Category: Announcement

NNNGO ORGANISES UPR ADVOCACY STRATEGY WORKSHOP

NNNGO ORGANISES UPR ADVOCACY STRATEGY WORKSHOP

In 2013, Nigeria accepted 10 recommendations relating to civic space with a view to strengthening the Nigerian civil society.

LAGOS, Nigeria, June 6, 2018–The Nigeria Network of NGOs, NNNGO engaged CSOs in an advocacy strategy to appraise the implementation of past recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and contribute to Nigeria’s submission in the forthcoming review.

The first human rights mechanism to ever achieve 100% participation, twice, by United Nations (UN) member states, the UPR was established in March 2006 by the Human Rights Council (HRC) with the aim of improving current human rights situation in each of the 193 UN member states.

It allows a review of the human rights situation of all UN Member States every 5 years with 42 States undergoing the review each year during three Working Group sessions dedicated to 14 States each.  The result of each review is reflected in the Final Report of the Working Group, which lists the recommendations the State under Review (SuR) will have to implement before the next review.

What makes the UPR especially unique is the inclusion of the civil society such that CSOs are allowed to advocate and take part in implementation of human rights obligations. Thus, a workshop was necessary in order to share outcomes of findings on the 10 recommendations on civic space, the contributions of civil society actors and recommendations as submitted jointly by CIVICUS and NNNGO.

Participants who comprised seventy-one Nonprofits dialogued at the UPR advocacy strategy workshop in view of examining the Nigerian Government’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to create and maintain a safe and enabling environment for civil society.

“Specifically, we analysed the Government of Nigeria’s fulfillment of the rights to freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression as well as unwarranted restrictions on human rights defenders since its previous UPR examinations in October 2013 and noted gaps in the implementation of these recommendations” noted Ms. Chidinma Okpara, the resident UPR researcher for NNNGO.

In light of providing action-oriented follow-up recommendations, participants at the break-out session during the workshop identified areas of concern, broad goals and specific objectives founded on realities and challenges faced by nonprofit organisations in Nigeria.

According to one of the participants, “one of the challenges we face in the clamour for the implementation of these recommendations is inaccessibility to decision-makers, especially as the submission comes up around the same time as the primary elections.” Another participant also identified challenges of inadequate funding and unavailability of concrete data on human rights situations in the country as obstacles to the actualization of the goals.

However, many participants affirmed that the upcoming 2019 elections may serve as a veritable opportunity that civil society actors could leverage upon to assure that the challenges are mitigated.

Broad goals, targeted at ensuring that the Federal Government of Nigeria implements the 10 recommendations by October 2023 with the ultimate aim of achieving the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights in compliance with the international human rights obligation were aligned with specific objectives.

These objectives were identified as key to the actualization of the goal; such as, creation of public awareness on the 10 recommendations through the media and local community outreaches, strengthening the Nigerian UPR coalition by actively engaging civil society actors in the review process, liaising with the human rights committee at the legislative arm to ensure the amendment of relevant bills and ensuring that CSOs are engaged in the UPR process before the government submits its report.

PLASTIC DOES IT

PLASTIC DOES IT

Sustainable Development Goals 14 and 15 focus on conserving and protecting under water and land ecosystems.  World Environment Day, 5th of June every year drives this action for the protection of our environment, raising awareness on everyday environmental issues from marine pollution to global warming to sustainable consumption and to wildlife.

For many years now, global consumption of plastics have unimaginably increased, more often than not, from land-based sources and as plastic is composed of major toxic pollutants, it has the potential to cause great harm to the environment in the form of air, water and land pollution; with “Beat Plastic Pollution” as the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, the world, gradually, is rising to the occasion of combating plastic pollution and exploring sustainable alternatives.

WHAT IS PLASTIC?

Plastic is material consisting of any of a wide range of synthetic or natural organic materials that are soft and so can be molded into solid objects, which includes resins, resinoids, polymers, cellulose derivatives, casein materials used in place of other materials, as glass, wood, and metals. Sometimes, plastics do not easily breakdown into simple components.

Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic products in the environment that adversely afflict wildlife, wildlife habitat or humans.

Although they decompose over a period of time, an average of 100 to 500 years. They however, with their immense pollution kill our planet, choking our oceans and poisoning food and water. Plastic is listed as the number one threat to marine ecosystem.

All over the world, the statistics are ever growing. Tons of plastic debris has been established at a 78% waste, many of the harmful chemicals posing serious health risks to man, land and marines. While plastic constitutes about 85% of all debris floating on the ocean’s surface, ecologists and oceanographers speculates there may be underwater trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Its effects on soil fertility and ultimately food supply, an immense woe.

Since the 1950s, an estimated 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced, of which an estimated 9% has been recycled and another 12% of plastic waste has been incinerated. Scientists estimate that several plastics are thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. Plastic accounts for around 10% of the total waste generated. Annually, approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide while more than one million bags are used every minute. It is sad to know that about 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in oceans.

One million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world and that number will top half a trillion by 2021, some other statistic reveals.

Mind boggling?

In 2016, a global population of more than seven billion produced over 300 million tonnes of plastic, signifying that even as the human population increases so does the quantity of solid wastes generation. The ultimate sad facts are swirled by currents, the litters accumulating over time at the center of ocean, poisoning oceans and land, injuring marine life, and affecting human health.

With these mind-blowing facts comes WASTE RECYCLING. Waste recycling is not new, particularly in the developed world. But in the developing countries like Nigeria where it is common place to see flooded cities during rainy season due to blocked drainages, gutters and canals arising from the mountains of refuse that litter every part of the country, emphasis must be thus be stressed on plastic products recycling. Plastic recycling includes melting down plastic water, soft drink bottles and then casting them as plastic chairs and tables. Recycling of waste plastics is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products, sometimes completely different in form from their original state.

THE DAMAGE

Some of the major long-term effects of plastic pollution are; land pollution, air pollution and amongst the most seriously affected are the coastal communities which ultimately calls for increased expenditures for beach cleaning, public health, waste disposal, litter removal and waste management.

Beyond these woes, it’s time to rethink how we use plastics, for by 2050 there could be more plastic in the world’s waters than fishes. Researchers have identified 400 species of animals whose members either ingested plastics or got entangled in it. Year in year out, the plastics that are constantly thrown into the ocean are responsible for killing one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals. Did you know that every year, up to 13 million tonnes of plastic leak into our oceans?

Given the character of this major issue, proactive measures need to be taken to give lasting solution to plastic pollution such that our planets become forever protected. No need for plastic discs anymore, the internet has so become more than friendly. Mugs should come in handy anywhere and everywhere. Stakeholders should encourage the reuse and recycling of waste, especially plastic bags, bottles and containers. It’s time for us to do the rethink, let’s have a redesign, let’s improve our waste collection by sorting and reprocessing. The need is urgent, and we must continue to develop and use multiple strategies to have a waste-free environment.

Our planet is beautiful! Let’s save it!!

[INFOGRAPHIC] How NGOs in Nigeria Use Technology

Two hundred and nineteen Nigerian NGOs, nonprofits, and charities participated in the survey for the 2018 Global NGO Technology Report. Their responses are summarized below. The data is meant to provide benchmarks for organizations in Nigeria so that they can gauge whether they are ahead or behind in their use technology.


14 Stats About How NGOs in Nigeria Use Technology

2018 Nigerian Partner: Nigeria Network of NGOs

 71% of NGOs in Nigeria have a website. Of those, 90% are mobile compatible.

 76% use the .ORG domain. 11% use .COM. 3% use .NET. 3% use .NGO. 1% use country codes. 6% use other domains.

★ 38% use WordPress as their Content Management System for their website. 4%use Joomla. 16% use another CMS and 42% don’t know.

52% of NGOs in Nigeria accept online donations on their website. Of those, 78% accept direct debit payments. 51% accept credit card payments. 14% accept PayPal. 3% accept digital wallet payments.

★ 30% utilize an online peer-to-peer fundraising service.

★ 17% participate in #GivingTuesday.

★ 55% of NGOs in Nigeria regularly send email updates and fundraising appeals to supporters and donors. Of those, 48% use an email marketing service. 18% send email via BCC. 4% send email via their CRM. 20% send email through another method and 10% don’t know.

 58% regularly send text messages to supporters and donors. Of those, 42% also utilize a text-to-give service for SMS fundraising.

 86% of NGOs in Nigeria have a Facebook Page and 28% have a Facebook Group. 64% have a Twitter Profile. 51% have a LinkedIn Page and 16% have a LinkedIn Group. 38% have an Instagram Profile. Other social media used are: 31% YouTube, 24% Google+, 5% Pinterest, 2% Vimeo, 1% Flickr, 1% Tumblr, and 1% Reddit.

47% use messaging apps to communicate with supporters and donors. Of those, 86% use WhatsApp. 48% use Facebook Messenger. 3% use Viber. 3% use Viber. 1% use Snapchat. 1% use WeChat.

 85% of NGOs in Nigeria use Microsoft Windows as their operating system on desktop and laptop computers. 9% use Google Chrome OS. 2% use Apple macOS. 1% use Linux OS. 1% use another operating system and 2% don’t know.

70% use Google Android as their operating system on smartphones and tablets. 19% use Windows Phone. 4% use Apple iOS. 1% use another operating system and 6% don’t know.

★ 10% use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) software to track donations and manage communications with supporters and donors. Of those, 59% use a cloud-based CRM.

★ 35% use encryption technology to protect data and communications. Of those, 24% to protect the privacy of email communications. 20% to protect organization information. 12% to protect donor information. 12% to protect the privacy of mobile communications.


Source: NGO Technology Report

 

REPORT OF NNNGO’S ACTIVITIES FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE YEAR 2018

OVERVIEW OF CITIZENS’ REPORT SUPPORTED BY AFRICAN MONITOR

The Citizens Report is a shadow report based on citizen-driven monitoring of SDGs in seven African countries. It is a 3-year programme with a strong presence at the local, national and regional level. The project’s theory of change is that when citizens effectively hold their governments accountable for delivery, democracy is strengthened, development outcomes improve significantly for the poor, and citizens gain confidence to claim their rights and solve local problems.

Through the programme, a cohort of youth champions and civil society representatives will be trained and supported to collect citizen-generated data to monitor SDG implementation. Citizen monitoring tools used (i.e. the Governance Barometer and Citizens Hearings) will generate new qualitative data that will inform national and regional review processes.

The objective of the project is to; enhance the monitoring and review of the SDGs, facilitate policy change and improved delivery, and engage regional and global development institutions

NNNGO has ensured that a work plan on how the project will be carried out has been developed to aid implementation and monitor the progress of the work. Following this, the project was officially launched with call for application to recruit young Nigerians who would serve as Youth Champions. The call was released in January, 2018 and had 90 applicants from which four individuals were selected based on the quality of application.

In February 2018, these four individuals underwent trainings on how to conduct social research. Subsequently, three communities have been identified using purposive sampling technique and the principle of leave no one behind. Draft questions for the citizens’ hearing have been developed based on the area of interest and also putting their location and culture into perspective.

In the second quarter of the year, data gathering which includes citizens’ hearing and survey as well as analysis will commence.

OVERVIEW OF PACFaH@Scale SPONSORED BY dRPC

Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health @Scale (PACFaH@Scale) is a health accountability project which supports the implementation of routine immunization financing strategy with emphasis and inclusion of the basic healthcare provision fund and improving allocation and timely releases of family planning funding in fulfilment of the state governments’ commitments.

The programme aims to conduct research and analysis on health policy and budget, identify significant policy targets, develop policy and issue briefs to share with policy makers, hold press conferences to educate the public and raise awareness as well as train NGOs and build capacity for evidence-based advocacy engagements.

In February 2018, copies of the 2017 Contraceptive Implementation Plan (CIP) for Routine Immunization (RI) in Lagos state were obtained for review, detailed review of CIP for Lagos State RI successfully carried out and a report developed. In addition, a report of baseline assessment of Family Plan (FP) policy and financial commitments was also developed.

A stakeholder-mapping engagement was held in March 2018 to identify RI and CIP-focused Civil Society Organisations (CSO) operational in Lagos. This was to identify issues and challenges that these organisations face in their work as well as factor out ways of bridging identified gaps in order to allow effective implementation of the project.

OVERVIEW OF THE “STRENGTHENING STATUTORY REGULATIONS FOR CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN NIGERIA: AMENDING PART C OF CAMA” SUPPORTED BY COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION (JAN-MAR):

Activities on implementation of the second phase of the Commonwealth Foundation project started on Jan 22nd to 26th 2018 with a civil society online campaign. This was done on the NNNGO social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) for a period of one week with the participation of civil society actors who contributed observations and opinions on the amendment of the Act using #SuggestedAmendmentToCAMA.

The campaign generated questions on how Non-profits can file annual returns, the Part C of CAMA, insights and opinions to the amendment and provided an opportunity for interaction on how these issues can be effectively addressed.

On March, 22nd 2018, a letter was sent to the Corporate Affairs Commission informing them of the outcome of the campaign with details of contributions from civil society actors regarding annual returns. This was in a bid to help shape the Commission’s work especially in the review of the Part C of the CAMA in line with the present administration’s agenda for enabling ease of business.

Meetings with the National Assembly and the Corporate Affairs Commissions have also been scheduled to hold on the 24th of April 2018, the meetings will enable discussion on the review done by NNNGO and the recommendations sent to these regulatory agencies the previous year. Outcomes of these meeting would be shared with the members to update them for their review as well.

OVERVIEW OF THE EUROPEAN UNION PROJECT (JAN-MAR): “STRENGTHENING THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK AND ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR A MORE ACCOUNTABLE AND TRANSPARENT CIVIL SOCIETY IN NIGERIA”.

The project was originally scheduled to undergo a 12-month implementation plan; however, a range of activities were delayed due to several bureaucratic delays regarding the project’s visibility plan. Despite this challenge, the project succeeded in planning and developing all tools, guides and templates needed to successfully achieve expected project outcomes.

The results achieved so far under this project contributed directly to improving the debate on NGO accountability and the need for a strengthened regulatory framework and enabling environment for a more accountable and transparent civil society in Nigeria, call for a self-regulatory framework by the sector and improved mechanism for cooperation between the sector and regulators.

In addition, the understanding and knowledge including direct linkage between the work of nonprofits, regulatory bottlenecks, weak compliance with existing regulations and restrictive laws has increased amongst stakeholders. Subsequently, regulators are now active in their oversight of the operations of nonprofits as is the case with the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering (SCUML) that now conduct on the spot regulatory checks on nonprofits in the country or the ongoing reform on the ease of doing business which captures nonprofit registration and filing of annual returns.

OVERVIEW OF LIFE-LINE GRANT

The Life-line grant aims to create awareness on the NGO regulatory bill as well as provide a platform for the portrayal of civil society views regarding the bill. In the first quarter of 2018, a shadow report of happenings at the Public Hearing on the NGO regulatory Bill conducted on Wednesday, 18th December, 2017 was developed.

In addition, discussions on social media, newspaper, TV and radio interviews about the bill were collated and developed into a “what we heard” report. Both reports were then published and circulated to the legislature. This aimed at bringing several voices on the bill to the notice of the legislatures with the hope that this will provide evidence on the public’s view of the bill.

In the next quarter, it is intended that a legislative campaign will begin.  The Campaign will target legislators through SMS and letter writing campaigns to inform the legislators on the benefits of non-profits and why they should support the call for the ‘death’ of bill 585.

The campaign will involve civil society organisations signing on letters and writing separate letters to representatives of communities where they work highlighting their impact and the danger that the passage of bill 585 portends for the communities they serve. It is also intended that letters will be written to various national and religious leaders, community heads, business leaders, police chiefs, local clergy, political figures asking them to make strong public statements on the need for the bill to be stepped down.

OVERVIEW OF THE CIVIC ENGAGEMENT ON THE FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE (FATF) EVALUATION OF NIGERIA SUPPORTED BY OPEN SOCIETY INITIATIVE FOR WEST AFRICA,  

In the past 15 months, the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO), supported by the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA), has embarked on a project to create space for effective engagement of the civil society organisations in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) evaluation process for Nigeria.

To engage the civil society, NNNGO embarked on several activities such as:

Research on Nigerian laws that directly or indirectly, affect the ability of the non-profit sector to function effectively. A review of both the 2011 Money Laundering (ML) Prohibition Act and the draft Anti-Money Laundering (AML) bill submitted to the National Assembly by the Executive arm of the government.

Findings revealed that both the 2011 ML prohibition act and the draft AML bill in their current forms are contrary to the proportionate and targeted approach required by the revised FATF standards – Recommendation 8 and its Interpretative Note and discourage legitimate activities of NPOs.

In sensitizing civil society and the public about FATF, social media and web creatives were used to highlight the relevance of FATF Recommendation 8 to the work of Nigerian non-profits. Using Email, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp platforms and Short Message Services, series of FATF-focused messages were sent to over 2,377 non-profits on the NNNGO mailing list. Fifteen editions of the e-newsletter were produced and Six feature articles were published online and in print (Punch Newspaper).

The essence of these was to provide information on FATF, link its implications for Nigeria and the work of non-profits, understand the role of evaluation agencies such GIABA and the need for reforms of the AML/CFT regime amongst others. It was observed that some NPOs were not aware of the laws and agencies governing them, hence the need for this sensitization.

NNNGO was involved in engagement meetings with the National Risk Assessment Secretariat, National Assembly Committee on Civil Society and other stakeholders including the media.

These include: a meeting with the Special Adviser to the Senate President and the Clerk of the Senate Committee on Civil Society and Diaspora; meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit – the focal government agency charged with the responsibility of complying with international standards on combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and proliferation; and the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML)—the agency of government responsible for the implementation of the AML/CFT regime in Nigeria, among others.

The meetings were aimed at ensuring; that civil society engages in the upcoming mutual evaluation; the revised Recommendation 8 and its interpretation is properly implemented without targeting non-profits or shrinking civic space.

Part of the activities included the creation of an informal coalition of civil society organizations interested in working on FATF related issues. Membership of the coalition was open to all civil society organisations

interested in FATF and, NNNGO conducted two online and two physical meetings with the coalition members after its creation.

As part of efforts to connect with global efforts, NNNGO attended six online global NPO coalition on FAFTR8. It was an opportunity to learn and share best practices including building the Network’s capacity to engage well in country on FATF issues.

2 regional workshops were held in Lagos and Abuja on the 19th and 26th February 2018 respectively with 135 participants from 14 states of the country attending in total.

Organised in partnership with SCUML, the workshop has its central theme as ‘’effective implementation of AML/CFT requirements in the NPO sector in Nigeria.

The project was rounded off with a sector-wide conference organised by NNNGO, in partnership with SCUML. The conference was held on 28th March 2018 in Lagos. It was themed “Implementation of AML/CFT Standards for the Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) Sector in Nigeria” and had in attendance over 200 participants drawn from the civil society community, SCUML, NFIU, NNNGO staff and the media.

The result of these activities has further strengthened the relationship and partnership with regulators (SCUML and NFIU). Also, it has to a large extent, improved the consciousness of civil society organisations on the AML/CFT regime in Nigeria.

Call for application: 1st Annual National Youth Summit on Environment

Call for application: 1st Annual National Youth Summit on Environment

Deadline: 20th June 2018

Interested in helping to save the planet? Interested in helping to save the environment? Are you young with immense capacity to produce result? Are you passionate about environment? Do you have idea(s) that can solve waste management’s issues in Nigeria? Here is your chance to attend 1st Annual National Youth Summit on Environment

Theme: Waste and Environmental Challenges: The Role of young people in providing solutions

Our Organization, CleanEdge Solutions, as one of its mandates and in collaboration with Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV), Development Practice Student Association (DEPSA) and Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGOs) is organizing the 1st Annual National Youth Summit on Environment

CleanEdge Solutions initiative intends to solve these challenges by utilizing the 3Rs of waste management (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). And in the last couple of months, we have been thoroughly involved in waste education exercise across the Oyo state which we called “Save the Environment Campaign” where we educated secondary school student on waste disposal practices and how best they can save their environment. We have been able to achieve this through our network of over 50 volunteers. And as we write this, the campaign have reached about 50 schools and 20, 000 students.

1st Annual National Youth Summit on Environment, which is the first of its kind, is designed to bring about 200 stakeholders together to provide solutions to menace of Environmental Challenges in Nigeria. On summit day, we will build capacity of young people aged 18-40yrs by looking at waste problems, proffer workable solutions, how young people can build smart businesses and provide recommendations on the role of youth inclusion in addressing environmental challenges.

Eligibility

  • This is open application to everyone aged 18 – 40
  • Have fantastic ideas about environment
  • Interested in Tech4Environment Hackathon
  • Passionate about environment, climate change, education and sustainable development goals (SDGs) as a whole

Application

To apply, click here

For more information, click here

For exhibition in our green space which is free, send an email to summit@cleanedge.com.ng and copy info@cleanedge.com.ng

 

Source: CleanEdge
NNNGO Membership Survey Report

NNNGO Membership Survey Report

The annual NNNGO membership survey tracks how well NNNGO is engaging with its members and meeting programme objectives. The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) is home to 2,400 nonprofit organisations spread across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

 

It is critical that the Network’s management understands its members satisfaction of services rendered by the organisation and what changes or improvements they would like to see.  In December 2017, the Nigeria Network of NGOs completed a survey of its members across the country. It is designed to indicate the health of the Network’s membership and identify emerging needs of members for planning and retooling of the organisations membership related activities.

 

The NNNGO membership satisfaction survey was taken by 111 organisations across the 6 geo-political zones of the country. We thank the respondents to the survey questions for their role in making the survey and reporting possible.

 

This is not just a report for the shelves, the Network’s management will use this report to make its membership’s voice stronger in its plans and programmes—and in developing and strengthening the organisation as a platform for inspiring, connecting and advocating for the nonprofit sector as an essential contributor to Nigeria’s communities and economy.

 

A copy of the report is available for download here. (1.4MB)

Workshop Materials: Effective Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Requirements in the NPO Sector in Nigeria

Workshop Materials: Effective Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Requirements in the NPO Sector in Nigeria

With the support of Open Society Initiative for Western Africa (OSIWA), the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) in collaboration with the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), organised two regional workshops in Lagos state and Abuja on 19th and 26th February 2018 respectively.

The workshops with the theme Effective Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Requirements in the NPO Sector in Nigeria were one-day events respectively and aimed at sensitizing non-profit organisations on the Nigerian anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism regime.

Participants were taken through the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and (GIABA) standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) for nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and the compliance requirements; the sectoral risk assessment process, its objectives and NPOs’ role from the perspective of FAFT standards with comparative practices of other countries as well as the mutual evaluation process by GIABA / FATF in Nigeria and how this may affect NPOs.

Inclusive were tools and strategies for preventing terrorist abuse of the NPO sector followed by discussions on future strategy of NPO engagement in the evaluation process in Nigeria.

Click here to access presentations made by speakers at both events;

Overview of International AML/CFT Standards on NPOs By Ms. Ibinabo Mary Amachree, Head of Information and Data Management, SCUML. (Download)

An Overview of the Anti Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Regime in Nigeria By Mr. George Adebola, Assistant Director, SCUML.(Download)

The Role and Functions of SCUML as it Relates to Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) Under the AML/CFT Regime By Mr. Mathew Enu. (Download)

Vulnerabilities of the Non-Profit Sector in Nigeria to Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing as Identified in the National Risk Assessment (NRA) & Measures to Prevent Misuse of the Sector for Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing By Mr. Temitope Olubunmi Erinomo. (Download)

FATF/GIABA Mutual Evaluation Process and the Role of the NGOs for the Successful Conduct of the Mutual Evaluation Review (MER) By Abdul Rahman Mustapha, Head of Monitoring and Analysis, NFIU. (Download)

End.

2018 Annual Letter to the Nonprofit Sector

2018 Annual Letter to the Nonprofit Sector

Dear Nonprofit Leader,

2017 was an upsetting year for the sector. Our resilience was tested by the economic recession and our integrity and togetherness, challenged by the obnoxious House Bill 585. In all, we came out stronger and better. Though the battle is not yet over, we are confident that we will get to the finish line.

2018 presents us with the opportunity to reform our sector and to take our place in national development especially in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is also the year we need to introspect and address the transparency and accountability deficits existing in our fold.

While the debate on the NGO bill rages, we heard a lot about our sector; there were valid concerns, misconceptions, blackmail and misinformation. These must in 2018, inform how we respond to the future of our work as a sector. None of these voices should be missed in our efforts to reform the sector for effectiveness and growth.

Our most cherished value as a sector is accountability. Though many nonprofits are self-funded, there still exists a wide gap in our regulatory compliance; we cannot continue our ways of not reporting to our regulators and stakeholders. Record keeping is a challenge which we must all work together to address in the New Year.

Regulators are expected to step up their regulatory compliance mechanisms in the year. We must work with our regulators as a sector to ensure that their actions enable our operational environment. It is pertinent to be reasonable in our approach to issues bothering on the implementation of existing regulatory frameworks and at the same time, propose necessary reforms to these frameworks.

Each organisation must work out its own transparency and accountability mechanism in line with international best practices and norms. This will entail increasing Board engagement and oversight on their operations, enhancing organisational and operational planning, improving financial management systems, accelerating project implementation, establishing regulatory compliance processes and sustaining transparency and accountability procedures. Bigger nonprofits must be willing to mentor medium and small sized nonprofits, being our brother’s keepers will be the watchword in 2018.

For our sector, 2018 is an important year as it is a pre-election period. We must seize the moment to ensure that we have in place a civil society manifesto that is SDGs-based, one that can serve as a framework for citizens’ demand to individuals seeking elective offices in 2019. Issues already captured in the 17 global goals must form a basis for our national and local election debates.

As the 3rd sector continues to mature, our ability to sit at the table with government and the private sector using evidence from our work is becoming a necessity, we must pay attention to lessons from our activities that can aid policy formulation and implementation. Now is the time to stop agonizing and start organizing for the change we want to see.

For us at the Nigeria Network of NGOs, our work this year will be shaped under 4 strategic pillars—Enabling the operational environment for Nigerian nonprofits, sustaining advocacy on the attainment of the SDGs, strengthening sector-wide organisational capacity and improving knowledge on the Nigerian 3rd sector space. I am counting on your support to make this happen.

May 2018 be the sector’s best year yet!

Your colleague,

Oyebisi B. Oluseyi

Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs.

The law to strangle civil society

The law to strangle civil society

Members of the Nigerian National Summit Group and other civil society organisations during a protest on the implementation of the 2014 National Conference report in Lagos… on Thursday. Photo: Goke Famadewa

The effort to take away the freedom of thousands of civil society organisations — now known and called the name it deserves, “obnoxious bill” seems to have failed in the public domain but is gaining attention within the membership of the National Assembly. The latest round of efforts, the Umar Buba Jubril bill (HB 585) looks doomed with growing number of citizens, citizen organisations in opposition.

Thanks to the many organisations and individuals raising awareness on the bill and pointing all stakeholders to the dangers of a bill — the video by human rights activist, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, lawmakers who publicly spoke against the bill, the activists who protested to the Office of the Lagos State Governor, the bloggers who flooded the Internet and made the #NoNGOBillNG trend on social media, the media who dispassionately featured the bill, the experts who did technical analyses of the bill, the activists who petitioned the United Nations, and many others.

This outpouring show of support against the bill has left all stakeholders thinking on how best to address both the threat and opportunity the NGO regulatory agency bill portends for national development. If the bill passes, the non-profit landscape will change significantly for the worse. Which is why many observers are worried. But it is not the end of the world yet. By now, everyone should have learnt that the sponsor of the bill will not give up going by the statements attributed to him on his justifications for why the bill must pass.

Certainly, the sector is upset! I have read calls by some groups asking for the recall of the House Committee Chair, Peter Akpatason, for what reason many non-state actors with deep understanding of the issues are asking. As long as we all are upset, our set of actions to stop the passage of the bill must not alienate those who are more with us than against us. Given his background and antecedents as the President of NUPENG, one cautiously assumes that our struggles are not new to Akpatason and that he will be an unbiased umpire in this instance.

Of particular importance are the positions some members of the National Assembly are taking in solidarity with the bill starting with House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila. Going by his social media post on issues surrounding the bill, it appears Gbajabiamila is worried that the sector can be used as conduits for terrorism financing.

On September 21, 2017, he wrote on his Facebook page: “NGOs must be regulated to track donations, protect donor agencies and prevent abuse. Nigeria must also know what’s coming in and from what source. This is a different age. We must be vigilant. Terrorists can be funded under the guise of NGO”.

He went ahead on September 22 to post a picture of a notice of deregistration of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission by the NGO Coordination Board of Kenya. The picture came with this post by him: “NGOs cannot be above the laws of the land. They must be regulated. We have to balance the equities, that is the two potential fears and abuse on both sides and determine which outweighs the other. More importantly, the whole idea of a public hearing is to address such fears”.

Gbajabiamila’s fear on the sector being used for terrorism financing are valid and the sector stands with him on this. However, this fear has already been addressed by the 2011 Anti-Money Laundering Law and the Money Laundering Amendment Act (HB410) presently on the floor of the National Assembly.  The 2011 AML sets up the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering which now monitors the funding received by non-profits. No non-profit can open a bank account without first registering with the SCUML. Interagency collaboration between the SCUML, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit and the Corporate Affairs Commission also ensures that what comes into the sector is known and from what source.  Ask the NFIU or SCUML today what comes in, I am sure they will provide this information in a matter of seconds and not minutes.

African leaders are very quick to copy bad policies yet slow and reluctant to copy the good ones. The deregistration of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission by the NGO Coordination Board of Kenya, we all know, was politically motivated and that it came as a result of the organisation’s stand against fraud in the Kenyan elections. One agrees with Gbajabiamila that this is a “different age” and not the age where agencies of government can hide under obnoxious laws to muffle civic space.

What happened to the Kenyan Human Rights Commission is one of the reasons why we stand against the NGO regulatory agency bill as it has the potential for stifling critical voice(s) necessary for democratic growth and socio-economic development. Do we have provisions for deregistration of NGOs in the present regulatory frameworks that exist in the country? Yes, we do!

Part C of CAMA clearly states how this can and should be done. If Gbajabiamila is interested in deregistering NGOs, then the laws are already there why reinvent the wheel. One hopes and guesses he calls for the deregistration of the truly bad ones and not those holding him and the system accountable as can be seen from the Kenyan bad example of deregistration based on frivolous grounds already challenged and won in court since 2015 by KHRC (http://kenyalaw.org/caselaw/cases/view/121717/)

It seems our lawmakers are not conversant with the ways of working of the non-profit sector and existing regulatory frameworks as each supporter of the bill has sounded like there isn’t any regulation for the sector. This is making the sector think there are some ulterior motives if for crying out loud the seven regulatory frameworks in existence are ignored by the lawmakers who should know better. One agrees that the existing regulations need a critical review and institutional strengthening with the aim of enabling and not stifling the operations of non-profits who are already doing a lot using their own resources.

It is misleading to think all NGOs receive foreign funding; very few (4-5 per cent) do; others (96-95 per cent) use their personal resources, sourced primarily from their income, friends, family, public and corporations including from the National Assembly members. We must continue to prohibit proponents of regulation from the thoughts that no regulation existed or that they are not fit for purpose. There are and in line with international standards and norms though they need a review to be in line with 21st century NGO regulation and in sync with the operational environment of both small, medium and large non-profits.

There are several lawmakers who will not be as bold as Senator Shehu Sanni who came out boldly on his Twitter handle on September 23 to say, “The bill on NGOs will reinforce those with tyrannical tendencies and further stifle rights to freedom of speech and assembly. I’ll oppose it”. We need the likes of Sanni and Oghene Emmanuel Egor (representing Amuwo Odofin) who first opposed the bill in 2016 stating that, “the establishment of the Commission would defeat the aim and objectives of CSOs as it may attempt to manage and control funds received’’. He further noted that: “It is not within the jurisdictions of the Federal Government to monitor funds that it did not donate nor have ownership of’’.

My hope for the not too distant future is that nonprofits, National Assembly and regulators can find a pathway for working together to ensure our shared objectives of bringing the dividends of democracy and development to the doorsteps of the common man are enabled within the framework of attaining the SDGs and leaving no one behind!

Oluseyi, Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs writes in from Lagos,seyi@nnngo.org

Copyright PUNCH.