By Martins Ifijeh
The John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation has stated that it will provide a grant of $6.5 million for the advancement of anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria.
The fund is part of the foundationâ€™sÂ support in reducing corruption by building an atmosphere of accountability, transparency, and good governance in the country.
In a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, the Director of MacArthur Nigeria, Kole Shettima, said the grant supports non-profit organisations to inform and empower communities in the fight against corruption and to promote anti-corruption as a national priority in advance of the 2019 presidential and assembly elections.
â€œThese awards build on decades of the foundationâ€™s support for projects to enhance credibility, integrity, monitoring, and security around past elections. They continue our recent support for organisations working to capitalise on the national momentum and increased political will to tackle corruption, with projects ranging from monitoring and transparency measures around the political process to public education about the costs of corruption. Nigeria has begun an important process of addressing the corruption that plagues it on so many levels. It is more important now than ever to keep anti-corruption work front and center on the national agenda, and to empower people and communities with the information and platforms they need to advocate for themselves and fight for the issues that impact their daily lives,â€ the statement explained.
He noted that organisations the grant will support include; Accountability Research Centre, which will partner with the Centre for Democracy and Development in Nigeria (CDDN) to assess the success of approaches and strategies to strengthen accountability around the world and in Nigeria;Centre for Information Technology and Development,Â which will support efforts by civil society organisations to provide platforms and forums for social discourse around accountability and anti-corruption in advance of the 2019 elections; and theÂ Chatham HouseÂ award, which is to research the efficacy of behavioral change strategies to reduce corruption and promote accountability in Nigeria.
â€œOther areas covered by the grantÂ areÂ Legal Defence and Assistance Project,Â which will support efforts by six states to fully implement 15 core elements of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act that improves criminal investigation and prosecution efforts in corruption cases;Â Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, which will support efforts by civil society organisations to galvanise public and political debates on accountability and to keep anti-corruption as an important national issue in advance of the 2019 elections; andÂ Shehu Musa Yarâ€™Adua Foundation, which will support regional organisations to galvanise public and political debates on accountability and highlight anti-corruption as a broad national issue in advance of the 2019 election.â€
The grant, according to him will also supportÂ Womenâ€™s Rights Advancement and Protection AlternativeÂ to mobilise women and related groups to document the cost of corruption on women, speak out against corruption, and promote anti-corruption and accountability as priority issues through traditional and social media in advance of the 2019 elections.