Centre LSD’s Anti-Corruption Work
Centre LSD anti-corruption work is programmed around Promoting transparency, accountability, citizens engagement, and service delivery at the national, sub-national and local government levels.
Over the years, the Centre has collaborated with state and non-state actors in her effort to contribute to the fight against corruption in the country. One of such effort was with CLEEN Foundation, on the “Access Nigeria Project” to build relationship with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and access information to fight corruption in Nigeria”. This led to a follow-up meeting with the chairman of EFCC where he discussed with the CSOs present the challenges faced in the fight against corruption in this current administration and the implication of the passage of the bill seeking to make the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) autonomous. The bill, the EFCC chairman believes, will weaken the powers of the EFCC to fight corruption in Nigeria.
The Centre also made useful contributions in several meetings hosted by the Presidential Committee Against Corruption (PACAC). In addition, Centre LSD has organized several Citizens roundtable to discuss the anti-corruption commitments of the Open Government Partnership and how citizens can ensure the Nigerian Government keeps her OGP commitments.
A major area of concern for the Centre in the fight against corruption in Nigeria is the high level of opacity at the subnational levels. Strategies on how to devolve the anti-corruption campaign to sub-national levels is an issue the Centre is currently engaging through the Open Government Partnership Initiative.
In recent times, the civic space in countries around the world are fast shrinking and under threat with the increasing activities of governments across the globe using laws, policies, and practices that inhibit the ability of citizens to exercise their rights and the freedom of civil society actors to operate freely without fear or intimidation. In Nigeria, this is aptly the case as recent activities by the government contravenes the international human rights law and the fundamental rights provisions in the Nigerian Constitution which guarantees freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.
Within the last three years in Nigeria, citizens, especially journalists and bloggers have been arrested merely for expressing critical opinions on both conventional and social media platforms. Intimidation and arrests of journalists and bloggers, protesters, activists, etc have become problematic and have remained a concern to rights violation to peacefully assemble and free speech.
In sync with the above, the African Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development over the years has intensified her engagement and intervention to interrogate the statusquo through its activities to ultimately expand the civic space in Nigeria. Some of these interventions were:
- CSO Joint Press Release: Centre LSD mobilised/galvanised Abuja based NGO for the public hearing of the NGO Bill. A joint Press Release was produced with Centre facilitating and leading the process.
- Developed a Joint CSO Memorandum of Understanding for the December 7th, 2017 public hearing: A Committee was set up from the CSO Roundtable on the NGO Bill organised by the Centre. The Centre together with the Committee fine-tuned the draft MOU and submitted same Friday before the week of the public hearing.
- Operation occupy the Social Media: This operation started the week before the public hearing. Together with Centre LSD and Civicus media team, various social media platforms were fed with updates, news, campaigns against the NGO Bill. The Centre built more CSO allies who daily occupied the twitter, Facebook and all other platforms on the campaign against this bill. International allies were also mobilised and the social media campaign was held simultaneously with consistent feeds on the facts and implication of the bill on the different social media platforms. Most e-fliers used by Centre LSD for this campaign were developed by our partners in South Africa.
- Mobilization of CSOs for the Public hearing: The Centre mobilized CSOs from within and outside Abuja to the public hearing. The Centre presented the joint MOU. Non-state Actors including champions from Human Rights Commission, former parliamentarians, religious leaders (CAN, FOMWAN) traditional leaders, etc. participated.
- Taking the Campaign to the International sphere: Centre LSD introduced the international dimension to the campaign before and after the public hearing. Organisations and individuals abroad were mobilised from the international community. Allies from South Africa, Kenyan and Uganda linked up with the Centre LSD social media campaign on the Bill.