavioural and structural changes in Nigerian local governments. According to them, a lack of accountability in the local government will continue until its structure is unattached to the State.

Participants also suggested that pressure be put on the state Houses of Assembly to assent to bills regarding local government autonomy.

Responding to this, Prince Edegbuo of Social Action said the campaign for local government autonomy continues and hinted that a massive campaign will be launched on Twitter. Edegbuo, therefore, encouraged all to join Social Action and partners in this “storm” as well as other social and traditional media campaigns for local government autonomy. This he believes will give room for accountability of the local government system and improved service delivery.

While the moderator of the event, Comrade Jaye Gaskia thanked panellists and participants for their contributions to the program, he reminded all that local government autonomy is a must and so is inclusive governance. He, therefore, urged all to rise up and defend the local government.





At the just concluded Social Action’s Regional Accountability Conference on “Beyond The Forensic Audit”, development experts, anti-graft agencies, duty bearers, academia and community groups have all identified poor oversight and supervision by the Presidency, the Ministry of the Niger Delta and the National Assembly as main enablers of corruption and are primarily responsible for the failure of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to live up to its mandates. This view is contained in the Communique issued at the end of the conference and released to the media by Social Action in Port Harcourt on Thursday 24th February 2022. The conference which aimed at ensuring how effective collaboration between duty bearers, anti-graft agencies, civil society and other critical stakeholders can contribute to repositioning the Niger Delta Development Commission to the path of prudence and accountability, urged the citizens to take up the responsibility of fighting corruption in NDDC by working closely with relevant anti-graft agencies and public institutions like the Bureau of Public Procurement.

Launching of the Citizens report on budget and projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission by the Director Advocacy of Social Action flanked by dignitaries from the public and private sectors

While presenting the welcome address, Vivian Bellonwu of Social Action noted that the NDDC has lost its purpose of creation and has failed to keep up with its social contract. She, therefore, calls for all hands to be on deck to bring about a complete overhauling of the NDDC system. In the same vein, the Public Relations Officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),  representing the Zonal Commandant, Mr. Dele Oyewole noted that “there is no way we can achieve effective service delivery in NDDC without the participation of everybody in the Niger Delta”. He emphasized the need for public ownership of the fight against corruption, citing the fact that abandoned projects are sited in environments where people lives and so should collaborate with relevant authorities to end the menace posed by corruption. Corroborating the statement of the EFCC representative, Mrs. Ekere Usieri, the Zonal Director of Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) affirmed that her agency is willing to work with the citizens and the NDDC to put an end to the deep-rooted level of corruption in the NDDC.

While presenting a paper on Strengthening Service Delivery through Effective Procurement Process in Public Institution, the representative of the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr. Adebowale Adedokun referred to the CSOs as credible drivers in the process of strengthening service delivery in the NDDC. He called for a change of approach and the need for citizens to acquire prerequisite skills in carrying out projects monitoring and to stop unscrupulous contractors from stealing public resources.

The occasion of the Regional Accountability Conference was used to launch a report by Social Action, “Pond of Crocodiles: Citizens Report on Budgets and Projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission”. The report contains the analysis of the NDDC 2019 Approved Capital Budget and reports of coordinated field monitoring of NDDC projects across five states of the Niger Delta. The findings of the budget monitoring exercise by Social Action, its partners and community monitors, revealed several issues inhibiting the effectiveness of the NDDC including questionable funds allocations, project abandonment, delay in annual budget passage and over-ambitious and unrealistic projects pursuits, oversight and supervision complacency among others.

While summarizing the findings of the report, the Programmes Coordinator of Social Action, Isaac Botti revealed that some 172 projects were monitored across five states of the Niger Delta, out of which 47% were not existing, 38% abandoned, 22% completed and 4% still ongoing. He further stated that frivolous expenditures in the regional allocation in the 2019 budget of the NDDC amounted to N31 billion. Social Action’s, Vivian Bello while unveiling the report, charged attendees to take advantage of the veritable information contained in the publication to engage the government and the NDDC on inclusive and effective service delivery. She stressed that the report is a detailed, well-researched document with pains-taken field observations that should not just grace the table or shelves in our offices and home but should be used as advocacy tools.

Key recommendations from the report include the overhauling of the NDDC by constituting the substantive board, ensuring open budget and transparency of operations, strict adherence to procurement procedures laws and standards and active monitoring of financial and procurement activities of the NDDC by anti-graft agencies. Others are an improved legislative and administrative oversight of the Commission, strengthened community engagement and participation in budget and project implementation and multi-stakeholder partnership to constantly monitor the activities of the NDDC.

The Conference advised the President Muhammadu Buhari government to take decisive action on the forensic audit of the NDDC and prosecute those found culpable for malfeasance and collusion leading to the abandonment of over 12,000 projects and diversion of trillions of naira meant for the execution of development projects in the Niger Delta.