By Lucky Isibor
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Journalists in Edo State have been tasked on the formulation of a workable Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework for the Edo State Integrity and Accountability Strategy (EDSIAS).
The call was made in Benin City Monday, November 16, 2020 by Mr. Emmanuel Uche, the Component 3 manager of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme at a two day (M&E) workshop for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and journalists in Edo State organised by Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), holding at Vichi Gates Hotel.
The Edo State Integrity and Accountability Strategy (EDSIAS) is the Edo State version of the Anti- corruption Strategy which is being developed in the state and the workshop is designed to develop the key performance indicators to measure progress in it’s implementation.
Uche who joined the workshop virtually, in his remarks noted that the Edo State government is also developing the Edo State Social Accountability Framework which he said will further encourage the involvement of none state actors in the reform processes in the state adding that Edo State is producing fantastic results in the RoLAC programme though it was the last on the block of the focal states.
According to Uche, “I am very happy to note that while the Edo State government was going through transition, they also expressed their desire to have an Edo State Social Accountability Framework in place and such an accountability framework basically, is a platform that will better encourage none state actors’ involvement in the process of reforms in the state. This is in addition to the Open Governance Partnership (OGP), and all of them speak to the strong will that will seek Edo people to take forward governance reforms.
“I am happy to inform you that even though Edo State is the last on the block of our focal states, Edo is already producing all resounding results than states that were there from the beginning. The difference we’re making is not just because of the people on the government side we are engaging, it remains one of the states with the most active CSO engagement any where in the country. Therefore, it is important that we should capitalise on the strength we have in the none state actors in the state to push key reforms that will ensure that both ourselves and our posterity to come have good dividends of democracy and development”.
While urging the workshop participants to devise mechanisms to properly align the key objectives in the key performance indicators of both the OGP and EDSIAS, Uche said, “we are happy to note that in Edo State, the people leading the OGP are also leading the EDSIAS which is a great deal for us as a state and I hope that part of what you will be doing as part of M&E framework today is also to see how we reduce the management burden, how to ensure we do not duplicate possible demand structure or make the work cumbersome because there are things we are already tracking in the the OGP. Let us adopt those indicators and put them into the EDSIAS so that we are all sure that we are all headed on the same objective and there’s no unnecessary duplication of efforts. Ensure there’s proper alignment in the key objectives in the key performance indicators of both the OGP and the EDSIAS”.
Welcoming participants to the workshop earlier, Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor said the workshop was part of the implementation of the Civil Society Advocacy to Support Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law in Nigeria, CASARN programme which is part of the RoLAC programme.
According to Ugolor who was represented by ANEEJ Deputy Executive Director, Comrade Leo Atakpu, “the goal of the CASARN project is to enhance governance in Nigeria by contributing to the fight against corruption, strengthen rule of law and the protection of human rights by reinforcing prevention mechanisms and enhancing civil society and public engagement.
“One of the project’s objectives is to support CSOs/media advocacy for implementation of Open Governance Partnership commitments in Edo State as part of effort to improve oversight, transparency and accountability in the management of government resources while also targeting corruption prevention measures.”
Ugolor appreciated the support of the RoLAC team for making it possible for ANEEJ to get funding for the project and thanked the British Council and the European Union for funding ANEEJ work.
The workshop which broke into technical session after the opening formalities is expected to develop an M&E framework for the Edo State Integrity and Accountability Strategy (EDSIAS) at the end of deliberations.