The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) with support from Strengthening Advocacy for Civic Engagement (SACE-Nigeria) and USAID has organised a one-day workshop yesterday 12 August 2015 to review a report on the status of civil society regulation in Nigeria commissioned by SACE-Nigeria project. The workshop which also featured planery sessions and group discussions on the trends, challenges and opportunities for CSOs in President Buhari’s administration and preliminary agreement on recommendations for a declaration on CSO-government relationship.
According to Idayat Hassan, Director, CDD in Abuja, she said CDD has since its inception commited to the promotion of good governance which is an essential ingredient for speedy econonmic growth and national development anywhere in the world. She added that CDD being one of the CSOs in Nigeria, has been able to maintain the momentum in terms of implementation of exemplary programmes amongst others CSOs, having worked in the two thematic areas which are corruption and security including its recent strategic moves to tackle youth employment in the Country. “When you look at the trajectory, you would realise that self regulatory structures need to be put in place for CSOs to remain focus and deliver in their roles” she explained.
Professor Abubakar Momoh, Director-General, The Electoral Institute, Abuja, while delivering his keynote address, he said the word “Civil Society Organisation” has been bastardised, misused and abuse in Nigeria since the mandate for the formation of non-governmental organisations was released in 1987. It is highly imperative to have formidable regulatory structure for CSOs in Nigeria. “People form various CSOs for different reasons with all manners of heinous motive at back of their minds, some CSOs have been said to be thriving while some others are known to be kwashiokored” he posited.
Dr Mrs Ezeilo, Executive Director, WACOL, who was among the speakers said, if CSOs hands are soiled, then they can never be taken seriously, hence the need for self regulations and strong compliance with the extant laws.