Wednesday 27 March 2013

Group trains community leaders on budget advocacy

An NGO, CLEEN Foundation, has commenced a “train the trainer” programme with the 20 communities in Aninri Local Government Area (LGA) of Enugu State on the issues of budget advocacy and good governance.
According to the organisation’s Acting Head of Owerri Office, Ifeanyi Anyanwu, is targeted at equipping town union leaders on the need to mobilise their communities to becoming part of budget processes towards realising desired development.
Anyanwu, in declaring open the programme, tagged 'Aninri Local Governance and Security Forum', regretted the development challenges facing communities round the country despite yearly budgetary allocations, and called on the communities to see themselves as part of the processes leading to the budget by getting involved more in it’s formulation, enactment, evaluation and budget tracking.
This, according to him would make for proper utilisation of public resources from the different tiers of government and greater benefits to the communities where projects are sited. He also urged ommunities to employ similar approach to projects originating from themselves to overcoming challenges of leadership prevalent in most communities and seen in numerous abandoned projects.
Ikechukwu Oji, of the Centre for Literacy and Leadership, in a paper presented at the programme, urged participants to get more involved in budget tracking so as to ensure transparency.
The participants, comprising of town unions leaders, women group leaders and youth leaders, commended CLEEN Foundation for the programme, saying it has made them realise that budgetary process is not only the preserve of those in government.

Tuesday 26 March 2013


The CLEEN FOUNDATION, in collaboration with the BRACED COMMISSION and with support from the FORD FOUNDATION, WEST AFRICA Office, organized a SUMMIT ON OIL THEFT, VIOLENCE AND POVERTY IN THE NIGER DELTA On 21-22 March 2013 at Le Meridien Hotel, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.  The Summit brought together top federal and state governments’ policy makers, including the military, Police and other security agencies. It also involved representatives of the oil industry in Nigeria, host communities, opinion/youth leaders and civil society organizations working on natural resources and conflict.

The Summit themed “Securing Nigeria’s Oil: Ending the illegalities” was aimed at proffering a common solution identified by the major stake holders to end the incidences of oil theft, violence and the operation of illegal refineries.

At the end of the two-day summit, it was observed that:

1.      Bad governance, human insecurity challenges have fueled the activity of Oil theft in the Niger Delta;
2.      Oil theft is a function of instability leading to a concept of Self help by the host communities;
3.      Underfunding of security and law enforcement agencies has limited the capacity of the agencies to deliver on their mandates;
4.      There is inadequate information sharing among critical stakeholders;
5.      Inordinate quest for materialism and ‘quick money’ has fuelled issues relating to oil theft and insecurity in the Niger delta;  
6.      There is a correlation between global demand and local supply for ‘blood oil’; 
7.      The Oil companies have contributed to some of the challenges of Oil theft by having by poor maintenance culture or practice of their pipelines and facilities;
8.      Oil theft has had negative impacts on communities by destroying their traditional sources of livelihoods, and creating health hazards resulting from water and air pollution;
9.      The ineffectiveness of the judicial system has resulted in delayed and protracted prosecution, thereby giving little or no punishment for the oil thieves;
10.  There is a recent trend of increase in certain crimes such as kidnaping from activities of oil theft;
11.  Precedents from other countries have shown that if unchecked, illegal wealth from oil theft will drive negative influence in power and politics;
12.  There is a lack of understanding at the community level on the environmental impact of Oil theft;

Based on the above, the following recommendations were made:

Federal Government
1.       There is a need to rethink governance such so as to ensure it guarantees the welfare of the citizens in the oil producing communities;
2.      The Federal Government to deploy multi face meters – oil well, flow stations and export terminals to determine quantity produced and stolen;
3.      There is a need for the Federal Government to demonstrate the political will by way of enforcing existing laws, capacity building, logistics and technological support to its agencies particularly the security and law enforcement agencies;
4.      There is a need to reform the judicial system to ensure that it is effective, efficient and accountable to the society;
5.      There is need to resuscitate the Gulf of Guinea Commission that was set up as a diplomatic channel to address some of our maritime security challenges;

State Government
1.      Good practices that have evolved in Rivers State relating to quick dispensation of justice on oil theft and related issues should be emulated by other oil producing states;  
2.      The state governments should facilitate the diversification of their economy and regeneration of the vegetation;
3.      Oil producing states should synergize their actions and resources to address the challenges posed by oil theft;
4.      They should ensure the effective implementation of Global Memorandum of Understanding;
5.      They should facilitate, through the Ministries of Information and the National Orientation Agency, awareness and sensitization campaigns for the communities on the negative impact of oil theft;

Civil Society Organizations
1.      Should monitor and document compliance of oil companies to the implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights;
2.      Should advocate for the rights of security and law enforcement officials that die in the line of duty;
3.      Should facilitate community awareness and sensitization on the negative socio, economic, health and environmental impacts of oil theft;
4.      Should mobilize Communities against the activities of oil thieves and related issues;
5.      Should provide data and information to Security and law enforcement agencies that would aid intelligence gathering

NGO trains communities on governance, security

 March 16, 2013 No Comments »
A non-governmental organisation, CLEEN Foundation, has begun the training of grassroots residents on local governance and provision of security.
The training, aimed at creating awareness on the relationship between good governance, security and development in villages, communities and local government areas is being conducted at Ahiazu Mbaize Local Government Area of Imo State.
Acting head of the Owerri office of the organisation, Ifeanyi Anyanwu, who disclosed that CLEEN Foundation was also carrying out the project in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and Aninri Local Government Area in Enugu State, however urged beneficiaries of the scheme to see it as a public-spirited effort by the organisation to institute good governance which would in turn eradicate crime, improve people’s wellbeing and build a security free society.

Monday 25 March 2013

Nigeria: 'Security Agencies Have Case to Answer On Oil Bunkering'

The Federal Government and the various security agencies have been blamed for the rate at which oil theft has been going on in the country.
Director-General of the Braced Commission, Ambassador Joe Keshi, who stated this, Thursday, blamed the increasing theft of the nation’s common wealth on what he described as a collaboration between the Federal Government and the security agencies.
The Braced Commission comprises Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta States.
Speaking at the summit on Oil Theft, Poverty and Violence in the Nigeria Delta held at Le’Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo Akwa Ibom State, Keshi said the whole scenario of oil theft raises a lot of questions on the Federal Government and the security agencies.
“The whole scenario raises a lot of questions and the answers are in no way complementary to the Federal Government and to the security services under whose watchful eyes the nation’s wealth are stolen in a collaborative venture in which the services are suspected to be deeply involved,’’ he said.
The Director General, who was represented by the secretary of the Commission, Mrs. Remeo Isokariri, warned that if the situation was not tackled immediately, the activities of the cartel could constitute a great danger to the Nigerian political process.
According to him, ‘’There is also the present and future danger that the criminals and their benefactors could grow so powerful and be tempted to hijack the political process and already, we have enough share of criminals in the political system.’’
He said the lesson Nigeria must learnt from crisis management is that if more actors and interests are allowed to get involved, resolving the crisis would become complicated and intractable.
Stressing on the need to act now to secure the future and the environment, Keshi said the summit was designed to address the challenges in the sector.
Executive Director of Cleen Foundation, Mr. Kemi Okenyodo, in a remark, said cruel oil theft in the Niger Delta has become a big business on an industrial scale.
He expressed the fear that if the trend is not checked, it could constitute a great to fishing and farming as these professions could become extinct in the near future.
According to Okenyodo , estimates from informed sources within the oil industry suggest that the country losses several billion of naira monthly to oil theft .
He noted that the there are evidences that the many arms circulating in the Niger Delta Region including sophisticated weapon have been purchased with money derived directly or indirectly from oil bunkering.


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