The MacArthur Foundation has identified the absence of accountability as the single most challenging problem in Nigeria.
The Foundation says the issue of accountability goes to the roots of all the other challenges bedevilling the country and sounded it clear that this is the reason it is working with the media and civil society organizations to build synergies to tackle corruption in the country.
The Foundation’s Deputy Director, Africa office, Nigeria, Dayo Olaide made the assertion on Tuesday in Abuja during a stakeholders meeting organized by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG).
He emphasized the need for collaboration between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Media in the demand for good governance, accountability and the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Olaide who expressed delight over the success PRIMORG recorded through its anti-corruption project, said the Foundation identified accountability as the biggest challenge facing Nigeria as a country, hence the Foundation is focused on helping Nigerians reduce corruption.
He said reducing corruption in the country can only be possible with Nigerians playing prominent roles.
“Nigerians would have to be at the forefront of driving questions to reduce corruption in the country and so If you look at our strategy we emphasize collaborations with the government, non-governmental institutions and CSOs because they represent the people and so we see them as the demand side of the work.”
He underscored the importance of PRIMORG and other grantees in partnering with citizens in demanding accountability and fighting corruption. He added that: “In the last twenty to twenty-one years of Nigeria’s democracy, Nigeria has made some appreciable and commendable progress to modernize its laws, to improve transparency and accountability, but by far the biggest challenge or the gap is in terms of how we operationalize those laws, those rules, those improvements in-laws and processes and procedures is to be able to make them deliver democratic promises.”
Olaide also revealed that the MacArthur Foundation which is a United States-based foundation has existed in the country for almost three decades. “You would find our footprint across the wind of diplomatic issues, in the last twenty-five-plus years, we have supported a lot of interventions, primary education, girl secondary education, human rights protection and advancement, criminal justice reform, national mortality and promotion of sexual right in Nigeria,” He stated.
Earlier, PRIMORG’s Executive Director, Okhiria Agbonsuremi appreciated the MacArthur Foundation for their support through grant and the opportunity to work with the best of CSOs and Media cohorts.
According to Agbonsuremi, the success of the project which is in its second phase is titled: STRENGTHENING ANTI-CORRUPTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY BY AMPLIFYING CORRUPTION RELATED INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS ON THE RADIO AND THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA, is reliant on effective collaborations.
His words: “PRIMORG’s intention is on how to work better with stakeholders, CSOs, and even if we are already having a good working relationship how can we make it better.”
At the end of the meeting, representatives of media organizations and CSOs pledged to cooperate with PRIMORG in achieving their set goals.
Media Organizations present at the meeting include Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Vanguard Newspapers, The Cable and The NewsGuru Newspapers.
CSOs in attendance include Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism, African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), CODE, CISLAC and CDD Accountability Lab Nigeria, African Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Development, Akin Fadeyi Foundation,
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