Open Govt Partnership: Ugolor Urges NGOs to Partner FG

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Emmanuel Onumah

Human and environmental rights activist, Rev. David Ugolor has restated the need for the Conference of Non-Government Organisations (CONGOS) to collaborate with government in the spirit of Open Government Partnership principle of co-creation, wherein government and civil society groups work together for the common interests as equals.

Ugolor, who is the Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, made the call while playing host to the newly elected executive members of the group in Benin City, Edo State recently.

The eight-member executive team, comprised of Directors of administration, treasury, welfare, finance, strategy, research & planning and the provost Marshal was led on the visit by the organisation’s president, Abiola Daisy.

Ugolor committed to work with the new executive by attending some of their meetings and providing knowledge support at such meetings. He also offered assistance with the development of their work and strategic plans.

Consequently, Ugolor made the multi-purpose ANEEJ hall available to the CONGOS for training, seminars and workshops and put the ANEEJ communications team at its disposal so as to help firm up the design of the organisation’s communications policy.

While welcoming the new leadership, Ugolor remarked that the visit was an opportunity to build bridges and deepen already existing relationship with CONGOS.

“What can sustain an NGO or any Network is the ability to generate resources through human capacity. The NGO sector has gone beyond using just street protest as a method of advocacy but must now combine that with a deep quest to improve on the lives of our people with a knowledge-driven strategic action plan,” Ugolor told the team.

Earlier in her speech, CONGOS’ president Daisy said after the election of a new executive the organisation thought it expedient to pay a visit to ANEEJ, a civil society organisation with a three-decade-old history of activism for good governance, accountability and transparency in the management of oil resources and on cross-cutting issues.

According to her, they were there to officially present the new leadership to ANEEJ executive Director and identify with ANEEJ mission and vision of an Africa Without Poverty.

“Another reason why we are here is to seek help with capacity building so that it can be included in our strategic work plan for this year. We seek assistance as well with empowering other members of our network to be duly registered with the appropriate authorities,” Daisy said.

She extended an invitation to Ugolor to attend and sit through one of their meetings as a gesture of support and solidarity for the new executive.

The Conference of Non-Government Organisations is an umbrella body for all NGOs and Civil Society organizations in Edo State. It functions under the ‘Akugbe principle’, (in Edo language it means ‘unity‘) and connotes that when civil societies form a network to work together, they are stronger in voice, words and in deed.

ANEEJ team present during the visit included Communications Manager, Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku; Programmes Officer, Sandra Eguagie; Communications Officer, Kelly Ovie Umukoro; Programmes Officer, Ovie Erhisowhode, and Media Resources officer, Ken Okocha.