CISLAC’s Tuesday Live Programme on Hot 98.3 FM

If you reside in Abuja, Kaduna, Plateau, Niger, Benue, Nassarawa, Bauchi or Kogi state, you could listen to CISLAC and make contribution on 98.3 Hot FM at 1:30pm today (Tuesday) for 30 minutes live programme where Mr. Dauda Garba, Nigeria Programme Coordinator of Natural Resource Governance Institute will be discussing key priority reforms that should form government’s agenda after the upcoming general elections.

RECRUITMENT OF A PROGRAMME OFFICER

TERMS OF REFERENCE
RECRUITMENT OF A PROGRAMME OFFICER

The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) is inviting qualified individuals to apply for a programme officer position.

Position: Programme Officer (Bilingual- English and French)
Contract type: Fixed Contract
Report to: Directly to the General Secretary
Duration: One Year but renewable on availability of funds
Location: Abuja (Interested candidate must be based in Abuja)
Issue date: 19th January 2015
Deadline date: 6th February 2015

1. Introduction
WACSOF is the official interface between ECOWAS and CSOs across West Africa. One of WACSOF’s role is to provide a civil society component to the efforts and activities of ECOWAS in fostering peace, human security, development and democratic transitions in the region. In this regard, WACSOF serves as an institutionalised platform for civil society to dialogue, identify their comparative advantage and disadvantage, build dense associational networks, develop institutional effectiveness and democratic cultures, increase civil society’s visibility and relevance in member states and the ECOWAS space.

2. Purpose of the Position
To identify, conceptualise and develop winning proposals on project related issues;
To develop partnerships and identify subcontractors for proposal responses;
Oversee and initiate programs in West Africa;
Obtain the cooperation or participation of a wide variety of governmental and private organizations throughout West Africa;
Results and detail-orientation and the ability to work with a sense of urgency in a Multi-cultural and diverse environment.
To provide technical support in developing WACSOF advocacy work;
To produce reports on programme activities for donors and external partners;
To monitor and support the activities of national chapters, providing strategic advice and guidance in their development;
To conduct outreach and network with other CSOs working on areas of interest, and establish collaborative activities and strategic alliances;
To plan, monitor and evaluate specific regional conflict prevention activities of WACSOF;
Maintain open channels of communication during each program with partners, informing them of all significant developments; and
Work effectively under the pressure of time constraints and the high visibility of WACSOF’s programmes.

3. Key Working Relationships:
Internal: Management Team
External: ECOWAS Commission and other statutory bodies of the community, Nigerian Government, Development partners and civil society organizations.

4. Qualifications, Experience Requirements and Competencies
o Graduate/post graduate degree in gender, development studies and/or social sciences related field are assets;

o At least 7 years of national and international experience in programmatic area of either Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance, Gender and other related developmental field and familiarity with relevant UN, AU and ECOWAS treaties and Conventions;

o Previous experience as project manager and ability to implement programmes within established deadlines and manage the work of other consultants/contractors (compulsory and to be verified);

o Experience in research and the production of quality reports for public distribution;

o Proven ability to work as a facilitator of groups with high‐level participants;

o Fluency in spoken and written French and English;

o Ability to work in an independent manner and organize the workflow efficiently within a limited time period;

o Familiar with good governance issues in West Africa, and the role of ECOWAS, AU and UN

o An understanding of WACSOF’s mandate and work in the West African region is an asset.

o Must possess leadership skills and must be a proactive doer.

5. Remuneration/ Fee
Payment is highly competitive and would be transferred monthly by means of transfer.

6. How to apply
Please send the following documents electronically to the email inbox of info@wacsof.net

Application cover page
CV indicating relevant experience and academic background and a list of similar consultancies undertaken outlining brief description of consultancies, deliverables, and employer name, etc. Only successful applicants would be communicated with. This means if you did not hear from us, it means you were not picked.

2015 ELECTIONS: HOW TO MAKE NIGERIA THE WINNER

​ BY ABDULRAHMAN B. DAMBAZAU CFR PhD Lieutenant General (Rtd)

The theme “2015 Elections: How to make Nigeria the Winner” appears simple, but I found it very complex and thought-provoking. Certain assumptions could be made with regard to our theme today: first, that although most of the elections conducted in Nigeria in the past had presented some serious challenges, the 2015 elections are likely to present much more serious challenges that could jeopardize national security interests unless plans are made to ensure hitch-free elections; second, that going by what has been speculated within and outside Nigeria, there is the possibility that the country will disintegrate, and the 2015 elections would probably be the platform for it unless it is handled with care; third, that there is hope the 2015 elections would provide the opportunity to strengthen Nigeria’s unity and uphold her integrity; and fourth, that the 2015 elections would provide opportunities to elect good leaders that would clear the path for peaceful co-existence, security, and national development. Since this is a dialogue, I will be raising a lot of questions in an attempt to provoke discussions on how to make Nigeria the winner after the 2015 elections, which are just around the corner.

Winning itself in the context of the 2015 elections has its own implications: what stage of winning are we referring to, such as prioritizing into short, medium and long terms; or are we looking at winning in terms of successful conduct of the elections in 2015 in which they not only would be free, fair, all-inclusive, and credible, but also free from the type of post-elections violence we witnessed in 2011; or that the 2015 elections would lead to the long awaited consolidation of democracy in which good governance would be evident through accountability and transparency, and the respect for the rule of law and human rights; or ensuring that the aftermath of the 2015 elections does not lead to the disintegration of Nigeria as earlier predicted by some US security analysts? Would the 2015 elections bring about a radical change leading us to economic growth and political stability? Would they improve Nigeria’s corruption image in which the Transparency Corruption Index (TCI) depicts Nigeria as one of the most corrupt nations on earth? Would they improve Nigeria’s poor governance image as depicted by the 2013 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG)? IIAG defines governance as “the provision of the political, social and economic public goods and services that a citizen has the right to expect from his or her state, and that a state has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens.” The framework comprises four categories: safety and rule of law; participation and human rights; sustainable economic opportunity; and human management. Nigeria’s 2013 ranking was 41st among the 52 African countries assessed. Or would the 2015 elections provide the opportunity to improve Nigeria’s status in the UN Human Development Index (HDI) from being among the low developed to highly developed countries in the world? The 2014 Human Development Report (HDR), the latest in the series since 1960, ranks Nigeria 152nd out of the 185 countries assessed. In the context of human security, what would be Nigeria’s post-2015 development agenda? To what extent would the outcome of 2015 elections significantly reduce the risks of terrorism to which Nigeria presently occupies the 4th most risk position (even ahead of Somalia) in the world according to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index; or to turn things around in the world of cyber crime in which a computer crime and security survey ranked Nigeria as the most internet fraud country in Africa and the 3rd in the world. In other words, what is our target of Nigeria being the winner in post-2015 elections? And at what point after the 2015 elections should we feel comfortable that Nigeria is the winner, assuming we are able to identify the winning parameters and thus map out her winning strategy?

There is no doubt that as we move towards the 2015 elections the political environment in Nigeria has been anything but stable, accompanied by high tension signaling warnings of impending political instability and violence, added to the criminal violence resulting from such crimes as kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual murders, and rape occurring all over. Already, over the past five years the nation has been struggling with the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast that is threatening our peace and stability, and to a very large extent, Nigeria’s sovereign and territorial integrity, bearing in mind that some parts of her territory are already under the control of the insurgents (according to recent reports, 20 out of the 27 local government areas of Borno State are under the insurgents, with the flag hoisted).

There is also the issue of recognition and ownership of Nigeria, and one may not be far from reality to assume that Nigeria is still struggling to be recognized as a nation by those who reside in her territory. To be the winner at anytime, Nigeria requires collective ownership to the extent that the approximately 170 million “citizens” see themselves first as Nigerians rather than clinging to their various ethnic and/or religious identities. We identify ourselves on the basis of our religion and ethnicity, and the only time we are Nigerians is when we identify ourselves at international borders holding the travelling passport. No wonder we find it difficult to conduct successful census that would enable us plan for development as a nation, mainly because we argue over which religious group, section or tribe is more in number, without focusing on the quality of the population.

Today we talk of ethnic nationalities and the urge for self-determination for each ethnic group. No doubt there are people who do not believe in Nigeria as it is currently structured. Similarly, there are those who believe that the amalgamation of the north and south was either a genuine mistake or a deliberate gerrymandering by the British colonial government in line with its interests; still there are others who are convinced that the north and south do not share anything in common culturally, therefore it is impossible to live together as one nation; others feel that Nigeria is too large a country, therefore would prefer an arrangement that would give each region self-determination; and yet there are even those with separatist agenda, such as Boko Haram, NDPVF, MASSOB, MEND, and OPC, who believe that everyone should go his separate ways for whatever reasons they hold. From the foregoing picture, what has become very clear is the fact that the unity of Nigeria has been under intense threat, and with the current divergent political interests and the combative nature of most politicians in pursuant of do-or-die politics, what would likely be the picture post-2015 elections? As a matter of fact there are people who threatened to put the country on fire if their preferred candidate does not win the presidential election. How can Nigeria be the winner after 2015 elections against the forces of anarchy, violence, and disintegration? What should be the strategy for this winning agenda? The 2015 elections represent just the peak or high point of this contest, but there are many other factors that come to play in deciding the “how” to make Nigeria the winner.

The 2015 elections are not going to be the first in Nigeria, but there are signs that they would be the most critical in Nigeria’s history. These elections would hold in a highly charged political environment, a situation that began within the last 15 years but apparently reaching its peak currently. Although there are a number of differences between the current situation leading to the scheduled February 2015 elections and those relating to past elections in Nigeria, the most serious one however is the fact that at no time in the history of this country did we find ourselves so divided along religious and ethnic lines than now. Most politicians rely on the strength and efficacy of using religion and ethnicity as tools for political mobilization by taking advantage of the strong religious and ethnic sentiments among Nigeria’s populace. Hardly do politicians argue on the basis of the issues reflecting national interests and national development, and to a large extent, the bulk of Nigeria’s population neither understands nor appreciates the implications of such political manipulations. Furthermore, capitalizing on Nigeria’s unequal wealth distribution system, a rich natural-resource country but with over 70% of the population living below the universal poverty line, politicians have also introduced money as an additional tool for political mobilization. People are ready to do anything for money, including selling their votes and killing political opponents. It is very clear the extent to which politicians have used money to establish private “armies” used for political violence with the clear mandate by their masters to maim or kill whoever they consider an enemy, using all kinds of weapons (including small arms and light weapons). The last 15 years have witnessed the gradual militarization of politics which gave birth to, for example, the Borno ECOMOG, now transformed to Boko Haram; all manners of armed “cultists” groups, especially in Rivers; the Niger Delta militant groups, such as NDPVF and MEND; the Yan K’alare of Gombe; Ombatse of Nasarawa; the Area Boys of Lagos; the Egbesu Boys in Niger Delta; Sara-Suka of Bauchi; Bakassi Boys of Cross River; Yan Daba of Kano; Kauraye of Katsina; etc.

On the other hand, although one may argue that the process of politicization of the military began with the January 1966 Major Chukwuma Nzeogu’s coup which led to the termination of the First Republic and the beginning of an extended involvement of the military in politics, it is equally worthy to note that the last 15 years of the current democratic dispensation has witnessed a deeper politicization of the military and of course, the police. Both institutions have been distracted from their constitutional and professional responsibilities into carrying out tasks that seem to be geared towards regime security, rather than national security. Though there was an attempt to re-professionalize the military beginning in 2003 using a framework designed to transform the Nigerian Army over a ten-year period, there appears to be a derailment, though not in the form of direct involvement of the military in governance, rather it had to do with the deployments of the military to perform tasks that are outside their constitutional responsibilities. Almost all the states in Nigeria have maintained Task Forces, a combined military and police outfits, funded by the State Governors and deployed to conduct routine policing duties, a situation that is detrimental to the constitutional functions of the military in particular. By and large, if the initial phase of the transformation project designed to end in 2013 had succeeded the army would have improved on its professionalism, culture and values; curbed waste and corruption for greater efficiency; meet both local and international obligations at less cost; repositioned to effectively deal with its traditional roles based on new fighting concepts and broad range of threats; and developed lighter, lethal, sustainable, and rapidly deployable and responsive force (see Framework for the Transformation of the Nigerian Army in the Next Decade, Volume 1). Today the performance of the military against the Boko Haram insurgency has been below expectation, a situation that has been tied to both tangible and intangible factors such as discipline; inadequate or inappropriate equipment; poor leadership; and quality of personnel and troops morale. The professional conduct of our armed forces and police is being questioned by the international community following the accusations of human rights abuses; and our sincerity in dealing with terrorism is being doubted for various reasons. The situation is gradually reversing the position the Nigerian military held in the immediate past as one of the best in the world as a result of the leadership role we played in the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Chad, Somalia, Sudan, and a host of other countries under regional and UN peacekeeping missions. It was not long ago in 2009 that the UN Peacekeeping Department honored the Nigerian Military with the accreditation of pre-deployment training package at the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Center, the first in Africa to be so accredited, with the capacity to train two battalions simultaneously. With that accreditation we were in position to train UN peacekeepers from anywhere in the world, but I am not sure if that would be the case now. It is instructive to note that the military is one of the major instruments of national power, and no country can afford losing it. The insurgency in the northeast has exposed our weak capacity and lack of clear political will to deal with the situation. Would the 2015 elections lead us to an era in which this instrument of national power could be strengthened and made robust?

Now to the 2015 elections themselves which are not only central to this dialogue, but also significant in making Nigeria the winner. Of course elections are very important in democracy, especially in emerging democracies, like ours. It was the former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Anan, who said that “when citizens go to the polls and cast their votes, they aspire not only to elect their leaders, but to choose a direction for their nation” and according to him, only elections with integrity can bolster democracy, while flawed elections undermine it. I agree with Kofi Anan’s assertion, but how do we ensure that the 2015 elections in Nigeria would turn out to be of integrity in order to avoid undermining our nascent democracy? How do we conduct elections with integrity using the so-called “stomach infrastructure” by attracting votes with 5kg bags of rice? How do we ensure elections with integrity in a situation in which almost all the outgoing Governors, regardless of party affiliation, anoint their chosen successors prior to elections, thereby disregarding people’s choices? And those who still have the opportunity to seek re-election for another term are given automatic ticket, regardless of their performance, thereby not only blocking other contenders from exercising their rights to participate, but also denying people the right to choose their leaders?

Closely linked to the success of the 2015 elections is the role of INEC in the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. There are quite a number of challenges the INEC is now facing, thus: if we have to count on our past experiences, there is some level of certainty that attempts would be made at various levels to rig elections, and the INEC would have to contend with how best to prevent it; likewise, previous elections were accompanied by logistics inadequacies, and it is hoped that INEC has done a lot of work in this regard so as to avoid delays in the movements of elections materials in particular; already there are problems with the Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) and the registration of voters, and with the way things are going, there is likelihood that a large number of Nigerians (including me) would be disenfranchised; funding is another area of challenge, and INEC has made this known to the public several times that the government has not be able to provide it with adequate funds; and the fourth challenge has to do with the current insecurity in the country, particularly the northeast. How can Nigeria be the winner if these challenges are not addressed?

I want to emphasize the significance of security during elections, but in particular the 2015 elections. The INEC would conduct the 2015 elections in an environment that is confronting serious security challenges that are unprecedented, due to the insurgency in the northeast where a significant number of Local Government Areas could still be under the control of the Boko Haram as at the period of elections; where a sizeable number of Nigerians have been displaced from the homes and scattered in various make-shift camps and other places. In other places such as Taraba, Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, Zamfara, Nasarawa, and Katsina, there are people displaced as a result of either ethno-religious crisis or clashes between herders and farmers, also resulting in the displacement of significant population in the affected areas. According to a joint report by the Internal Displaced Monitoring Center and the Norwegian Refugee Council providing 2014 Global Overview, approximately 3.3 million Nigerian are displaced due to all kinds of violent crises (the figure must have increased by now). We must note also that there is equally a significant number of Nigerians who are refugees in the neighboring countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Furthermore, the fact that a good number of these displaced persons and refugees are eligible voters, how can Nigeria be the winner of the 2015 elections without these people being able to exercise their rights to vote? How about the over 200 Chibok girls and other abductees who are still missing, and what is their fate? Can Nigeria still be the winner while these girls remain captives in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorists?

Examining the current challenges, particularly the challenges of insecurity in Nigeria as a whole, and the insurgency in the northeast in particular, there are people who think that the elections should be postponed. If this should be the case, then this dialogue we are holding today becomes irrelevant. Therefore, we should also attempt to look at the alternative scenario in terms of the impact postponing the elections would have in the polity. If the elections were not to hold, what would be next line of action in terms of ensuring peace and stability? Would the suggestion of postponing elections not introduce another set of problems? Although some people have suggested an interim government or government of national unity, who would such a government and what would be the nature of its composition? While I do not expect Nigeria to be an instant winner with just the 2015 elections, the elections would certainly lay a strong foundation for ultimate victory if they are violent-free, and perceived to be free, fair and credible. This goal can be achieved through the combination of efforts by INEC, Security Agencies, Political Parties, the Media, and Voters themselves: First, INEC must not only be neutral, but must be seen to be neutral and truly independent, by ensuring that no contestant is shortchanged; that there is a level playing field for all parties, so that no party is disadvantaged; that the electoral laws are fully adhered to and enforced, while violators are sanctioned accordingly; that adequate logistics arrangements are made to ensure that election materials are delivered accordingly, in addition to strict adherence to timings and programs; and any attempt by any participant either as individuals or parties to rig the elections should be rejected. A situation in which the people believe that elections are not free and fair, governance becomes difficult, if not impossible, due to the fact that political leadership would fail to be recognized by those who feel betrayed, as such would continue to struggle for legitimacy until next elections. This is even more serious when complaints are not addressed and resolved either politically or legally. Second, security agencies have a tremendous role to play in support of INEC by ensuring that they not only provide adequate security during the elections, but that they also remain neutral. Not only that security agencies must as a matter of necessity stick to their constitutional role to ensure that law and order are maintained, but they must also not allow themselves to be used to intimidate voters. Third, the role of political parties in driving the campaign in orderly and peaceful manner is very significant in the success of elections process. Where national interests are threatened, for example, parties must put aside their differences to work together towards protecting such interests against violation. Parties must stick to the rules of the game and avoid mud-slinging or casting aspersions against political opponents. It is equally important for the political parties to maintain focus and avoid statements that would overheat the polity. Fourth, the media (both electronic and print) is a very critical and vital institution in this project. As a public agenda setter; a gate keeper on public issues; a watchdog of political transparency and fight against corruption; and a fourth estate which provides the needed checks and balances in relation to the three branches of government; the media has a crucial role to play in national development. However, to succeed in their role, the media must be professional and objective, therefore must avoid bias, sensationalism, propaganda and distortions, particularly in a society like ours with many fault lines. For the 2015 elections, the media must lead the civil society in ensuring that the elections are free, fair and credible in the overall interest of the nation. Fifth, Nigeria will win if the voters themselves vote freely to elect credible people not on the basis of religion, ethnicity or monetary inducements. Voters must not engage in any acts of violence and brigandage that could lead to the destruction of lives and properties. Matchets, knives and daggers are not the weapons of voters, but rather the most potent weapon for the voter is his or her vote which he or she must use wisely to vote for the candidate of his or her choice.

Post-2015 elections Nigeria cannot be the winner if the current insecurity environment is sustained, particularly the threats posed by terrorism and insurgency of Boko Haram in the north. Every day we live with the hope that the insurgency in the northeast would end using multi-dimensional approach so that the future would not experience such threats that have had devastating effects on our lives. How can Nigeria be the winner when the vast majority of people live in perpetual fear? Freedom from fear is not only a fundamental right in human security, but it also compliments the freedom from want. Unfortunately both freedoms are under serious threats. Educational institutions, markets, worship centers (such as mosques and churches), and motor parks, that are the major areas in which the bulk of daily activities of Nigerians are concentrated have become the main targets of terrorist attacks. Such attacks cripple the educational system; immobilize the movement of people; deny people the means of sustaining their lives; deny them their fundamental right to practice their faith; and above all, deny people the right to decent living (the insurgency has taken away their food, housing, education, and healthcare). In the southeast and south-south, people cannot move freely due to the fear of kidnappers and violent cultists. In the south west, ritual killers are lurking around for unsuspecting victims, especially women and children. How can Nigeria be the winner if the people residing in her territory are experiencing such hurtful disruptions of their daily lives? According to the first UN Human Development Report (1994), human security involves a “process of widening the range of people’s choices” in which “people can exercise these choices safely and freely, and that they can relatively be confident that the opportunities they have today are not lost tomorrow.” How can Nigeria be the winner if the choices of the people residing in her territory are narrowing instead of widening?
Beginning 1999, it is now 15 years of democracy in Nigeria, but we are yet to consolidate it. We have already discussed the first step towards consolidating democracy, that is, free, fair and credible elections. Next, is the issue of good governance manifested in clear observance of democratic tenets, imbedded in adherence to the rule of law; respect for human rights; accountability; transparency; inclusiveness; and popular participation. Next, is strengthening of democratic institutions, and ensuring that there are adequate arrangements for checks and balances among the executive, legislature and the judiciary. Although there have been major challenges in the last 15 years, the Fourth Republic has been the longest so far in Nigeria’s democratic experiment. Is there any possibility that the 2015 elections could usher in the path for democratic consolidation in Nigeria? Yes, there is. But this is only possible when the right people are elected: people who are competent and of high integrity; people who are focused and selfless; people who are courageous and loyal; people who respect human rights and appreciate the rule of law; people who would be transparent and are ready to be held accountable; people who understand the essence of human security; people who are ready to once more make Nigeria the giant of Africa; people who appreciate that without peace and security there will be no development; and above all, people who believe in Nigeria as a united, indivisible nation. These are the kind of people that would guarantee Nigeria’s economic, political and social stability to put her on the path of sustained growth and development.

I have attempted to suggest a path to follow in order to make Nigeria the winner come 2015 elections. While this may not be the only path, I believe following what I have provided for this dialogue will go a long way in ensuring that we at least achieve very reasonable level of peace and stability. I do hope that my points would encourage or provoke enough discussions in this dialogue.

DECLARATION OF ACTION AFTER THE PRESENTATIONS BY CIVIL SOCIETY SCALLING-UP NUTRITION IN NIGERIA (CS-SUNN) AT 31ST NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE ORGANISED BY ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH PHYSICIANS OF NIGERIA IN MAKURDI, BENUE STATE FROM 18TH- 23RD JANUARY, 2015.

Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) made a presentation at 31st National Scientific Conference organised by Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria in Makurdi, Benue state. The session was well attended by the members of the Association from different parts of the country. It was supported by members of Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH)—Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON). The session featured Dr. Chris Osa Isokpunwu of Federal Ministry of Health., Dr. Philippa Momah and Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo as the lead presenters and other discussants. After brainstorming exhaustively on various thematic issues, we the participants:

1. Express our deep concern over increasing percentage of stunted children under age of 5 across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria such as: 55%, 42%, 29%, 22%, 18%, 16% in the North West, North East, North Central, South West, South South and South East, respectively (as provided by NDHS);
2. Recognize that nutrition remains a smart investment to accelerate key economic progress in the country, and reduce stunting of children;
3. Also recognize that malnutrition in children result in poor education performance and increased chronic disease in children under age of 5; and socio-cultural factors militate against interventions to probe malnutrition in Nigeria;
4. Advocate for the effective implementation of Strategic Plan of Action on Nutrition at all levels;
5. Support the domestication of the National Strategic Plan of Action on Nutrition across the States;
6. Shall undertake research that will promote maternal new-born and child health at all levels in Nigeria;
7. Commit to establish local working groups on scaling up nutrition at all levels in Nigeria;
8. Also commit to create awareness through seminars, conference, and public lectures on the policy and plans;

Signed:
1. Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria
2. Federal Ministry of Health
3. Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN)
4. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
5. Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON)

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE BI-MONTHLY MEETING OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY FORUM (PSF) HELD IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM OF THE INSTITUTE FOR PEACE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION, CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, ABUJA ON THE 15TH JANUARY, 2015

Preamble

The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) in collaboration with the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) convened the Bi-Monthly meeting of the Peace and Security Forum with the support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP). The epoch meeting reflected on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) as a growing and evolving realm of policy and practice that faces several significant challenges in implementation, stemming in part from its origins in the security and defence arena. Nigeria has also through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) piloted this soft approach and if adequately coordinated, this was considered a great tool in the peace building efforts in Nigeria.
The meeting also took cognisance of the National Armed Forces Remembrance Day to underscore the efforts of the military in the fight against insurgency. The meeting cheered at the gradual impact the Peace and Security Forum has recorded within a short period. One was the official launch of the National Security and Counter Terrorism Strategy as well as the Deployment of over 1000 personnel to further secure the border by the Nigeria Immigration Services.
Observations:

• The framework and operational guide for Countering Extreme Violence (CVE) in Nigeria is an evolving soft approach to counter terrorism strategy with focus on counter radicalization as well as strategic communication to engage and build resilience to find long lasting buffers that will serve against violent extremism.
• The forum hailed the huge step taken by the political actors at the signing of the Abuja Peace Accord desirous of sustaining and promoting the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria as an indivisible entity; determined to avoid any conduct or behavior that will endanger the political stability and national security of Nigeria; determined to place national interest above personal and partisan concerns; and reaffirm commitment to fully abide by all rules and regulations as laid down in the legal framework for elections in Nigeria.
• Content and context of media reportage in Nigeria has remained a fundamental instrument in shaping the perception and reality of security information particularly amongst citizens in countering violent extremism.
• Marxism, socialism & Communism ideologies were pillars that shaped activism in various high institutions in Nigeria in the past which are now replaced by religious culture with tolerance gradually eroding and replaced by incisive teachings.
• Mechanism to check conflagration before, during and after the elections is the responsibility both citizens and other security institutions in Nigeria.
• Clergy and spiritual leaders are strategic in countering the narratives of violent extremism in Nigeria considering the level of influence they have on the community and nation at large.

Recommendations:

• Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) should strengthen its vertical and horizontal strategic communication as a panacea win more actors that would cascade the information on the CVE at states and local levels.
• All political parties and its supporters should implement Abuja Accord and refrain from making public statements, pronouncements, declarations or speeches that have the capacity to incite any form of violence before, during and after the election and strong deterrent measures should be advocated.
• The media should reposition its reportage to drill down peace and security across the country and demonstrate the ethics of the profession as the fourth estate of the realm particularly as the country goes into the elections.
• There is need for all stakeholders involved in the peace processes and practice to use all medium to advocate for the inclusion of peace as a subject in the curriculum of institutions from basic to tertiary. This was considered very strategic in catching them young and restoring the good old days of ideology.
• Security agencies and peace practitioners should take the burden of preaching peace messages across localities and win more actors. This was considered a ToT approach until the desired result of peace is restored to every nook and cranny of the nation.
• The need for a continuous training of clergy and other spiritual leaders should be sustained at all levels to enable them influence more prospects positively and tactically by attracting less attention which makes them less vulnerable for attacks.

Conclusion

Participants thanked Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with the support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP) for providing the platform and taking a step further in security development engagement. The process was acclaimed to be catalytic to strategizing towards a peaceful 2015 general elections as well as harmonizing various efforts. The community town hall meetings were hailed as a major outreach to informal actors in the communities. The use of the social media engagement to push for the popularization of the peace agreements to various supporters was also reached. The meeting resolved to meet by 10th February, 2015 against the traditional program to feel the pulse of the political temperature and configure the situation room.

Signed:

Prof. Oshita O. Oshita
Director General
Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR)
Abuja

Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Abuja

Mijinyawa Zakari Esq
Directorates of Behavioral Analysis
Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)
Abuja

PRESS RELEASE: CISLAC URGES JUDICIOUS UTILIZATION OF LEGISLATIVE TIME UPON RESUMPTION

Preamble:

As years pass by, it becomes very obvious that National Assembly struggles with limited time to achieve gargantuan workload before them. They are obviously distracted by many unnecessary engagements that consume precious limited time. As members of the National Assembly resume legislative activities on Tuesday 13th January, 2015, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) therefore urges the National Assembly to:

1. Never relent in their effort towards carrying out their mandates towards effective oversight, lawmaking, promotion of good governance and adequate representation of the interest of Nigerians, despite the executive’s interference;
2. Effectively fulfill their electoral mandates, considering the upcoming general elections and seriously pay attention to address some critical pending issues affecting the citizens and nation at large;
3. Consider the passage of the 2015 appropriation bill which was presented to National Assembly as at December 2014, by the Minister of Finance
4. Consider the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which has been lying at the National Assembly for the past 12 years even though it portends significant growth and progress for the nation’s oil and gas sector;
5. Propose the passage of many other important bills including the Comprehensive National Tobacco Control Bill, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition bill, the Whistleblower Protection bill, the Gender and Equal Opportunity bill, the Disability bill, the Access to Justice bill, the FIU amendment bill and many more that are still lying fallow at the national assembly; and
6. Consider the passage of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) amendment bill, which remains dormant at National Assembly, despite the upcoming elections in a few weeks.

Recommendations:

In view of all these, CISLAC therefore calls on National Assembly to:
1. Judiciously utilize the legislative time with maximum level of objectivity and efficiency to ensure that legislative work does not suffer;
2. Timely scrutinize and deliberate on the 2015 Appropriation bill to cater for the nation’s financial needs for effective growth and development; and ensure the bill reflects Nigeria’s commitment to international agreement to key sectors such as 25% education, 15% health, and 10% Agriculture;
3. Promptly pass the long awaiting Petroleum Industrial Bill, to curb endless corrupt practices, promote transparency and accountability and enhance growth and progress in the nation’s oil and gas sector;
4. Adopt and uphold proper codes of conduct for patriotic legislature though democratic process that allows for public participation and meaningful democracy;
5. Carry out an effective oversight on the used $1billion loan for weapons to fight insurgency and terrorism;
6. Carry out inquest on the used budgetary allocation for displacement of persons in Nigeria
7. Demand immediate action to bring back the Chibok girls that have been held captive for far too long;
8. Demand appropriate sanction on those who looted public pensions fund and arms deals;
9. Demand for action against those behind immigration job scam;
10. Demand for action to end doctor’s strike; and
11. Demand prosecution of all perpetrators mentioned in subsidy scam including non-remittance of $20billion by the NNPC.

Signed:

Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director of CISLAC

THE TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE JOINTLY ORGANISED BY PROTEST TO POWER MOVEMENT (P2PM), CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC), AND STATE OF THE UNION (SOTU) PROJECT IN ABUJA ON FRIDAY 9TH JANUARY 2015

INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT:

Three years ago this month, a monumental crisis of historic proportions unraveled and shook our country to its very foundation. At the root of that crisis were corruption, and the impunity in governance that enables, drives, and protects its perpetrators and perpetuators.

This same phenomenon of corruption, grand theft and pillage of public treasury by a few entrusted with the safe keeping of our commonwealth, has alas since then grown and become not only endemic, but also pervasively systemic.

If we recall, January is the month of the anniversary of that historic eruption of popular anger that became known as Occupy Nigeria, the January Uprising.

Today, 9th of January 2015 marks three years since a growing spontaneous protest movement ballooned into a nationwide uprising, the most massive, and significant in our history. For it was on January 9th 2012 that the joint Labour and Civil Society Coalition launched a Nationwide general strike and mass protest that went on to involve more than 55 cities and towns across the length and breadth of Nigeria.

What triggered that nationwide crisis was the unprecedented hike in fuel prices announced by the government as a New Year gift on January 1st 2012.

That hike in fuel price, was prompted by government’s stated desire to end what it called the unsustainable regime of fuel subsidy.

CORRUPTION IN THE PETROLEUM SECTOR AND OCCUPY NIGERIA:

That crisis, the January Uprising exposed the corruption at the heart of the fuel subsidy regime, and validated the position of civil society regarding the cause of that burden on the economy.
For the avoidance of doubt, it is important to restate the facts, because those facts are still clearly at play even today.

What the government called fuel subsidy is the difference between the cost of importing refined products, and the pump price of fuel. This difference which is an unnecessary cost exist because our domestic refineries are in a state of dilapidation, like almost every other public basic infrastructure, as a consequence of which we have to depend on imported refined products to meet our domestic need. This situation is further compounded by the fact that the value of the Naira is not stable against the US Dollar, the currency in which crude oil is sold, refining and transportation cost is incurred internationally.

The January Uprising exposed the fact that the daily consumption rate of petrol was astronomically inflated, thus exponentially increasing the cost of the subsidy. For instance daily consumption increased from just above 30 million litres per day in 2010 to 60 million litres per day in 2011, and then dropped significantly after the January Uprising to 40 million liters per day in 2012 and now average of 38 million liters per day in 2013 and 2014.

Relatedly this inflation of the daily consumption rate shut up steeply the cost of the subsidy, rising from less than N600bn in 2010 to N2.7trn in 2012 [more than 50% of the country’s annual budget, and nearly three times the size of the annual capital vote], and dropping to just about an average of N1.2trn in subsequent years.

Similarly the number of fuel importers, many of them revealed illegal entities, and a host of which collected subsidy claims for undelivered products, and or were involved in the practice of round tripping and over invoicing, shot up to more than 150 in 2011, and dropped to less than 50 after the January Uprising.

Remarkably in spite, of this monumental fraud and looting of the treasury that was exposed, no significant action has been taken to identify, prosecute and punish culprits, much less recover looted funds.

Additionally even though it is clear that such a grand scale and scope of treasury looting could not have been undertaken without the collaboration and protection of highly placed political officials as well as highly placed officials of the major public sector actors in the petroleum sector, including the NNPC, DPR, PPPRA, and Federal Ministries of Petroleum and Finance, up till this time no official has been implicated much less disciplined for these fundamental breaches.

Furthermore, at the height of the January Uprising, and significantly during the negotiations between government side and the labour-civil society side, promises which have turned out to be outlandish had been made regarding not only identifying and punishing the corrupt, but also with respect to acquiring adequate domestic refining capacity within a three year period.

Importantly the Minister of Petroleum Resources had said then that capacity utilization rate of the domestic refineries which she claimed stood at 40% during the crisis would be improved and increased to over 90% by 2nd quarter of 2014.

The Federal Government which had stated that it would take about three years to build new refineries had also signed MOUs and granted licenses to build and complete by end of 2014 four so-called Greenfield Refineries through Public-Private-Partnership.
Three years to the January Uprising however, all the promises made have not been realized, ensuring that the nation continues to be dependent on imported refined products for more than 80% of its requirements; the only OPEC member country to be so dependent.

Outrageously, capacity utilization at the nation’s four domestic refineries is now reported to be at a mere 16.14% average, according to the latest data from the sector. And this is after the expenditure of a tidy sum of N152bn spent on failed Turn Around Maintenances [TAMs] of the refineries as at 2013.
To make matters worse, none of the four Greenfield refineries have been built, much less operationalized. In point of fact not even the land has been cleared at the sites acquired since 2012 for these projects.
It is the gluttonous greed of the ruling political elites, which drives their unprecedented levels of light fingeredness, leading to the routine frenzied pillaging of national wealth, which has placed an implacable obstacle on the part of combatting corruption, making the refineries work, building new refineries, thus achieving sufficient domestic refining capacity and doing away with the subsidy regime.

The impact of the corruption in the oil and gas sector of Nigeria has been further accentuated in recent times by the crash in crude oil prices, and the revelation that we had depleted our savings long before the crash, and are thus right now on the brink of bankruptcy.
The same impunity driven and aided corruption that is at the heart of the subsidy regime, is also at play in the mismanagement of our external savings.

The External Reserves [ER] and the Excess Crude Account [ECA] created and established to cushion the country’s economy against the vicissitudes of the global economy, were ravaged in times of plenty so much so that now in times of need, we have almost nothing to fall back on.
For instance both the ER and ECA which stood at $48bn and $10bn respectively at the end of December 2013 had been drawn down to less than $33bn and $3bn respectively even before the oil price crisis unraveled.

NON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AFRICAN CONVENTION ON CORRUPTION:

What appears perplexing is the fact that the country is witnessing these unprecedented levels of corruption with impunity even though Nigeria is a signatory to the 2003 African Convention on preventing and combating corruption which came into force on August 5th 2006. 34 African countries, including Nigeria have ratified this convention.

The convention focuses on the promotion of accountability and transparency in the management of public affairs, in order to create conditions that will support socio-economic development.
In line with issues addressed in the convention and the provisions thereof, the AU mandated state parties to the convention to implement the following:
• African states will develop legislative measures to criminalize the conversion, transfer and disposal of property that is the proceeds of corruption or related offences or the disguise or concealment of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership of or rights with respect to property acquired through proceeds of corruption.
• African governments must develop laws to establish the offence of illicit enrichment.
• African governments will adopt laws to prescribe the use of funds by political parties in a transparent and accountable manner.
• African states will develop laws, mechanisms and other measures to fight corruption in the private sector including companies paying bribes to win tenders while encouraging the private sector to assist in the fight against corruption.
On this 3rd anniversary of the January Uprising, triggered as it is by mass anger and popular outrage at the scale and scope of corruption, alas we are where we are at present, largely because our government has not fulfilled its commitment to the African Convention on preventing and combating corruption, which it freely entered into and ratified.
Up till this moment, necessary policy, legislative and institutional frameworks have either not been put in place, or where they are in place, they have been weakened and incapacitated, making it impossible for these to be effective.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE UPCOMING GENERAL ELECTIONS:
The major culprit here is the absence of political will on the part of political leaders and elites to combat corruption largely because they have either been compromised or have become beneficiaries of corruption.
It is in this light that we call on and urge Nigerian citizens to make good use of the election campaign process and the upcoming general elections to ensure that they hold politicians accountable, and make parties and their candidates commit to actionable strategic plans to implement the African Convention on preventing and combating corruption in Nigeria.
If we are able to achieve this, it would be a befitting legacy to the spirit and courage of the January Uprising of 2012, the 3rd anniversary of which we have gathered here to mark today.

OUR DEMANDS:

In view of the forgoing we make the following demands;
1. That Nigerians should take advantage of the forthcoming elections to make political parties and their candidates enter into binding commitments with citizens on preventing and combating corruption
2. That this government and the post February election government should immediately develop in a participatory manner a National Action Plan with set targets and penalties for implementing the African Convention on preventing and combating corruption
3. That immediate and measureable steps be undertaken to identify, prosecute and punish all those individuals, officials and companies involved in the various processes of corruption in the petroleum sector, including the failed turn around maintenances of refineries and the fuel subsidy regime
4. That immediate steps be taken to recover looted funds in the petroleum sector
5. That as a lasting legacy to our January Uprising of 2012, all active Nigerian citizens should redouble their organising and mobilising efforts to ensure that government and political parties and leaders take seriously the fight against corruption and develop and practice of zero tolerance to corruption in the country
6. That justice be given to those who lost their lives in the January 2012 fuel subsidy uprising and compensation be given to their families
7. That the passage of the petroleum industry bill (PIB) inclusive of civil society concerns and recommendations
8. That measures to reduce landing and distribution be put in place by improving the efficiency of ports and depots
9. That the NEITI Audit reports be implemented without further delay
10. That measures are put in place to stop immediate stoppage oil theft.

CONCLUSION:
Finally we wish to express our appreciation to Nigerian citizens for the courage demonstrated during the January Uprising, and to our colleagues in the media for their steadfast support for anti-corruption causes.

SIGNED:
Okeke Anya
State of the Union Coalition (SOTU)

Auwal Musa Rafsanjani
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

Jaye Gaskia
Protest To Power Movement [P2PM]

VACANCY: Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Officer

CISLAC IS RECRUITING!

Position Title: Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Officer
Primary Location: Abuja, Nigeria

Organizational Summary: CISLAC is a non-governmental, non-profit legislative advocacy, lobbying, information sharing and research organization. (CISLAC) works towards bridging the gap between the legislature and the electorate; by enhancing campaign and advocacy strategies; engagement of bills before their passage into law; manpower development for lawmakers, legislative aides, politicians and the civil society, as well as civic education on the tenets of democracy and Human Rights promotion. We undertake activities related to capacity strengthening, advocacy, policy analysis, citizen’s education and mobilization and civil society networks and coalition enhancement. CISLAC seeks to promote transparency, accountability, good governance and anti-corruption efforts among multiple stakeholders in the areas of public finance management, revenue mobilization, including tax justice and extractive revenue management.

Program Summary CISLAC is presently engaged in a project for Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement in the Transparency and Accountability in the Extractive Sector in Nigeria. The objective of the grant activities is to strengthen institutional, organizational, and technical capacity of a CSO cluster to advocate for key issues that address transparency, accountability and good governance. The goal of the project is to strengthen good governance by increasing the capacity of civil society networks and coalitions to influence the development and implementation of key democratic reforms at local, state, and national levels that improve transparency, accountability and good governance. The project explicitly aims to engage marginalized populations, such as women, youth, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups in the process, with an emphasis on leadership and innovation. The project will undertake capacity development, policy/issues engagement with relevant government agencies and civic awareness and the multiple dimensions of the various engagement requires technical and result oriented monitoring and evaluation to ensure impact, result and value for money.

General Position Summary: The Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) officer will provide leadership, in collaboration with the Program Manager and the Executive Director, in all aspects of monitoring, evaluation and information management of the program. The MEL officer will contribute to program planning to ensure adherence to CISLAC’s standards and international best practices, including the use of standardized indicators and documentation methodologies. Throughout the life of the program, s/he will be responsible for cross-cutting programmatic information management within the framework of the program, monitoring and evaluation, ensuring that information collected is reflected upon, used for continuous improvement of ongoing programs, and is incorporated into consistently high quality reports. S/he will have responsibility for leading research efforts, networking with research agencies, documenting project impacts, and overseeing field-based M&E staff.

Essential Job Functions:

Technical Leadership

· As a strategic leader, actively participate in management meetings and country-wide strategy sessions.

· Strengthen staff capacity in qualitative and quantitative monitoring and evaluation tools through comprehensive staff training and coaching.

· Take the lead in aligning, collecting and reporting on relevant program indicators to the organizational-wide M&E system, Mission Metrics.

· Adapt existing CISLACs monitoring tools, as well as propose new ways of measuring change through the use of both quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, analysis of secondary data, and, where appropriate, remote monitoring techniques.

· Coordinate internal and external reviews and lead the analysis of findings, with a strong emphasis on learning.

Management of the Program Monitoring, Evaluation and Information System

· Ensure that the Integrated Democracy and Good Governance and Development program gathers, maintains and reports upon quality and verifiable data using valid and appropriate qualitative and quantitative tools.

· Establish and manage a database to track progress towards meeting project goals and objectives.

· Address shortfalls in monitoring, evaluation and information management that affect program implementation.

Communication

· Coordinate with Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement M and E Unit to guide process of ex-ante, ex-post and midterm evaluation, from the design, implementation and documentation phases

· Strengthen linkages with other internal agency resources, including the Learning Management System, Digital Library, the Hub, and Clear space, to enhance organizational learning.

· Participate in M&E-related working groups and maintain close working relationships with MEL counterparts in other relevant i NGOs, and local NGOs and associations in Nigeria.

Research Coordination

· Identify quality research partners and increase their capacity to examine and document issues related to the quality of life, and livelihoods.

· Maintain regular contact with research agencies, oversee partnerships, work to increase their skills and product quality.

· Liaise with other entities conducting related research to ensure coordination of efforts.

Organizational Learning: As part of CISLAC’s agency-wide Organizational Learning Initiative, all team members are responsible for spending certain %tage of their work time in formal and/or non-formal professional learning activities.

Accountability to Beneficiaries:
CISLAC’s team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our participants and to international standards guiding international development work while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility: Provide supervision for select Program Officers and Line Staff

Accountability:
Reports Directly To: The Executive Director in liaison with Senior Programme Officers

Works Directly With: CISLAC’s Programs and Finance departments in Abuja.

Knowledge and Experience:

Postgraduate degree in development studies, research methods, statistics, social sciences, measurement and evaluation, project planning and management or other relevant field preferred

Minimum 5-7 years of active M&E work experience in development programming required; ideal candidate will have both theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques.

Familiarity and experience with both democracy and good governance programming and either economic development or natural resource management programming, preferably in across Nigeria. Knowledge of major aspects of program development, implementation and documentation and excellent verbal and written communication skills required. Excellent computer skills, including experience with: Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Epi-Info, Epi-Data, SPSS, Access, SQL, and any other statistical packages. Demonstrated understanding of intermediate and advanced statistics and the ability to summarize, generalize, and make predictions from large data sets. Ability to conceptualize, plan and implement program activities creatively, as well as possess the ability to analyze data and utilize lessons learned for the continuous improvement of program implementation and to promote a culture of learning. Fluency in written and verbal English. Ability to speak local languages will be added advantage.

Success Factors:
The successful MEL Officer will have the ability to multi-task, set priorities, and work under tight deadlines within a complex team. S/he will demonstrate strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and be committed to the values and mission of CISLAC. S/he will take initiative and contribute to team efforts, as well as demonstrate an ability to communicate and assume leadership.

Living /Environmental Conditions:
This position is based in Abuja but will travel across the country.

CISLAC’s Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and CISLAC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in state venues.

Application Closing Date
Friday January 16, 2015

Application should be submitted to CISLAC via:
Email: cislac@cislacnigeria.net
or
Flat 3, No. 16 P.O.W Mafemi Crescent Off Solomon Lar Way,
Behind Chida Hotel, Near Daily Trust Newspapers Office,
Utako District, Abuja – Nigeria