Friday 24 July 2015

Communiqué issued at the end of the two-day summit on security and governance in North East, Nigeria

Being text of a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day Summit on Security and Governance in the North East of Nigeria held on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th June, 2015 at the Maidugu Guest Palace, Gombe, Gombe State. It was organised by the CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) with support from the Ford Foundation.

The Summit was organized to facilitate discourse on the nexus between governance and insecurity in the North East. It is a follow-up activity to the finalization of a research on governance and security conducted in the six (6) states of the North East. The Summit provided a platform to extensively discuss the findings of the study along thematic lines, develop strategies for implementing the findings, agree on immediate priority areas and identify key partners to drive the initiatives forward in the North East.

The summit had in attendance about 70 participants, drawn from the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), National Boundary Commission (NBC), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Unity and Peace Corps (NUPC), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ICPR), Victim Support Fund (VSF), Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), National Union of Journalists  (NUJ), the media, civil society groups and universities in the region, notably University of Maiduguri, Adamawa State University and Taraba State University. The opening session was chaired by Alhaji Lamido Abubakar (Durbin Gombe), representing the Emir of Gombe.

After very robust discussions and deliberations historical and contemporary security and governance challenges in the North East, including the on-going counter- insurgency initiatives, the participants observed that:
The security challenges in the North East are the consequences of failure of governance at different tiers of government;

Existing conflict early warning and response mechanisms have been weakened by poor inter-agency coordination and tensions in civil military relations that generally alienate the populace from government security institutions;
Although insurgency presents the most challenging threat to national and human security, the North East region has also been affected by communal violence, religious violence and violence conflict over land and water use. The insurgent groups have taken advantage of existing divisions, rivalries and conflicts among groups to unleash violence on communities in the region.

The ineffective response to the insurgency has stemmed from the fact that the Nigeria government initially under-estimated the capabilities of the insurgent group and overstated the capacity of the Nigerian armed forces and security institutions.

The counter insurgency initiative have suffered from poor equipment and poor intelligence management system of the Nigerian military as well as the military’s poor understanding of Nigeria’s geography ;

The default position of deployment of the military for internal security operations have kept the military continually engaged in internal law enforcement thereby contributing to the weakening of the law enforcement capacity of the police;

The porous state of Nigerian borders has provided a conducive climate for transnational crime such as unhindered proliferation of smalls arms and light weapons and trafficking in persons and drug that have made Nigeria’s border areas notably the Lake Chad Basin insecure but safe havens for insurgent groups and internal criminal networks;

Mutual suspicions and conflicting interests among member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission have affected the operations of the Multinational Task Force (MNTF);

Recent efforts to counter-insurgent such as the procurement of more weapons for the armed forces, addressing of issue of discipline and loyalty, strengthening of cooperative frameworks among contributing states to the MNTF and relocation of the military command centre to Maiduguri have recovery of towns and communities held by insurgents. This has forced the insurgents to revert to terrorist tactics of suicide bombing increasingly carried out of women and girls.

The newly inaugurated administration of President Muhammadu Buhari enjoys enough goodwill both nationally and globally which is expected to boost the counter-insurgency effort.

There in need for close security cooperation at the regional level between affected countries within the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the ECCAS and ECOWAS;

Politicisation and opaqueness of the operation of the military makes it difficult to understand their efforts and provide support from the communities;

There is need for periodic progress report in order to understand the successes and failures of the various security agencies in the fight against the insurgency;

The Ministry of Defense should carry out its constitutional duties to procure weapons for the security agencies to prevent unilateral procurement by the agencies;

The advancements made in the 6 weeks to the election show that we have the capacity to deal with the insurgency, if we back it up with political will;
Community policing will assist greatly in feeding information into the national peace architecture and fostering community policing would make it difficult for groups like Boko Haram to grow unnoticed and unchallenged.
Following these observations, the participants resolved and recommended as follows:

There is need to step up efforts to resolve all lingering incidents of violent conflict through proactive implementation of recommendations of panels of enquiries, addressing of grievances of disaffected groups and effective community policing;

There is need to improve equipment, morale and discipline in the military in order to sustain the gains in the counter-insurgency initiatives in the weeks preceding the 2015 elections;

There is need to strengthen coordination and collaboration among the different security institutions and between security institutions and the civil society;

The Mobile section of the Nigeria Police Force should be strengthened through better training, equipment and deployment to reduce frequency of deployment of the military for internal security operations;
Government and security institutions should be adopt measures including training, monitoring and application of sanctions to ensure adoption and observance of rules of engagement and respect for human rights and dignity by security personnel deployed for security operations;

There is need to effectively implement the national peace and security architecture designed to ensure early warning and effective response at federal, state, local council and community levels. The proposed National Peace Commission can be used to coordinate the functioning of the peace architecture based on existing peace and security structures;

The commendable effort to relocate the command centre to Maiduguri should be enhanced by the appointment of a war commander to lead operations and collaborate with the MNTF based in Ndjamena, Chad;

Government and the military should initiate concrete plans for demobilization and disarmament of the CJTF. There should involve creation of a database of CJTF members and roll out of plans for provision of vocational training and job placement of CJTF members and their possible enlisting into security agencies.

Traditional institutions that play crucial roles in conflict resolution at the local level should be strengthened to gain trust of stakeholders and complement the roles of other agencies and institutions.

Governance and service delivery should be improved especially at the state and local government levels in the North East to address the issues of youth unemployment and restiveness.

There should be strategic capacity building of community members to demand accountability and representation from elected leaders;

Credible platforms existing at the state and community level should be harnessed to support governance and security measures in the communities.

There is need to strengthen governance at the local level in order to close the gap between the government and communities. The prospects of bridging the gap can be enhanced through conduct of regular elections at the local government levels.

There is need for realignment of the statutory mandates of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and States Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and the National Commission on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to enhance coordination and effectiveness in the management of the humanitarian emergencies;

The Victim Support Fund (VSF) should be mobilized to deliver support to victims of the violence including families of members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) that died in operations, as well as women and orphans and others who suffered irreversible injuries and loss in the conflict.

Border development and management agencies should be strengthened by the creation of trans-border institutions and involvement of community institutions in border areas in security management.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Tackling Corruption in the Drivers’ License Application Process

Drivers’ license is an important instrument in ensuring public safety. Its main use is in certifying that the holders are qualified to drive vehicles and do not constitute threats to themselves and other road users. The license is also a very important personal identification document. In Nigeria, the issuance of the drivers’ license has been faced with many challenges over the years.

The CLEEN Foundation under its Access Nigeria project which works to promote accountability and transparency in public service delivery partnered with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to undertake a series of coordinated activities aimed at improving the efficiency of the drivers’ license application and renewal process.

Available information suggest that not many Nigerians are aware of the right procedure to follow in applying for new licenses or renewing them. Since December 2014, we organized sensitization workshops to raise awareness on the correct procedure to apply for the license in Abuja, Imo, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun and Nassarawa States. In Abuja, Rivers and Ogun, the rallies were held in popular motor-parks with FRSC officials facilitating. The Access Nigeria project also organized a social media meeting on Twitter during which the FRSC engaged Nigerians and clarified on issues and challenges being faced in the application process.

Part of the commitments by the FRSC during the workshops included opening up more application centres to hasten the process of applications on the one hand and to use card readers to check fake licenses among motorists.

In March 2015, we commenced a study to sample public opinion on the drivers’ license application process. A methodology workshop for the survey was organized on the 25th March 2015 in Abuja with representatives of the FRSC, field researchers from the selected states and the team of the CLEEN Foundation. This paved way for the successful conduct of the survey in 5 states of Nigeria; Imo, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun, Nassarawa and Abuja between April 13th and 22nd, 2015.

Research Design

The survey was coordinated by the CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). The total sample size of the survey is 370 covering Imo, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun, Nassarawa States, and Abuja. 60 respondents were interviewed in each in each location except in Lagos where 70 respondents were interviewed. Face to face interviews were conducted in English language. The interviews covered a maximum timeframe of 10 days of fieldwork engaging one interviewer per state at a quota of 6-7 interviews per day. Interviews were conducted on weekdays and weekends to ensure that respondents of all lifestyles are included in the sample.

Data Management:

Data capturing, quality checks, post-coding processes were handled by experienced data managers at the CLEEN Foundation. The data structure was well designed with necessary logics to detect errors were and ensure clean data.

Key Findings

The following key findings emerged from the study:

  • Majority of respondents (53%) went through a driving school before they started driving. Similarly, 64% of the respondents said they passed a driving test before they were issued their drivers licenses.
  • Various agencies and officials stop motorists and demand to sight their licenses. The Police more frequently demand for licenses (79%) while “unidentified officials” have also been reported demanding for licenses (44%).
  • Motorists report that when stopped by officials, majorities have not been asked to pay bribes. Only 28% were asked for bribes at FRSC stops while 59% were not asked to pay bribes when stopped by the police.
  • Most of those who admitted to paying bribes paid out of the fear of being arrested or having their vehicles impounded.
  • Only 28% of drivers have ever been arrested for driving without valid licenses; however, after the arrest, most paid fines (52%) as opposed to the 22% who paid bribes.
  • Among those who applied for their licenses using “unofficial” processes, majority (57%) report that they did so because the unofficial process was faster. Another 50% report that friends and family suggested they use this system.
  • 39% of those who went through the official channel report that it takes 1 to 2 months to receive the license. However, when asked to list the challenges facing the application system, respondents cite slow processing time (62%), extortion by touts (20%) and issuance of fake licenses by touts/agents (11%).
  • 7% of respondents say it is not possible to successfully apply for or renew a drivers’ license in Nigeria without paying a bribe.
  • 57% of respondents will not file a report if they were to be asked for bribes while applying for their licenses. 46% say they know that nothing will happen if they reported, 31% say they do not know where to report while 18% say they lack the time and resources to pursue the case.
  • When asked what the cost of the drivers’ license is, 39% reported a figure of N10,000 while 36% reported N6,350 which is the official price.


The survey reveals that whereas there are reported incidents of corruption in the application process, many Nigerians are able to apply for their licenses without falling victims of corruption and extortion. However, there is need to strengthen the process to block out systems of corruption and ensure transparency and probity in the application process. To achieve this, the following steps are recommended:
  • There is need for greater sensitization on the drivers’ license application process. This is to ensure that potential applicants know the right procedure and do not have to rely on touts and corrupt unofficial agents.
  • There is need to hasten the application process to ensure that unnecessary delays are eliminated. The survey suggests that those who patronize touts do so out of the desire to avoid delays in the official system. Opening up new application centres would assist in this regard.
  • Agencies overseeing the drivers’ license application process would benefit from a corruption tracking system which would allow leadership of the agencies to know about incidents of corruption among its officials. The Stopthebribes platform ( which is currently being used by the Nigerian Police Force could be adapted and deployed to track corruption in the drivers’ license application process.
  • Information sharing about the experience of citizens in the application process would be highly beneficial in improving transparency in the application system. Experience sharing would allow others to learn from the experience of others while the authorities could identify loopholes and deploy corrective measures.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Summary Of Findings of a Study on Mobility and Security Challenges in West Africa

Opening Remarks Presented by Kemi Okenyodo, Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation


Migration is clearly a leading development challenge facing the world today; indeed the whole world is considered to be in motion with massive population movements both within the regions and also across the regions of the world. Some forms of migration are conspicuous – the world cannot fail to notice the unprecedented and often suicidal movements of persons from Sub-Saharan Africa towards the developed regions of the world. On the other hand, the interconnectedness of some communities across national borders means that crossing international boarders is no more complicated than a casual stroll down the street. Yet between the international manifestations of migration on the one hand and the inconspicuous flows of migration across borderlands is the relatively stable and popular migrations within a given region.

In all its manifestations, migration is an important security factor for three important reasons: a) that international migration exposes travelers to an array of specific security challenges which they would not have otherwise faced in their places of regular abode; b) communities to different security risk factors occasioned by the flow of migrants within a given territory; c) the intersection between the migrant and the locals are sometimes accompanied by crimes and criminality. Beyond these and other challenges of migration, the world as we know it today depends on migration to achieve the interspersing of cultures, goods, services and peoples.

West Africa is a migrating region with migration routes and traditions dating to pre-colonial period when vast empires and kingdoms coexisted across the lines that would later become the national boundaries we face today. Beyond the historic legacies of migration, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has devoted much of its 40 year existence to promoting free movement of persons and goods across national boundaries in West Africa. Unfortunately, the framework provided by ECOWAS has not been fully utilized as regional travel remains plagued by numerous challenges.

The CLEEN Foundation, benefited from a grant support from the Open Society Foundations which enabled it to conduct a study that seeks to probe the intersection between migration and security and how these play out in the borders. Between 2013 and 2014 we conducted interviews in seven international borders in the region. In the first instance we followed the migration route cutting across Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana and then explored the corridors between landlocked Mali and Burkina Faso with Cote d’Ivoire.

The study recognized that not all border users are travelers, as such the sample size interviewed included drivers, passengers, security agents amongst others. You will see in the review of the findings that migration is big business in the region – there are more people crossing national boundaries in the region on foot than those using bicycles, perhaps this is indicative of the non-formal structure of migration I mentioned earlier.

We are here today to share the findings of our research with the hope that it would stimulate reflections and discussions on the important topic of migration in our region. We hope that the discussions here will benefit from the different discussions going on in your different organisations and networks and also that the conclusions from here will go on to enrich future discussions. It is our hope that arising from here, we would continue to network and work together in the future. On our part, we have developed from this study a rich dataset composed with responses of travelers and border users in seven countries. We look forward to working with you to further disseminate the findings amongst different stakeholders.

Summary of Key Findings

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