SCALE–ANEEJ Anti -Corruption Campaign: Pinnacle of Peace, Development in Nigeria
By Femi Mustapha
There is an undisputed fact that corruption is one of the serious challenges confronting Nigeria as at today. It has permeated every stratum of the society. With its current prevalence rate, the country’s image abroad is seriously smeared.
Every Nigerian by the prevailing culture of corruption has the tendency to be corrupt. Also, the nation’s foreign direct investment is obviously affected by our stigmatization as a corrupt
Nigeria with her abundant resources still faces the problem of youth unemployment, high poverty rate, mass illiteracy and security challenges due to the problem of corruption.
As if that is not enough recent events in the political scenario is not helping matters as delegate votes were purchased in Dollars which further portrayed the country as corrupt hubs.
But hope is not lost as the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE)–
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ). The project is set to rejuvenate the anti-corruption fight.
ANEEJ an Anchor Civil Society organization is implementing the SCALE project being implemented by Palladium with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
This project Under SCALE, ANEEJ Cluster is implementing the Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform
In the words of the Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, “this important project seeks to promote and engage in anti-corruption policy reforms at both the national and sub-national levels as well as designed to enhance local civil society’s organization’s ability to be positive and responsible change agents in Nigeria”
This project will provide a platform for continuous engagement with critical government agencies and stakeholders to the menace of overcoming Anti – Corruption.
ANEEJ as an anti – Corruption watchdog is bringing hope to Nigerians that the monster called corruption can be overcome and Social inclusion is visible in the country.
Rev. Ugolor at a forum recently said Enhancing Anti-Corruption and Social inclusive Reform initiatives in Nigeria is designed following the anchor cluster model adopted by Palladium to promote and engage in anti-corruption policy reforms.
ANEEJ according to him is the anchor for the Anti-Corruption cluster under the SCALE project working with eight cluster organizations across six states and Abuja.”
“The Palladium has adopted the cluster approach to identify possible areas of networking, advocacy, lobbying, civic engagement and policy dialogue and we are building that collective action that will put pressure on those institutions that need reforms and at the same time when those institutions are established, there is need for implementation and for implementation to happen there is the need for some level of public awareness.
“These are some of the approaches we are going to be adopting and where the reforms is working we would like to scale it up by using the passivity impact and bringing the result to bear in our advocacy work,” he explained
No Nigerian should be doubtful of the important of this project considering that the dwindling fortune of Nigeria, especially the oil rich region is as a result of corruption amongst the government agencies and politicians in the corridor of power.
At the center of this colossal waste of the nation’s wealth is the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the six oil producing states of Edo, Abia, Delta, Imo, Rivers and Ondo state and the National Assembly where the elected members take care of their own interest more than their constituents.
The ANEEJ projects were already in the forefront using advocacy tools and mechanisms to advocate for the speedy passage of the Witness Protection and Whistleblower Bills by by the National Assembly.