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SDGs Monitor Journal (Jan - Mar, 2019)

posted on March 29, 2019 by ORADI posted in News & Events

We are happy to announce that beginning with this issue, The SDGs Monitor Magazine will begin a new style of presentation that combines its popular magazine focus with original data-based and researched articles that include some technical language in support of upper level academic research on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

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SDGs Monitor Journal (Jan - Mar, 2019)

posted on March 28, 2019 by ORADI posted in SDGs Monitor

We are happy to announce that beginning with this issue, The SDGs Monitor Magazine will begin a new style of presentation that combines its popular magazine focus with original data-based and researched articles that include some technical language in support of upper level academic research on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

We continue to be grateful for the support of the Ford Foundation which has enabled us to shun affiliation with any institution, political organization or government body, and to be obligated only to our readers– the general public and most especially, the academic and civil society communities. As such, we maintain a level of independence and objectivity that few other publications in Nigeria can achieve.

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Letter from the Publisher: X-raying CSOs' Role in Localising the SDGs in Nigeria

posted on April 16, 2018 by ORADI posted in SDGs Monitor (First Edition)

FOR more than two years, the Nigerian government has been striving to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2015.

However, given the scope and ambition of the SDGs, it is clear that government alone cannot achieve the agenda. Those in authority will need the broad involvement of other stakeholders, such as the private sector, the public and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). Indeed, the CSOs serve as one of the key drivers of the SDGs process in Nigeria.

It is against this background that in this edition of SDGs Monitor, we are focusing is on the role of the CSOs in localising the SDGs in Nigeria. In our well investigated reports, we highlight how some leading CSOs have been partnering with the Nigerian government to ensure effective implementation of the global goals in the seven selected SDGs we are closely monitoring. The selected SDGs are:

• No Poverty: SDG-1

• Quality Education: SDG-4

• Gender Equality: SDG-5

• Decent Work and Economic Growth: SDG-8:

• Reduced Inequalities: SDG-10

• Climate Action: SDG-13

• Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions : SDG-16

Basically, our reports capture the collaborative synergies between the government and the CSOs in the implementation of these seven critical goals.

However, the process of gathering information for the reports was not quite smooth-sailing as some of the CSOs who were initially enthusiastic and pledged to furnish SDGs Monitor with information on how they are strategically partnering the government to drive the SDGs in Nigeria, later reneged on their promise. We found it rather astonishing that some of the CSOs we had contacted for inputs could not respond to our questionnaire meant to gather information on what their various organizations were doing to drive the SDGs.

But our team of crack reporters were undaunted as they tapped their various CSO sources to deliver this edition through well investigated reports in line with our knack for robust journalism practice.

Also in this edition, we feature in our star interview, Dr. David Tola Winjobi, National Coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD). The seasoned human rights activist, gender analyst and community development consultant sheds light on how the CSOs are complementing the efforts of the government to mainstream the SDGs in Nigeria. Happy reading.

Click here to download the soft copy of the magazine.

 

SDGs Monitor Magazine Online Version
Ebere Onwudiwe
Publisher & Editorial Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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SDGs Monitor

Cover Interview: CSOs Are Partnering Nigeria To Drive SDGs – David Tola Winjobi

posted on April 16, 2018 by ORADI posted in SDGs Monitor (First Edition)

DR. David Tola Winjobi, National Coordinator, Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) is a seasoned human rights activist, trainer of trainers, gender analyst, community development consultant, thoroughbred researcher, and conflict manager.

With over 20 years' development and human rights experience in organizations such as Amnesty International, Centre for Constitutional Governance, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), Winjobi has vast knowledge of democracy, human rights, poverty and SDGs profile in Nigeria.

He is a sought after international speaker on human rights issues and has made presentations through workshops and seminars on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in some countries including Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, the United Kingdom and United States. He was the only Nigerian invited by the UN General Assembly in New York in June 2010 as a speaker on MDGs situation in Africa. In December 2010, he was also invited by the UN in Geneva to present a paper on Minority Rights Issue. He was part of the Nigerian civil society delegates to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) National Volunteer Review in New York in July 2017.

Winjobi is a Draper Hills Fellow, Centre on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University, California (USA) as well as Fellow, Human Rights Learning Alliances, Fundar Center of Analysis and Research, Mexico. He is the Africa Focal Person, CSOs Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), the Founding Coordinator of the South West, Freedom of Information Act Network, Nigeria. A member of African Working Group on SDGs, Winjobi is also an Executive Member, Emerging Scholars and Practitioners in Migration Issues Network (ESPMI), Canada, and founding member, African Civil Society Coalition on Migration and Development (AFRICISCOMD). He was the Convener, Campaign2015+ International (now Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development) which had campaigned towards achieving MDGs by 2015 and challenging government to look beyond 2015 and give the lives of people a meaning.

Winjobi's sterling leadership qualities and intellectual disposition have been largely shaped by his academic background. He possesses B.A. Ed. English (1986); M. Ed Psychology (1989); M.A. Peace and Conflict Studies (2006), and PhD Psychology (2000).

In this interview with SDGs Monitor, Winjobi provides an insight into the role of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria. Excerpts:

On September 25, 2015, the United Nations adopted the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). How would you appraise the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria?

It has often been said that the development of a nation hinges not only on the government but also on individuals and organizations. The deficiency of governments makes room for CSOs but the latter should not be seen as competing with the former because the purpose of the CSOs is not to replace governments. Rather, its purpose is to support the efforts of government so as to improve lives and give the lives of people a meaning by upholding justice, human rights, and defending the rule of law. In other words, in the face of the current global economic recession, governments alone cannot be solely saddled with the development of a nation because of the scarce resources at their disposal. Hence, all hands must be on deck to salvage the situation. Without mincing words, governments at all levels know that it is their primary responsibility to provide good governance through the provision of the necessary socio-economic services that would impact on the general wellbeing of the governed while the non-state actors (Civil Society Actors) are to complement the efforts of the governments.

CSOs in Nigeria have been playing some critical roles even before the adoption in September 2015 of the 17 SDGs. We may recall that there were series of consultations and deliberations on post-2015 development agenda in which Nigerian CSOs not only participated in government's and UN's deliberations but also organized their own deliberations across Nigeria. Campaign2015+ International (now Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development) indeed organized deliberations in five geo-political zones of Nigeria. These deliberations involved faith-based organizations (FBOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), trade unions, professional associations, student organizations, community groups (the poor and the marginalized), town unions, disability groups, women and youth. The essence of these deliberations was to enable people voice out the kind of world they wanted, nay the kind of Nigeria they envisioned. The outcome of these consultations fed into the national deliberations organized by the Nigerian government under the auspices of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs supported by the United Nations Millennium Campaign. In fact, our own coalition came up with a 260+ page book titled: "A Compendium of Deliberations on post-2015 Development Agenda" which contains the summary of the deliberations that took place not only in Nigeria but also across the globe. Since September 2015 when the new set of goals was adopted in New York, CSOs in Nigeria have not been resting on their oars. I remember vividly that press conferences were organized in the South West purposely to sensitize the Nigerian people on the new Global Goals and especially to serve as a wake-up call to the Nigerian government so as to hit the ground running in order to attain SDGs. This was also to ensure that the case of SDGs would not be like that of MDGs where late implementation affected achieving the MDGs by 2015.

To what extent has the Nigerian government been able to sustain the Government-CSO Strategy Group on SDGs which the UN SDGs Action Campaign spearheaded in November 2015?

Yes, the UN SDGs Action Campaign spearheaded Government-CSO Strategy Group on SDGs in November 2015. The goal of the Strategy Group is ambitious while its objectives are laudable. The objectives among others are to deepen understanding of the SDGs and encourage adequate and systematic engagement with all the SDGs; and to ensure coherent and expert approach to programming on the goals and targets of the SDGs. The inauguration actually took place in OSIWA Office in Abuja where the participation of government officials was not encouraging because government was represented by the Chairman of the House Committee on SDGs. The Nigerian government lacks the capacity to sustain the Government-CSO Strategy Group on SDGs. This body has been in coma as there is no capacity to coordinate its meeting. Moreover, the government could not give the deserving leadership direction to the group. The Office of the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) needs to do more. Paramount is the need for OSSAP-SDGs to constructively engage the civil society, the academia, the media, the private sector, professional bodies, donors, youths, women and even children, persons living with disability and other stakeholders as each of these groups has one role or the other to play in achieving the SDGs. It is not too late for OSSAP-SDGs to provide an enabling environment for CSOs to operate and sustain the Government-CSO Strategy Group on SDGs. The idea of impromptu CSO consultation with Abuja-based CSOs erroneously called voluntary national consultation is not the best for the voice of civil society to be heard as several NGOs are being side-lined in such meetings that only take place in Abuja. No amount of money is too small for government to support CSOs' attendance at such meetings; it is nothing about development if such meetings are not about CSOs.

Could you give us an insight into the activities of the Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) and how it is synergizing with the federal and state governments in Nigeria to drive the sustainable development agenda?

The Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development is a national coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and networks registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and active in all the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. With a board of trustees and a national steering committee, CSCSD is the only government-recognized coalition of over 300 registered civil society and NGOs set up essentially for monitoring the implementation of SDGs in Nigeria. It envisions a society whose centre-stage is justice, peace, fulfillment of human rights and development in all ramifications.

Its work is being done in partnership with other civil society organizations, the poor, the marginalized, professional associations, the academia, the private sector, and development partners with a view to pressuring governments to account to the SDGs promises, and give the lives of people a meaning through upholding justice, human rights and development in all ramifications. CSCSD considers all the stakeholders including the poor, the marginalized, the minority, and development agencies as co-partners who have an important but collective role to play in the attainment of the Global Agenda, and upholding of human rights, justice and peace.

Since the SDGs mantra is "leaving no one behind", in order to attain SDGs by 2030, all hands must be on deck; everyone should be involved while their voices should also count. We need to synergize with governments at all levels. OSSAP-SDGs cannot do it alone. This is our belief at CSCSD. Without mincing words on the realization of SDGs, the civil society and the media are central to creating nationwide awareness, building the capacity of stakeholders, providing information to the grassroots, monitoring the implementation process, and supporting the efforts of the governments in service delivery. The media, our staunch ally, has really been playing a leading role with the civil society as the print, electronic and social media have been giving adequate publicity to issues on the SDGs even free of charge.

In order to support the governments to drive SDGs in Nigeria, CSCSD has implemented many activities around the SDGs from the inception of Agenda 2030 in September 2015. Few among them were: a two-day capacity strengthening workshop on the strategies for localizing the SDGs for CSOs in Abeokuta and Ibadan (March/April 2017); establishment of a Think/Do Tank Group responsible for writing and issuing out position papers, media briefs, press releases, communiqués etc.; media capacity building on commitment to professional reportage on SDGs (June 2017); "Ojumo Alayo" 18-week episode, which is an SDGs Yoruba talk-show on the Africa Independent Television (AIT) every Saturday; Splash FM 105.5 Ibadan "SDG Talk" every first Tuesday of the month featured in English; "Otun Ojo"/New Dawn OGTV Abeokuta live magazine programme where CSCSD Ogun State members feature every Monday 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. to talk about SDG events and gender nexus; and a two-quarter episode on Sweet FM 107.1 Abeokuta, Ogun State titled "The Podium" every Thursday from 9.00 a.m. to 10 00a.m. featured in both English and Yoruba.

Others were Lagos SDG Conference, (June 15 2017) first of its kind in Nigeria; and an international stakeholders conference on SDGs in Abeokuta (March 6 to 7, 2018). There was also a National SDGs Advocacy Training (August 2017) on Goal 16 so as to enable CSOs to be meaningfully engaging the stakeholders on peace, justice, inclusive societies, transparency and accountability. We also engage in massive production and free distribution of information, education and communication (IEC) materials on the SDGs through leaflets; cards and booklet forms including a 260+ page book entitled "A Compendium of Deliberations on Post-2015 Development Agenda".

Poverty reduction is goal number one of the SDGs. What kind of support is your organization giving national and sub-national governments in Nigeria as they strive to achieve the target of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030?

In fact, Goal 1 is not about poverty reduction per se; it is indeed about poverty eradication by 2030.Considering the first target of that goal, it is clearly enshrined that extreme poverty shall be eradicated for all people everywhere in particular for people living on less than $1.90 a day. I think governments – the Federal Government in particular provided they are sincere, is working in line with some of the targets of goal number one. Target number 3 focuses on implementing nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all to achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable. There is a Social Investments unit/department in the Presidency which has come up with a National Social Protection Programme Framework and Monitoring Plan in the interest of the poor and vulnerable. I remember that in September 2016 there was a national social protection programme organized by ActionAid in which the activities of the Social Investments in the Presidency were presented by the Special Advisor. There are five programmes under Social Investments viz: Home-grown School Feeding Programme; Teach Nigeria; cash transfer programme; enterprise and empowerment programme. There is so much under this social investments programme, including 150 pupils to a caterer to feed in some senatorial districts, N-Power programme to build the skills of youth, partnering with the National Orientation Agency, relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) including agric education, Small and Medium Scale Development Agency (SMEDAN), ICT companies at state level, improving household consumption, and cash transfer programme with consideration for the poor in 30% of the Senatorial Districts in Nigeria.

All the activities above need partnership with stakeholders, especially the civil society that has to monitor the process so as not to derail. Many non-state actors are involved in monitoring the Home-grown School Feeding programme in the north. Likewise in the south where the school feeding programme had been in operation by some state governments before the Federal Government's current intervention, many non-state actors are also involved in monitoring how the programme is fairing.

How are civil society organizations propelling the Nigerian government to reduce the growing economic inequality in the country?

The goal of SDG-10 is to reduce inequalities within and among countries. This suggests that there is a growing inequality between one country and the other especially between countries in the global north and the global south. Beyond that, there are inequalities within each country and this can be considered from three perspectives – social, economic and environmental. Unfortunately, most people are concerned about economic inequality. Even at that, social inequality affects economic inequality whereas inequality has no boundary; neither is it a respecter of ethnicity, race, gender, age, religion, or disability. There is a yawning gap between the rich and the poor in our country, Nigeria. The wealth of the nation is skewed in favour of the rich who continue to enrich themselves and impoverish the poor. There is socio-economic inequality between our political leaders and the governed. Inequality is perverse in terms of women's political participation and representation in government against the Beijing Platform for Action. People living below the poverty line of $1.90 per day are increasing in number while the political class continues to amass wealth. We are told that a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria takes home on quarterly basis a whooping sum of $29 million (Senators are yet to publish what they earn in order to rebuff this!) still many state governments have thrown their people into further penury as they cannot pay even a pittance of the N18,000 minimum wage. Worst still, many states are currently owing their workers salary arrears; an indication that some states are not viable as they have to go cap in hand to the Federal Government to collect the monthly allocation.

In the face of all this, civil societies have been in the forefront campaigning against inequalities especially against the growing economic inequality in Nigeria. Several of our members are working assiduously on inequalities enshrined in target 2 of Goal 10 of the SDGs by collaborating with and advocating that governments should promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all irrespective of age, sex, disability, ethnicity, religious status or background.

Some members of CSCSD are actually organizing empowerment programmes in order to increase the status of women while some are meaningfully engaging governments in their respective states to ensure that favourable economic policies are enacted. Indeed, some NGOs like CAFSO-WRAG for Development, Farmers Development Union (FADU) and Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) are directly implementing micro-credit schemes in both rural and urban communities essentially for indigent women. Similarly, the activities of some of our members focus on women's political empowerment. This is strategic with the belief that once women gain political power it would invariably transform to economic empowerment, though this may not be so all of the time. Even then, women's political representation across board at the federal and state levels has not been encouraging because of the unfavourable political atmosphere for women who may not be able to face the political brigandage that men's politicking is characterized. This is the reason why our members who are involved in the electoral reform system often organize programmes around stemming political brigandage and violence so as to encourage women to participate in politics.

What are the efforts of your organization to ensure gender equality and women's economic empowerment in Nigeria?

Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls is the focus of Goal 5 of the SDGs. Hardly can one see an organization that is not working in the area of gender; if an organization is not working directly on gender, it is apparent that such organization would have mainstreamed gender into its plans and programmes. However, the activities of CSO on gender go beyond mainstreaming gender but also campaign to ensure that governments at all level also mainstream gender into their plans and programmes while they encourage governments to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere according to target number one of Goal 5. Organizations such as CAFSO-Women's Rights Action Group, Campaign against Impunity and Domestic Violence (CAIDOV) and Gender Development Initiative (GENDI) and many more are prominent when it comes to the issue of gender especially working on violence against women and harmful traditional practices. For example, CAFSO-WRAG for Development has submitted to Oyo State House of Assembly a bill on gender-based violence while clamouring for a special court to try the violators of gender-based violence.

What are the contributions of your organization towards ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education in Nigeria by 2030?

Specifically, Goal 4 target 1 of the SDGs requires "that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes". Primarily, education is the bedrock of development while quality education is dependent upon a good learning environment. However, our organization is saddened by radical de-education of girls in the North East through the dangerous activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. In 2016, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) lamented over the 11 million children out of school in Nigeria. Boko Haram extremists are further decimating the poor number of children in schools in the North East by abducting school girls. The unpalatable news started on April 14, 2014 with the abduction of over 276 girls from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram. The same month in 2014, 58 male students of the College of Agriculture, Buni Yadi, Yobe State were murdered in cold blood while asleep. Yet on February 19, 2018, Boko Haram insurgents attacked Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State and made away with 110 girls. The aim of these incessant attacks is to discourage education through radical de-education which tallies with the agenda of Boko Haram – "education is a sin".

There are quite a sizeable number of our member-organizations working on education for all among which are; Community Education Advancement of Peace and Development Initiatives (CEAPDI); Women's Right to Education Programme (WREP), Centre for Youth Initiative on Self Education (CEYISED) and Phelyn Skill Acquisition Centre. It is necessary to point out that some of our members are part of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign which came up at the behest of the Chibok Girls saga. It needs to be underscored too that many of these organizations took active part during the post-2015 development agenda deliberations especially in Nigeria. In line with the UN slogan of leaving no one behind, many of these member-organizations are engaging the Nigerian government in ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting life-long learning opportunities for all. While some are campaigning to achieve literacy and numeracy, others are involved in school infrastructural rehabilitation. And while some are involved in referral on skills acquisition, some are basically providing vocational skills for youth's employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship in line with target 4 of SDG 4. In addition, some of our member-organizations are involved in monitoring of the school system while others have been appointed members of the school-based management system.

How is your organization assisting government in sensitizing the public on how best to save the planet from ecological doom through Climate Action?

The story of SDGs might be incomplete without making reference to the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development which was held in Brazil in 1992. It was there that the first agenda for environment and development was developed and adopted which turned out to be called Agenda 21. Twenty years later, at the Rio+ Conference, a resolution known as the Future We Want was reached by member-states. This Rio+20 outcome document set out a mandate to establish an Open Working Group (OWG) to develop a set of sustainable development goals for consideration and appropriate actions by the General Assembly at its 68th session. The OWG underscored the fact that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response with a view to accelerating the reduction of the global greenhouse gas emissions. The thrust of the climate change action (Goal 13) is taking the urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

For the benefit of the readers, it is necessary to present succinctly the main targets of Goal 13. Since climate change is increasingly posing one of the biggest long term threats to our planet, the time for action is now. There is need to take necessary actions: to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries; to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning; to improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning; to implement the commitment undertaken by developed countries through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries.

Our member-organizations have been active when it comes to awareness creation and sensitization on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning. They speak on radio and television, and use the social media as a campaign platform. They develop and distribute freely flyers, posters, leaflets and pictorials on climate change. I remember that there are organizations like the Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD), Centre for Disaster Risk and Crisis Reduction (CDRCR) and African Foundation for Environment and Development (AFED) that are active in this regard. Something unique about their media engagements is the use of local languages such as Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa in order to give non-English speakers the opportunity to participate in finding solutions to the common problem of climate change.

Over the years, Nigeria has continued to record decent work deficits. How are civil society organizations collaborating with the labour unions to safeguard the basic rights and interest of workers in the country through decent work and economic growth which is goal 8 of the SDGs?

Nigeria's decent work deficits concept is traceable to labour standards deficits. It may be good news that Nigeria has ratified a total of 40 International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions but Nigeria is famous for ratifying conventions that are not crucial to the wellbeing of workers. In other words, Nigeria tends to flinch when it comes to ratifying crucial conventions that address decent work deficits. For example, some of the ILO conventions that are yet to be ratified include ILO C122, C129, and C150 relating to labour market governance; C102 dealing with social security; C189 on domestic workers etc. Even where conventions are signed, Nigerian governments easily violate them with impunity just in the same way they seem not to have regard for target 6 of Goal 8 to reduce substantially "the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training" with about 42 million youths in the age bracket of 25-44 years unemployed, according to National Bureau of Statistics (2016). For all age groups, unemployment rate stood at 19.3 in the same year which translates to 79.8 million unemployed Nigerians. No wonder our youths are travelling abroad at all cost to eke out a living but ending up doing precarious menial jobs. Some travel irregularly and become a prey in the hands of human rights violators such as human traffickers.

It is not yet Uhuru for those in employment especially in the public and private sectors. For those in the public sector, their take-home-pay is not commensurate with the efforts they put in. The minimum wage is nothing to take the workers home whereas the political leaders especially the senators and House of Representative members are living in opulence. Workers in the private sector are worse off as the casualization mechanism of the workforce is dealing the poor workers a great blow. Horrendous stories of occupational hazards leading to maiming and dismemberment of workers are deafening. Some are hospitalized for months as a result of job-related causes and are abruptly laid off while some often meet rough deaths while their employers seem not to be bothered in violation of labour laws (that some employers don't make use of).

The foregoing contributes to decent work deficits in Nigeria; the malaise which the unionists are not taking kindly to. Though the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) are not directly members of CSCSD, some of our member-organizations often campaign for employment for our youths and decent job at best. For example, CAFSO-WRAG for Development has for many years been using information, education and communication (IEC) materials and the media to campaign for decent job opportunities including conducive environment for the youths to work. What is needed really is a concerted effort to compel the Nigerian government to sign those conventions that address decent work deficits especially those that are geared at challenging poverty, occupational hazards, indecent work environment and social exclusion through human rights-based approach. After ratification, there should be monitoring of the implementation so as to make government and private sector employers walk the talk.

What are the prospects of achieving the SDGs in Nigeria by 2030?

There are 17 Goals and 169 targets in all and I am not sure the Nigerian government is prioritizing their implementation so as to see those they can easily work on which will impact on the people. However, the Federal Government has put some mechanisms in place to ensure hitch-free implementation of the SDGs. There is the establishment of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs which is a carry-over from the MDGs under the Presidency. There is also a House Committee on and there is the National Assembly Steering Committee on SDGs too to play oversight functions and make appropriation to SDGs. There is also an Inter-Ministerial Committee on the SDGs established to guide the coordinated engagement with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) though there has never been a replica of this at the state level. There is also a Private Sector Consultative Group which, the Nigerian government hopes, would bring financial leverage to SDGs implementation. Putting these mechanisms in place is not a measure of the progress of SDGs implementation but evidence-based result of the implementation which we don't have. What do all these translate to in terms of reduction in the number of people going hungry daily, suffering from poverty, being lost to death as a result of poor road networks, decayed hospital facilities coupled with wrong diagnosis, unemployment, unpaid salary arrears and pensions, insecurity especially in the hands of armed robbers, violent extremists, kidnappers and ritualists? Can we say that the government is doing well in moving towards attaining SDGs by 2030 in the face of all these calamities befalling our citizens? Worse still, the National Assembly has not been helping matters despite their oversight functions as they not only indulge in budget padding but they also delay with impunity the passage of the budget. For example, the 2017 Appropriation Act was not passed till almost half of year 2017 while the 2018 budget is still gathering dust with the Senate which has accused the ministers and directors of MDAs of flinching to defend their budgets.

However, one needs to praise the Federal Government for being involved in the last concluded High Level Political Forum, National Voluntary Review (HLPF NVR) of the SDGs held in July 2017 in New York. HLPF is desirable as it was an opportunity for countries involved in VNR to showcase their efforts in implementing the SDGs in the past two years. It was also an opportunity for NGOs from these countries to hear directly from their political leaders some "lies" being told about the implementation of SDGs. Unfortunately, there was no opportunity for NGOs to rebuff some of these "insincere" implementation commentaries because NGOs were pre-selected to make comments.

However, HLPF though political in nature is good as NGOs can still hold their governments accountable back home. Something that stood out cutting across the NVR presentations in developing countries is the fact that many of them were really passionate about implementing the SDGs in their various countries but they shied away from the major challenges facing them; two of which are insecurity and corruption. For example, countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia and even Somaliland are still battling with violent extremism as evident in the antics of Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, Al-Queda, etc destroying lives and property which ossifies smooth implementation and attainment of the SDGs. Corruption has also become a dreaded disease seeping through the pores of the fabrics of Nigeria and ravaging it beyond repair. For example, the leadership of the Senate is enmeshed in high level corruption to the extent that senators refused to confirm the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) because the latter already has their graft case files with him.

In order for Nigeria to attain the SDGs by 2030, there is the need for the political will from our leaders who should walk the talk and be accountable to their SDGs promises. Inclusive governance atmosphere for service delivery, peace, upholding human rights and the rule of law whereby no one is left behind is central to achieving the SDGs without which all concerted efforts would turn out to be a mirage in 2030. Now is the time to act!

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SDGs Monitor

SDG #1 CSOs: Voice of the Poorest and Vulnerable Nigerians

posted on April 16, 2018 by ORADI posted in SDGs Monitor (First Edition)

ONE of the greatest challenges facing humanity is eradicating poverty in all its forms. Globally, the gap between the rich and poor is widening by the day. According to the World Bank, nearly 800 million people still live below the internationally accepted extreme poverty line of less than $1.90 a day, and hundreds of millions more are at risk of falling back into it.

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Edward Kallon SDGs Monitor Vol 3

SDG #4: Contributions of CSOs in Delivering Quality Education in Nigeria

posted on April 15, 2018 by ORADI posted in SDGs Monitor (First Edition)

THE role of education in the development of man and his environment is well known. Education is crucial to societal development but the extent of improvement for man and his society will depend on the quality of education received. This explains why the United Nations makes enhancing quality of education number four of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is in realization of the fact that the education sector in many countries is in poor shape generally and requires upgrade.

One such country where challenges are manifest in the education sector is Nigeria. The challenges range from decrepit infrastructure, unqualified teaching staff, corruption, poor welfare package and strike actions which disrupt academic calendar. This impacts the education sector negatively leading to the production of what is commonly called "half baked graduates."

Nigeria's huge population worsens the country's problem in the education sector because the increase in population is not matched by a corresponding increase in educational facilities and infrastructure. This disparity ultimately has a negative impact on learning. According to the Global Partnership for Education, "Nigeria is the largest country in Africa in terms of population and has approximately 20% of the total out–of-school children population in the world."

Adding to this challenge is the demographic pressure with about 11,000 newborns every day that overburdens the system capacity to deliver quality education. In the Northern part of Nigeria, almost two-thirds of students are functionally illiterate. According to the data on literacy index recently published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the states where majority of people can neither read nor write are those in the Northeast, Northwest, and North-central. The data shows that Yobe State has only 7.23 percent literacy level, the lowest in the country. The dismal record of Yobe is followed by Zamfara (9.16 percent); Katsina (10.36 percent); Sokoto (15.01); Bauchi (19.26 percent); Kebbi (20.51 percent); and Niger (22.88 percent) respectively. Only Taraba is an exception with 72 percent literacy rate.

The Northern states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, and Sokoto have shown commitment to improving their education systems, but they face severe challenges including high poverty levels, low enrolment, gender disparities, poor quality and relevance, poor infrastructure and learning conditions.

For a country like Nigeria, a lot of work needs to be done in sustaining or improving standard of education but leaving it to government alone could be dangerous as government agencies are hardly associated with excellence. Bureaucracy and corruption in the system makes this worse. To ensure effective oversight functions, many civil society organizations (CSOs) have sprung up in the country with the aim of collaborating with the government to ensure the improvement of education across board.

Olubusola Kolade, a Nigerian-Canadian educationist who runs an after school programme in Nigeria called Ornaments of Grace Virtue (OGAV) believes that better co-operation between the government, and CSOs will yield dividend. "Civil organizations need to work with the government to improve education. The government cannot do everything at least not now that there is so much decadence. All hands need to be on deck. However, the government needs to make it easy for the NGOS too. There has to be tax incentives for people to financially support NGOs since they rely on public funds to carry out their mandate. There must be transparency between the government and the NGOs for them to work as partners and collaborate when necessary."

Providing an insight to the work of OGAV, Kolade said it has a holistic approach to promote the education of the girl-child:

"We empower the girls through our initiative – 'Learning beyond the classroom'. We have two programmes under this initiative – Summer Leadership Camp and a Co-curricular Girls' Club in secondary schools. This is a three-year programme meant to support public secondary school girls (SS1 –SS3) using the 'head and heart' teaching approach. The head refers to academic skills and the heart social and emotional skills. Our areas of focus are: Career guidance, character moulding, academic success, skills development and acquisition, leadership skills and life coaching. The impact on the girls has been encouraging and includes improved academic achievement, and social competence which foster better school relationship. Girls are empowered to be independent self managers and problem solvers."

Dr. David Tola Winjobi, National Coordinator, Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) also said that the CSOs under the coalition have been partnering with government to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education in Nigeria by 2030. He said:

"There are quite a sizeable number of our member-organizations working on education for all among which are; Community Education Advancement of Peace and Development Initiatives (CEAPDI); Women's Right to Education Programme (WREP), Centre for Youth Initiative on Self Education (CEYISED); and Phelyn Skill Acquisition Centre."

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He pointed out that some CSOs under the coalition are members of the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign which came up at the behest of the Chibok Girls saga. He recalled that many CSOs took active part during the post-2015 development agenda deliberations especially in Nigeria. He explained that in line with the UN slogan of leaving no one behind, many of these member-organizations are engaging the Nigerian government in ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting life-long learning opportunities for all:

"While some are campaigning on achieving literacy and numeracy, some are involved in school infrastructural rehabilitation. And while some are involved in referral on skills acquisition, some are basically providing vocational skills for youth's employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship in line with target 4 of SDG-4. In addition, some of our member-organizations are involved in monitoring of the school system while some are appointed members of the school based management system."

Ibrahim ZikirullahiWinjobi, however, noted that members of the coalition are saddened by radical de-education of girls in the North East through the dangerous activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. He recalled that in 2016, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) had lamented over the 11 million children out-of-school in Nigeria:

Boko Haram extremists are further decimating the poor number of children in schools in the North East by abducting school girls. The unpalatable news started on April 14, 2014 with the abduction of over 276 girls from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram. The same month in 2014, 58 male students of the College of Agriculture, Buni Yadi, Yobe State were murdered in cold blood while asleep. On February 19, 2018 Boko Haram insurgents attacked Government Girls' Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State and made away with 110 girls. The aim of these incessant attacks is to discourage education through radical de-education which tallies with the agenda of Boko Haram, "education is a sin."

According to the Education Data, Research and Evaluation in Nigeria (EDOREN), a five-year initiative funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), there are more than 600 CSOs involved with the education sector in Nigeria and these are visible in the 36 states of the country. The CSOs are part of the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA). EDOREN gives a background to the formation of the CSO:

"The Civil society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA) is a coalition of NGOs, community-based organizations (CBOs) and faith-based organizations (FBOs) working on education issues in Nigeria. Forty (40) education NGOs came together in the run-up to the World Education Summit in Dakar in April 2000 to form the coalition. CSACEFA developed a core set of positions and attended the Dakar Summit to join in the call for quality education for all. The coalition has since expanded its membership to over six hundred (600) CSOs covering the 36 States of Nigeria and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and has been engaging, advocating and inputting to education policies and programmes at Local, National and International levels."

The mission of CSACEFA is to ensure free, quality and inclusive education for all through effective participation of civil society while the vision is to help guarantee quality education and dignity for all structures. The organization's activities are coordinated at the state level by an elected state coordinator and at the zonal level by an eight-member Facilitating Committee (FC) drawn from the six geo-political zones, the FCT and a representative of International Development Partners (IDPs) elected for a maximum two terms of two years each.

The Facilitating Committee led by a National Moderator is to meet at least four times in a year depending on availability of funds, while the coalition has an Annual General Forum (AGF). The Annual General Forum is the apex decision-making organ of the coalition. The coalition is managed through the secretariat led by the Policy Advisor/National Coordinator who oversees the national secretariat, coordinates the states and reports to the Facilitating Committee.

Many of the CSOs sustain their work with grants from foreign organizations such as the MacArthur Foundation which has an office in Nigeria. In December, 2017, CSACEFA held a three-day dialogue meeting and capacity building on tracking UBE (Universal Basic Education) funds in Kaduna State with the support of MacArthur Foundation. The Federal Government established UBE in 1999 "to eradicate illiteracy, ignorance and poverty as well as stimulate and accelerate national development, political consciousness and national integration."

According to the UBE Act of 2004, "the financing of basic education is the responsibility of States and Local Governments. However, the Federal Government has decided to intervene in the provision of basic education with 2 percent of its Consolidated Revenue Fund. For states to fully benefit from this Fund, criteria were established with which states are to comply. "

However, there have been reports, over the years of missing UBE funds and it is in this context that the CSACEFA event in Kaduna holds meaning. In March, 2018, CSACEFA, in conjunction with One Campaign and Malala Fund, at an event, called on the Nigerian government to take education in the country seriously. They requested President Muhammadu Buhari and Mallam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education to come up with concrete measures to urgently address the incessant challenges in the education sector.

"We can no longer continue to relegate the important sector of the economy to the background when we are aspiring to be among the top world economies. It is saddening to note that education has received low priority and attention both at the national and state levels over the years. Little wonder why we are bedevilled with the various crises we experience in the country today," CSACEFA stated.

The coalition listed the challenges confronting the education sector in Nigeria today to include insecurity, poor finance, abysmal teacher development and poor learning environment.

In addition to CSACEFA, a non- governmental organization known as Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) had in December 2017 launched an innovative data-driven project to track funds earmarked for the provision of Universal Basic Education (UBE) in Kaduna State.

Ibrahim Zikirullahi, Executive Director of CHRICED gave reasons why the organization chose to focus on UBE funds:

"It provides three years of Early Child Development, and nine years of formal schooling. It is the Federal Government's policy for ensuring every child of school age has access to quality basic education. However, while the problem of inadequate funding has been implicated as one of the reasons for the low quality of service delivery in the Universal Basic Education (UBE), corruption and its damaging effects have derailed the potential of the policy to deliver quality basic education to citizens."

In a 2013 paper published in Jorind titled: The Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects, Uche S. Anaduaka of the Department of Science and Environmental Education, University of Abuja and Chinese Okafor of the Department of Science Education, Anambra State University point out some problems/challenges besetting the UBE programme. They include inadequate funding, inaccurate data for planning, lack of enough competent teachers, poor implementation of the New UBE curriculum, poor public enlightenment, poor monitoring /evaluation and poor motivation of teachers.

In a November 2017 report, Premium Times, an online newspaper, reported that, of the N8.6 trillion 2018 Budget, President Muhammadu Buhari's government allocated only 7.04% (translating to N605.8 billion) to education which breakdown is: N435.1 billion for recurrent expenditure, N61.73 billion for capital expenditure and N109.06 billion for the Universal Basic Education Commission.

Some of these monies are lost to corruption. A report by Felix Khanoba of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, published in October 2017 warns that:

"Thousands of physically-challenged children across the country are at risk of missing out on education, as many of the government-run special schools supposed to meet their educational needs are on the verge of collapse. The schools, which were specifically built for persons with physical challenges, including down syndrome, have received N10.6 billion grant from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) within a period of 10 years but have little or nothing on ground to show for it."

Khanoba's report makes reference to a document showing that over N10 billion UBEC funds was disbursed to the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) between 2006 and 2016 to support special education, with little to show for it:

"A recent visit to some of the special education schools located in the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Edo and Anambra states revealed a sordid state of affairs. Apart from the commonly identified problems of students not living in decent condition and lacking access to health services or proper feeding, most of the schools' structures could easily be mistaken for abandoned homes left behind by the nation's former colonial masters. In one of the schools, Special School for Physically Challenged, Umuchu, Anambra State, there were no good structures. The only major proofs of the presence of a school were a dusty signboard and obsolete blackboards hanging on dilapidated open rooms that serve as classrooms."

It is the same for the issue of procurement and budget for which CSACEFA in September 2017 organized a workshop for CSACEFA state coordinators and CSOs in the northern part of the country on advocacy, communication, monitoring and evaluation and budget. Report on the event which held in Kaduna State, states:

"Participants were also trained on monitoring and evaluation; the training took participants round the definition of monitoring as a systematic and continuous collection, of analysis and use of information for management control and decision-making. The moderator stated that monitoring is done to check the indications of the extent of progress and achievement of objectives and progress in the use of allocated funds. On the other hand, it was explained that evaluation is the assessment of an ongoing or completed project, programme or policy, design, implementation and results. It was also highlighted that monitoring is done on a daily basis while evaluation is done on a periodic basis; the result chain process was explained and guided the participants on how to properly capture data collected in a report.... The participants also learn the four ways to monitor and track a budget."

However, some of the CSOs themselves are not immune from challenges. An "in-depth capacity assessment" of eight CSOs in Kaduna State by Iliya Ambi and Dr. Mustapha Gwadabe published in December 2009 states that:

"Baseline situation of the assessed CSOs shows that there were 13 issues for capacity development/support of the CSOs with more than 50% of these issues being related to internal management and programme issues. These issues range from internal, programme and external relationships. These were; vision, mission and value statements not clearly articulated; ineffective board, weak financial management systems, inadequate personnel policy, communication flow, weak monitoring & evaluation system as well as programming skills. Strategically, others were strengthening the existing skills, knowledge base of CSOs on educational policies, advocacy, gender, inclusive participation, the concept of voice and accountability within a wider state educational framework for effective delivery of education services."

Lack of synergy

A 2009 report by Wale Samuel and Ignatius Agu for the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) titled: Mapping of Civil Society Organizations in Lagos State shows the lack of linkage between education-focused CSOs and the Lagos State Government.

Findings reveal that the CSOs' partnership with the Lagos State government is not well documented. According to the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Lagos, the only documented evidence of CSO/Government working relationship is the compilation of the list of NGOs intervening in schools and this list was only compiled based on correspondence from the NGOs who report on their intervention to Government:

"Generally, most respondents observed that there was the need for ESSPIN to build the capacity of NGOs on gaps identified in the report especially around areas like work with school-based management committees (SBMC), monitoring & evaluation, budget tracking and education policies. They also called for ESSPIN to support networking activities among NGOs working in the area of education in Lagos State amongst others."

The paper further reveals that:

"Very few NGOs work directly at community level. NGOs who work directly with rural or urban communities account for only 3.1% of those surveyed. The high figure recorded for NGOs with community level outreach is in sharp contrast to the findings on NGOs that are actually located in rural Lagos. This upholds the submission that most Lagos-based NGOs are city dwellers but with only community outreach."

umar buba jibrilPerhaps, part of the lack of synergy is mistrust and suspicion between government agencies and the CSOs. This was pointed out by Musa Umar of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at a recent education workshop organized by the Development Research Project Centre (DRPC). While noting that government cannot handle education alone, and that NGOs are necessary to complement the efforts of government, Umar says their work is hampered by a silent mistrust between both parties.

Using OGAV's experience as an example, Kolade says: "The challenges are more at the Ministry level than the district. The District is directly involved with the schools and so they appreciate the values added to the lives of the students thus making them a lifelong learner."

Knocks for CSOs in Nigeria

Despite the important role CSOs play in monitoring and building capacity in the education sector in Nigeria, some of them have been criticized in recent times for paying more attention to the monetary or personal gains rather than humanitarian concern.

In a 2013 article titled: Eight Challenges for Civil Society, Brian Pratt argues that the expansion of privatization of welfare, health and education globally has led to new entrants from the private sector. He says:

"International aid has seen a similar process, with companies branching out from their comfort zones of finance and construction into civil society, education, health, and rural development – with some even learning how to masquerade as ersatz civil society groups to project a cuddly image. There will be more manoeuvring between NGOs and official aid agencies as we close in on 2015, when for many development goals will be reviewed and revised."

A 2014 report entitled: The Two Main Challenges Facing African Civil Society Organisations, (Centre for International Private Enterprise), Ryan Musser points out that "Civil society organizations often struggle with a dependency on donor funding which hinders sustainability, distracts from their missions, and encourages a short-term strategy of chasing funds. As organizations face a global decline in donor funding, the issues of dependency and unsustainability only grow in importance."

It further notes that "USAID's most recent CSO Sustainability Index for Sub-Saharan Africa found that "difficult economic environments due to the global financial crisis impacted CSO resource availability in almost all of the countries" included in the index. In an effort to ensure financial stability, organizations have a tendency to focus their energy and attention on finding more funding rather than focusing on implementing their mission.

Lars Benson advises that CSOs need to "avoid mission creep and resist seeking pots of gold."

Bulama Abiso, chairman of the Borno State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), at an event organized by the Kano-based Development Research Project Centre (DRPC) in September 2017 said that the NGOs in Borno State are not coordinated and their activities overlap one another, making it difficult for education authorities to know who to deal with, when and how. On the issue of budgeting, Abiso urged NGOs to be specific about their aims and what cause they want to support. He pointed out that when the NGOs identify what they want to achieve, it will be easier for local authorities to key into their agenda.

As part of his submission at the event, Abdullahi Hudu, Permanent Secretary, Jigawa State Ministry of Education said the major challenges government face while working with NGOs and CSOs is sustainability and timing.

The event drew various education stakeholders and organizations like the Girl-Child Concern, Centre for Girls Education, Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative, The Education Partnership (TEP), Malala Foundation and Ford Foundation.

Jaye Gaskia, Chairman of the Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria

jaye gaskiaPlot to clip CSOs' wings

The National Assembly seeks to clip the wings of civil society organizations in Nigeria through a bill proposed by Umar Buba Jibril, Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. Part of Jubril's argument for the introduction of the bill is the funding enjoyed by some CSOs from international donors which he says are not well accounted for. He believes that the bill will checkmate the excesses of CSOs and help to promote probity and accountability within the civil society sector.

Speaking on the floor of the house, Jibril, said:

"NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) are voluntary organizations that are registered to partner government at all levels to fill gaps wherever they exist. They are supposed to be partners in progress with the government; therefore, the need for a commission to serve this purpose arises.

Secondly and naturally for them to carry out their activities, the NGOs and CSOs solicit for funds from all over the world and collect billions of naira on behalf of Nigerians. Thirdly, they recruit expatriates to help them run their activities in the country with lots of abuses.

However, recent developments have shown that some people registered NGOs, solicited for funds and disappeared. That happened recently in the North East...

The NGOs bill therefore is primarily to set up a commission to regulate their activities and provide a platform for robust relationships between them and the government for the interests of Nigerians. In addition it is to ensure transparency and accountability in the ways and manners the NGOs collect moneys and use them for Nigerians."

But the move is not well received by many Nigerians, especially civil society groups who say it is meant to intimidate the leadership of CSOs.

Jaye Gaskia, Chairman of the Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria, described the bill as toxic, saying it is a calculated attempt by the government to stifle freedom of speech and portends a great threat to the hard earned democracy in Nigeria.

Funding of CSOs

The evidence that CSOs receive grants from foreign organizations is available in a recent work, Civil Society Organization Consolidation Fund Grant Manual which is a joint initiative of the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria funded by the Department of International Development (DFID). On page 7 is the declaration that "ESSPIN will provide CSO Consolidation Grants for a period of 14 months to a maximum value of NGN 293, 487,425 (equivalent to Sterling Pounds 1,048,000). ESSPIN will disburse the funds to CSOs across the six ESSPIN states on a tranche basis." And while "CSOs will receive grant funds from ESSPIN periodically in tranches based on plans and budgets for the period; disbursements are scheduled for June 2015, September 2015, January 2016 and May 2016."

However, "Expenditure/Retirements during the previous tranche and remaining grant balances held by the CSOs shall be remitted to ESSPIN's coffers as soon as retirements are made with the use of Under-spent Remittance Form." In regards to first tranche, "payments will be made to the CSOs on application of the Grant, signed contract and MoU and upon being approved by ESSPIN's Management," and "Subsequent tranche payments to CSOs will be made subject to proper use and reporting (Financials and Narratives) of the previous quarter disbursement and remittance of any under-spent funds."

Selection process

The Civil Society Organization Consolidation Fund Grant Manual describes how beneficiaries are selected. It points out that due diligence was "conducted on 58 CSOs within the 6 ESSPIN-supported states of Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, and Lagos," and that "in line with DFID's due diligence framework requirements, CSOs were assessed for risk in five key areas: Governance and control, ability to deliver, financial stability, monitoring & evaluation and external relations."

Part of the process was for them to complete a questionnaire and provide supporting documentation. Risks were measured against a standard benchmark for the CSOs and ESSPIN required that CSOs achieve an overall risk rating of low or medium in order to qualify to receive grant.

Fifty seven CSOs in some states met the due diligence requirements and were selected. They include Enugu-based CSOs like Youth Education on Human Right & Civic Responsibilities (YEHRCR), Raise a Child Today Initiative (RACTI), Economic Empowerment & Development Initiative (EEDI), Agents of Communication and Development (ACODE), Society for the Improvement of Rural People (SIRP), Youth Resource Development Education & Leadership (YORDEL), and Poverty in Africa Alternative (POVINAA).

The successful ones in Jigawa are Gadawur Youth Forum (GYF), Rural Education Foundation (REF), Hadejia Development Circle (HDC), Kamala Health and Education Development Initiative (KAHDEV), Gumel Youth Movement (GYM) and Society for Community Health Awareness and Mobilisation (SOCHAM). Others are Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Maranda Development Association (MDA).

In Kaduna State, there are twelve beneficiaries. They are: Hope for the Village Child Foundation, Millennium Hope Programme, ABANTU for Development, Grant AID for Widows, Orphans and Needy Foundation (GAWON Foundation), Lifeline Education Development Resources Centre, Gender Awareness Trust (GAT), JEBI Educational Services Ltd, Youth Team in Action Supporting Community Initiated Development (YOTASCID), Fantsuam Foundation, Women of Vision Development Initiative (WVDI), Support Health and Education (SHED).

In Kano State, the successful ones include: Neighbourhood Education Committee (NEC), Basic Education Association (BEA), Citizens Council for Public Education (CCPE), Federation of Muslim Women Association (FOMWAN) Global Youth and Women Support Initiative (GLOYWSI), Support for Women and Teenage Children (SWATCH). Others include Turaki Educational Consultancy Services ltd., InuwarJa'maar Kano (KANO FORUM), Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training (Mambayya House), Community Development Initiative (CDI), Magajin Malam Educational Services.

Kwara State beneficiaries are: Community Development Initiative (CDI), Centre for Appropriate Technology for Rural Women (CAPTEC), Hilltop Foundation, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Living Care Community Development Foundation (LCCDF), Royal Health Heritage Foundation (RHHF), Womankind Family Enhancement Initiative (WOKFEI), and Integrity Mission.

The funds also extended to Lagos State, and the selected CSOs include: Quality of Life Initiative, Health and Sustainable Development Association of Nigeria (HESDAN), Linking the Youth Together of Nigeria Exchange (LYNX), Organization for Non-Formal Education Foundation (ONEF). Others are Women Protection Organization (WOPO), Talent Plus Resources International (TRI), Defence for Children International (DCI), Development Support Institute (DSI), Centre for Health Development & Communication (CHEDCOM).

The way forward

For Nigeria to attain SDG-4, Mr. Kabir Alihu, National Moderator, CSACEFA believes there is need to improve the partnership between the government and CSOs to ensure proper accountability for education budget. "We should make education budget more transparent, more inclusive of the Civil Society Organizations and NGOs. By so doing, it will make the government accountable on what whatever they are meant to do,'' he said.

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SDGs Monitor Vol 3