Nonprofit Covid19 Survey

The Nonprofit Covid19 Survey tracks the impact of the pandemic on Nigerian nonprofits, paying attention to operational disruptions, funding realities, availability of opportunities for nonprofits, and state of organisational reserves in the pandemic.

 

As a Network of 2,754 organisations, spread across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, the Nigeria Network of NGOs finds it imperative to understand the sector’s reaction to the virus, how factors that have arisen due to the global crisis is impeding our work and what must be done to ensure that our beneficiaries continue to enjoy the services that we provide.

 

The Nonprofit Covid19 Survey was conducted on 250 organisations with responses were garnered from 115 organisations across the 6 geo-political zones of the country. Our gratitude to these organisations for responding to our telephone calls at an exceedingly difficult time.

 

For the Network and the sector as a whole, this report is intended to aid programming and how we respond to helping nonprofit organisations to build back better. We will pay attention to the actions requested of us by our members and ensure we address them for the benefit of the sector as a whole. We will continue gathering insights and information on the nonprofit sector including how we are supporting the fight against the coronavirus and navigating the crisis.

 

A copy of the report is available for download here (837kb) Nonprofit Covid19 Survey

Public Hearing on NGO Regulatory Agency Bill (HB585)

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Public Hearing on NGO Regulatory Agency Bill (HB585)

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Background:

On the 13th and 14th December 2017, the House of Representatives will host a public hearing on a Bill for an Act to Provide for The Establishment of The Non-Governmental Organizations’ Regulatory Commission for The Supervision, Co-ordination and Monitoring of Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organisations Etc., In Nigeria And for Related Matters (hereinafter “Bill”).

Nonprofits in Nigeria continue to play a vital role in strengthening democracy, advancing freedom of expression and enriching our diversity. Over the years, Nigerians have turned to nonprofit organisations for support and they have kept their doors opened to serve millions of communities, families and individuals; taking on a variety of causes that critically require their intervention. Nonprofit organisations and social enterprises make an important contribution to the Nigerian economy and our society, as well as providing employment.

The services provided by nonprofit organisations, community groups, and social enterprises play crucial roles in ensuring that individuals and communities are well equipped to deal with structural changes in the nation’s economy, providing support to vulnerable groups, or supporting communities to develop. Nonprofits complement government’s efforts.

Between 95 – 98% of nonprofits in the country are funded directly by their founders with support from friends, family and the public. Only 2 – 5% receive foreign funding. Founders of nonprofits have noted that they are motivated to start a nonprofit given the growing inequality that exits in their communities and the need to act to remedy this.  These are a set of talking points we encourage individuals and organisations in the nonprofit space to use in their advocacy around the NGO Regulatory Agency Bill.

 General Points

  • We are extremely concerned that this bill will disrupt the activities of nonprofits and the millions of families that we serve.
  • The House Bill fails to protect our right as citizens to freedom of association and assembly as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which Nigeria is a party to.
  • With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of critical stakeholders (Government, private sector and civil society) in attaining the goals, Bill HB 585 is moving the country in the wrong direction as it creates unnecessary bureaucratic barriers necessary for an effective partnership for the goals.
  • Rather than encourage more people to support the over 112 million people that are poor and vulnerable, the Bill disables the operational environment within which such support can be given.
  • If the bill is passed in its current form, the National Assembly will effectively cut out support to communities and families whose existence depend on the charitable acts of nonprofits.
  • We recognise the need to make the sector more transparent and accountable but we do not believe Bill HB585 is the solution to this challenge.

Existing Regulatory Framework

  • The NGO Regulatory Agency Bill assumes there are no regulations for the NGO sector whereas we have 8 legal frameworks and they are:
  1. Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
  2. Companies Income Tax Act (CITA)
  3. Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act
  4. Value-Added Tax Act and Value-Added Tax Amendment Act
  5. Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act
  6. National Planning Commission Act
  7. Money Laundering Prohibition Act and
  8. Financial Reporting Council Act
  • The Corporate Affairs Commission registers nonprofits in Nigeria and already takes care of the supervisory, registration and licensing role taunted in Bill 585.
  • The Federal Inland Revenue Service ensures nonprofit funds are subjected to appropriate taxes and exemptions.
  • The Special Control Unit on Money Laundering (SCUML) supervises nonprofit transactions to be sure that the sector is not used for money laundering and terrorism financing.
  • Financial Reporting Council ensures that audit reports produced by nonprofits are in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards and that auditors providing services to the sector are doing the right thing.
  • Bill 585 rather than strengthen the above provisions makes dangerous recommendations that opens nonprofits to become an instrument of ridicule, blurring the lines to the sectors’ independence.

Mandatory Registration

  • (Section 11(1)), (Section 13(4)) and (Section 37(1)-(2)) negates Article 22.7 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which has consistently found that mandatory registration of NGOs is not permitted. While reserving tax incentives and other benefits for registered organizations may be appropriate, requiring registration violates the second and third prongs of the Article 22 of the ICCPR which Nigeria ratified on July 29, 1993.

Government Appendage

  • Rather than enable the sectors’ independence, (Section 26(1)) and (Section 27(1)) make nonprofits an appendage of government as it places another layer of registration on the sector by asking for approval from relevant Ministries of Government/Agency before projects can be carried out in communities or support given to the poor. Such extensive involvement by the proposed Commission in the internal affairs of an organization places severe logistical and practical constraints on its ability to conduct activities independently and to associate more broadly.
  • This Bill weakens and imposes unnecessary restrictions on the ability of nonprofits to provide in real time critical support, services and care that can lift millions out of poverty thus entrenching inequality.
  • We are concerned that this Bill sets a foundation for anarchy as nonprofits continue to be the only succor left for the common man in a country where social protection systems cannot cover the majority who need them.

Restrictions on Capacity Building

  • (Section 28(3)) states that assets transferred to build the capacity of an organization should be done through the Commission, which will identify the operation criteria. This provision in the Bill challenges the right of organisations to use their own resources.
  • Bill 585 inadvertently seeks to ensure that the capacity of nonprofits to deliver on their organisational vision and mission is weakened and left to the whims and caprices of the Commission thereby reducing the impact of the sector.
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association writes, “Under international law, problematic constraints include…requiring the transfer of funds to a centralized Government fund.”17 He additionally states “the obligation for associations to route funding through state channels…constitute human rights violations.”

Criminalization of unregistered organisations

  • (Section 24) specifically criminalizes the operation of an NGO in Nigeria “for welfare, research, health relief, agriculture, education, industry, the supply of amenities or any other similar purposes” without registration and certificate under the Act
  • An individual operating an unregistered NGO under this Section may face a fine of 500,000 Naira, a prison sentence of 18 months, or both (Section 24). Further, any individual convicted is additionally disqualified from holding office in any NGO for ten years (Section 24).
  • This in our opinion is the Sponsors strategy to quell dissenting views or beliefs.
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association states, “Individuals involved in unregistered associations should indeed be free to carry out any activities…and should not be subject to criminal sanctions…”

NGO Commission

  • The Bill contemplates the establishment of a Commission to register and oversee the regulation of NGOs and civil societies, as well as a Board to manage the Commission. Although, several countries have established commissions to certify charities or public benefit status, very few have established stand-alone commissions to regulate and monitor civil society organizations like the one envisioned by this Bill.

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AML/CFT ADVISORY FOR NONPROFITS ON THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC

Countries all over the world are working effortlessly to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues that have arisen as a result. At a time like this when critical relief is needed in the country and beyond, nonprofits must safeguard the integrity and accountability of their operations by complying with the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) standards, to address the challenges posed by COVID-19.

 

Nonprofits must recognise the increasing rates of fraudulent activities and particularly the vulnerability of the sector to being taken advantage of by criminals during this period. We must, therefore, put measures in place to strengthen our systems to quickly identify suspicious activities by entities who may want to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to engage in money laundering and other illicit activities such as fundraising for sham nonprofits, offering fraudulent opportunities, cybercrimes, medical scams, exploiting people among others.

 

Download here AML-CFT

Covid 19 Nonprofit Advisory

The COVID-19 pandemic will have implications for nonprofits as well their staff members, volunteers, interns and beneficiaries. We have therefore, put together this practical guidance to help nonprofits cope and think through their operations during the pandemic. This document responds to some of the common challenges we see nonprofits facing.

 

How will COVID-19 affect our work?

The pandemic will affect organisations differently and we must all prepare for it. To do this, organisations must develop a robust understanding of what will happen to their activities or projects during and after the pandemic. The following checklist provides guidance on steps an organisation can take to reflect on the effect of COVID-19 to its operations.

 

Download here Covid 19 Nonprofit Advisory

Nonprofit Operational Manual

The Nonprofit Operational Manual is designed to assist Nigerian nonprofits to strengthen their operational and technical capacity in delivering their vision and mission. The manual aims to help nonprofits adopt best organisation practices, clarify requirements, regulations and compliance issues relating to managing a nonprofit.

 

It is designed as both a capacity-building tool and reference material for successfully running a nonprofit organisation and as a guide for understanding and complying with regulatory frameworks guiding the operation of nonprofits in Nigeria. Through this manual as well as training, skills-building activities and information exchanges, NNNGO hopes to enhance the performance and capacity of organisations to deliver effective services to their beneficiaries and critical stakeholders.

 

Click here to download http://bit.ly/2EccVcM

NNNGO Launches Project to Strengthen Regulatory Frameworks for Civil Society

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About the Project

The Nigeria Network of NGOs announces the launch of a project, funded by the European Union, titled, “Strengthening Regulatory Frameworks for a More Accountable and Transparent Civil Society in Nigeria”, that focuses on current regulatory realities within the Nigerian nonprofit sector with an aim to lead conversations and actions on how these regulations can be better implemented in a way that creates an enabling operational environment for Nigerian civil society organisations (CSOs).

 

Project Launch

A project launch themed “Understanding Nonprofit Regulatory Frameworks; Trends and Realities” was organised in Abuja on Monday, November 4, 2019.  Participants who comprised seventy-two (72) CSOs gave insights into how best to carve out and popularize a self-regulatory mechanism that is responsive to the needs of the sector and can be effectively implemented in line with global best practices. 

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The Nigerian third sector is gradually awakening to the need to work together with regulators especially with regards to compliance issues and generally improve transparency and accountability within the sector. We are confident that this project and our approach to its implementation will allow for mutual communication among civic actors, regulators, and policymakers and we can all collaborate to create an enabling regulatory environment for the sector.

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Oyebisi Oluseyi, Executive Director of the Nigeria Network of NGOs.

“We are excited about this project especially as it focuses on one of our strategic pillars as organisation protection of the operational environment of Nigerian Nonprofits. We also expect that by the end of the project, one of the outcomes, among others is that it will serve as a repository of knowledge on nonprofit regulations, and provide key insights on how to incorporate global best practices into our work and the civil society sector as a whole” added Oyebisi Oluseyi. Conversations revolved around issues of registration of Nigerian Nonprofits, regulations, legitimacy, accountability, and transparency for the third sector. Participants also discussed the development of a nonprofit Code of Conduct by the sector, for the sector and approved by the Government as a guide for the operations of the Nigerian NGOs. Suggestions were made as to how nonprofits can better engage in collaborations, employ public information systems, peer review, and self-assessment mechanisms to allow growth and sustainability of organisations, especially those at the grassroots. 

 

A newly designed page tagged “Strengthening Regulatory Frameworks” (SRF) which offers a comprehensive understanding of the project has been created on the Network’s website www.nnngo.org where easy access is guaranteed to essential information on corporate governance within the Nigerian civil society sector, nonprofit realities as well as general information about Nigerian nonprofits. The page will be updated on a regular basis with news, pictures, and videos of project events, activities, milestones, and updates.  

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The project is intended to include peer reviews, consultations with CSOs across the country to garner opinions on regulations that they consider ideal and enabling; engagements with regulatory authorities and the National Assembly with the aim of producing a solid self-regulatory frame for Nonprofit organisations operating in Nigeria.  

 

This publication is produced with funding from the European Union.

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@2019 NNNGO.  www.nnngo.org.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Strategic Plan

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The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) is the first generic membership body for civil society organizations in Nigeria that facilitates effective advocacy on issues of poverty and other developmental issues. Established in 1992, NNNGO represents over 2,400 organisations ranging from small groups working at the local level, to larger networks working at the national level.

 

INTRODUCTION

The Nigeria Network of NGOs has more than 2,400-member organisations and works with diverse institutions within and outside the civil society ranging from academics, trade unions, funders through to private sector and government. We work to secure a fairer operational environment for Nigerian nonprofits. Our 2018-22 strategic plan emanates from our continued commitment to supporting nonprofits in the country in bringing prosperity to people and planet. Our analysis of rapidly changing environment and challenges facing civil society, and an elaborate process of consultation within the NNNGO membership and critical stakeholders to determine the most useful role NNNGO can play in adding value to the work our members do and to secure the operational environment we want.

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The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) is the first generic membership body for civil society organisations in Nigeria that facilitates effective advocacy on issues of poverty and other developmental issues. 

Do you have questions? Call or visit us.

+2349069460107

Plot 3 Sobanjo avenue, Idi-ishin Jericho Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria.

nnngo@nnngo.org 

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