SOCIAL ACTION CALLS ON ANTI-GRAFT AND SECURITY AGENCIES TO SWING INTO ACTION, AS AKPABIO NAMES LAWMAKERS WHO RECEIVED NDDC CONTRACTS

As the probe on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is ongoing, with horrible allegations and counter – allegations emerging from the probe committee, the damp muddle is hanging precariously over the Commission’s shady activities which are not in accordance with its mandate, as prescribed in the NDDC (Establishment) Act, 2000. The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, last week revealed that lawmakers have been beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the NDDC. In response to the 48 hours given to him by the House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila to mention the beneficiaries, Akpabio has forwarded names of National Assembly members who were beneficiaries of NDDC contracts to the House of Representatives. They include: Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi involved in 53 projects, Sen. Nicholas Mutu whose name appeared on 74 projects, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide and Sen. James Manager involved in 6 projects respectively, Sam Anyanwu with 19 projects and others who were identified as Ondo and Edo Reps.

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COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED BY CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN NIGERIA ON RESOLUTIONS MADE OVER THE IMPASSE AT THE NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION, NDDC, AT A JOINT MEETING ON FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2020

We, the undersigned, hereby address this communiqué to the President of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. We are representatives of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, Communities and stakeholders in the development of the Niger Delta region. In the light of recent events at the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and similarly past antecedents of unprecedented and monumental corruption manifesting in extensive contract frauds, Procurement law infractions, non-budgetary and extra-budgetary spendings, audit violations, cronyism, fiscal recklessness and flagrant disregard to procedural rules, the Civil Society Network and communities, on Friday, July 17, 2020, held a virtual meeting to deliberate on a way forward in the interest of the people of the Niger Delta.

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Nigerian Government’s Proclivity For Loans Finds Wings With Covid-19

President Buhari making his budget speech. (Photo courtesy https://dailypost.ng)

By Vivian Bellonwu

Nigeria’s hitherto precarious economic state appears to be in for an unmitigated meltdown as the present Coronavirus pandemic has exposed and is bringing to the fore, both the weak nature of the nation’s economic fundamentals as well as the deficient capacity of its managers and management.

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Communique issued at the end of the Nigeria Pro-Democracy Conference 2019 on the theme: Reviving Popular Action for Democracy and Freedom in Nigeria

Communique issued at the end of the Nigeria Pro-Democracy Conference 2019 on the theme: Reviving Popular Action for Democracy and Freedom in Nigeria

PREAMBLE

The Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) in partnership with African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized the 2019 Nigeria Pro-Democracy Conference at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, on Tuesday December 17, 2019.

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The Open Budget Campaign in the Niger Delta: The Journey so far

Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) has been leading advocacy, amongst other thematic areas, on open and inclusive governance with a vision to entrench a regime of transparent and accountable governance and a citizen-centred public budgeting system. For about a decade now Social Action has been working with like-minded partner organisations in the Niger Delta to bring this vision to reality.

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End of Budget Secrecy in Rivers State and Social Action Publishes State Government Budget

In a feat that marks the triumph of the rights and will of citizens, Social Action Nigeria has obtained and published the budget of the Rivers State Government for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years on its website.

This breakthrough is coming on the heels of years of secrecy following the emergence of the administration of Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike in 2015. Since then, the government in the state refused to make its annual budgets public but instead carried on with the business of governance with expenditure figures unknown to residents and taxpayers. To this end, participatory governance became relegated to irrelevance even as accountability and transparency suffered a similar fate. Budget secrecy in Rivers State was sustained even at a time governments at all levels across the country were embracing Open Government Partnership (OGP).

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STATE BORROWING AND THE NEGLECTED PLIGHT OF UNPAID WORKERS

Recently, the Kogi state government made a public admission and disclosure that it has defaulted in paying its workers’ salaries due to huge loan servicing by the State. The State’s Director-General, Media and publicity stated in the report that “. . .the loans were taken by the two previous administrations for projects that did not add value to the state. Sometimes, we repay between N400m and N500m monthly as loans that add no value to the state. These loans were taken by the last two administrations and some of them were invested on projects that were never completed”.

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