“The Hijack of CSOs and NGOs Roles by Civil Servants in MDAs: A Call for Transparency and Collaboration”
Written by Comrade Victor Ojei (popularly called Wong Box Senior Special Assistant to the Executive Governor of Delta State on Civil Societies and NGOs. Feel free to contact us via 08038785262)
*In recent times, there has been growing concern over the increasing influence of civil servants in various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) on the roles and activities of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Delta State, Nigeria.* This issue has come to the forefront with the ongoing National Survey by The Editorial Board of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer among girls aged 9 to 14. The Senior Special Assistant to the Executive Governor of Delta State on Civil Societies and NGOs has raised concerns about the lack of involvement and transparency in this vital campaign. This article delves into the challenges and offers potential solutions to address this issue.
One of the primary issues faced by CSOs and NGOs in Delta State is the marginalization and sidelining of their roles by civil servants within MDAs. As highlighted by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, CSOs and NGOs often find themselves excluded from critical activities and decision-making processes. This lack of involvement creates a significant information gap, as evidenced by the absence of data on the awareness and enlightenment campaign for the HPV vaccine among young girls.
Furthermore, it has come to light that many MDAs, NGOs, and CSOs have registered shadow organizations that operate quietly in stealth mode. This hidden practice undermines the transparency and credibility of these organizations, leaving legitimate CSOs and NGOs feeling neglected and powerless.*
To address these corrupt practices and ensure transparency and collaboration, it is essential for the Delta State Government to take the following steps:
Publish Verified CSOs and NGOs:
The government should create a public database on its official website portal that lists verified CSOs and NGOs with physical addresses and clear records of their activities. This will help establish a level of trust and credibility within the sector.
Oversight and Monitoring:
Establish a regulatory body or mechanism responsible for overseeing the activities of CSOs, NGOs, and MDAs to prevent the operation of shadow organizations and ensure compliance with transparency and accountability standards.
Collaboration and Inclusion:
Encourage collaboration between CSOs, NGOs, and MDAs in policy formulation and implementation. This can be achieved through regular consultations, joint projects, and awareness campaigns to bridge the gap and enhance coordination.
Facilitate regular dialogue between CSOs, NGOs, and international development agencies to strengthen partnerships and ensure a unified approach to addressing social and developmental issues.
The concerns raised by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on the hijack of CSOs and NGOs roles by civil servants in various MDAs are valid and require immediate attention. Transparency, collaboration, and the publication of verified CSOs and NGOs are essential steps to address this issue. Only by working together can CSOs, NGOs, and the government effectively contribute to the success of the M.O.R.E Agenda and the betterment of Delta State. It is imperative that all stakeholders come together to ensure that the girl child and the wider society benefit from the vital services provided by these organizations