Use Grants, Funding To Hold Public Officeholders Accountable, Senate Charges CSOs


The Nigerian Senate has called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to leverage grants and public funding to enhance accountability among public officials.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), Sen. Victor Umeh, who made this call in Abuja, yesterday, said civil society groups in Nigeria must brace up to challenge wrong actions.

Speaking during the 3rd National Organisational Development Summit (NODS), Umeh said CSOs are not being heard effectively in Nigeria. There are so many things going wrong in the country that the civil society should mobilise and push the leaders to do the right things.

“A lot of anomalies are being glossed over but there is no organised noise to ask relevant questions to put leaders on their toes.

“Since last year, a lot of things have been happening, the government is taking actions in certain directions and people are keeping quiet. The CSOs should revive positive activism to keep the government on their toes. We need to work together to put an end to things that do not augur well for the system.

“When you get grants and funding, ensure they are channelled to activism that will drive positive change and make your presence felt in the country.

“I want the CSO groups to drag people in leadership around so that anyone planning something detrimental to the people will know that they will not get away with it.

There are people who have done things wrongly, continue to ask questions until they are brought to book, until the government takes steps to show that they are responsible to the people, he said.
Also speaking, executive director, Spaces for Change (S4C) Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, said many people think that CSOs jobs are limited to providing charitable donations to widows, to orphans, and running orphanages.

She however stressed that their work is a lot bigger and more important than that.

“CSOs are making lots of contributions to the society in terms of shaping and influencing policies, demanding policy reforms, demanding shifts in governance practices, methods, measures, making contributions to how policies are developed among others.”

She said, in discharging their roles, the CSOs are faced with significant challenges, which is the essence NOD Summit

According to her, the summit allows stakeholders in the civil society space to come together to reflect on learnings on the past years,

S4C is among the sponsors of this year’s NODS.

Also speaking, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas called for the support of the civil society organisations to help rebuild Nigeria.

The speaker who was represented by chairman, House Committee on Civil Societies and Developmental Matters, Hon, Victor Obuzor, charged CSOs to embrace innovation and resilience to continue to function.

He said the lower legislative chamber is committed to supporting the work of CSOs and BMOs in view of their critical role in the achievement of national goals.

“We are working to create an enabling environment for these organisations to thrive including legislative reforms and increased funding for their activities,” he said.

Initiated in 2022, the NOD Summit has evolved into a key platform for networking, collaboration, and learning, intending to drive positive change within the sector.

The Summit’s overarching theme for 2024 is “Driving Change and Innovation for Resilience and Performance”, focusing on equipping leaders with the knowledge, tools, and strategies necessary to foster innovation and promote shared learning.

The 2024 Summit will address contemporary challenges such as shrinking donor funding, increased competition for resources, and evolving government regulations. Key focus areas include, exploring how CSOs can collectively address current and emerging challenges, identifying collaborative strategies to unlock new avenues for growth and impact.

‘Promoting evidence-based decision-making within Nigerian CSOs, facilitating the exchange of successful institutional strengthening approaches, showcasing case studies of CSOs leveraging innovative approaches for positive change and discussing reforms and opportunities for enhancing public giving and private sector engagement.

The two-day Summit features a range of activities, including panel discussions with leading CSOs and donor representatives, and presentations of successful models and approaches in organisational development, advocacy, and private-sector engagement.

Innovative tools and digital solutions for capacity strengthening will also be showcased, offering participants practical strategies for enhancing their impact.


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