The Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG) was conceptualized in July 2005 and is registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria. From our conceptualization till date, NDEBUMOG has made pragmatic, critical and valuable impacts within the sphere of our overall goals and objectives.
We are among key civil society organizations in Nigeria working on fiscal accountability. On the strength of this, we were consistently invited by the Budget Office of the Federation (BOF) - Federal Ministry of Finance, to the Annual Medium Term Expenditure Framework’s (MTEF)- Technical Sessions on the Federal Government’s Budget from 2008 up till 2013. NDEBUMOG was assigned to the Federal Ministry of Defense in 2008 and Federal Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The Nigeria Economic Summit Group also invited us to the 14th Nigeria Economic Summit in 2008, to anchor presentation on the “Vision 2020” of government, where we frankly informed the audience that such a ‘vision’ would not be met in Nigeria due to lack of planning data and chronic fiscal disequilibrium.
In October 2005 when Nigeria exited the Paris Club through a Debt Relief, there was an Agreement between Nigeria and the international community that Nigeria must channel the benefits of the Debt Relief to pro-poor budget line spending. A monitoring and evaluation mechanism was developed, which brought together, the Government, Private Sector and the Civil Society Organizations into a monitoring and evaluation mechanism. From 2006 to 2013 fiscal year, we were the Lead State Civil Society Organization, CSO (for Rivers State) selected through a competitive bidding process to carry out the monitoring and evaluation of the Paris Club Debt Relief Spending, as it relates to Rivers State. So far, we have authored eight joint-reports on the process, populated the National Monitoring and Evaluation Template (and the National Monitoring Portal), through a feedback and reporting mechanism, which are interlocked to measuring the national progress of Nigeria towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, as anchored by National Monitoring and Evaluation Team. Facts of the report(s) as released by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs (OSSAP-MDGs) are available for the public through OSSAP-MDG’s information dissemination mechanism.
We have also been engaged in the National Consultative processes of the United Nations for the Post 2015 SDGs, through the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) in Nigeria. We were eager to see the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, kick- started accordingly in January 2016 by the government of Nigeria, with all the communities in the country joining hands in pursuit of the 17 SDGs and 169 ambitious Targets. We are delighted to have been part of the civil society consultation towards the SDGs in Nigeria and look forward to 2030, where the SDGs Goals and Targets, shall be subjected to global appraisal.
In 2011, NDEBUMOG led a team of experts which drafted the civil society version of the Edo State Public Procurement Bill, now, an Act of Parliament, following the signing of the Bill into Law by Governor Adams Oshiomhole in 2012. The assignment, which was through Environmental Rights Action (ERA), Benin City, with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), provided a huge opportunity for consolidation of efforts by the civil society organizations for procurement discipline in the Niger Delta. As of today, the Edo State Public Procurement Act has some commendable clauses that were derived from the civil society’s version, developed by a team of experts led by NDEBUMOG. Such clauses include: Edo State Public Procurement Report to Citizens; Need Assessment and Analysis; Civil Society Monitoring and Observation of the Bidding Processes in Edo State, with legal force; Community Inclusion; membership of civil society in the Board, among others.
Importantly, the Federal Government appointed NDEBUMOG into a team of experts that was mandated to carry out a five day Procurement Audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2011. However, there was a bottleneck, which frustrated the execution of the assignment from the NDDC and led to the immediate constitution of the Oronsaye’s Committee by the Federal Government, with the committee, which subsequently recommended immediate dissolution of the then Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission. The recommendation of the committee was accordingly effected by Federal Government on the 13th of September, 2011.
NDEBUMOG is considered as the South-South Contact Civil Society Organization of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), a position we have held, since our inception, at a time, when BPP was the Budget Monitoring & Price Intelligence Unit (BMPIU), before the passage of the Public Procurement Act by the National Assembly in 2007. NDEBUMOG, together with other civil society groups, had played a critical role, through advocacy and legislative lobbying for the final passage of the Public Procurement Act. Further, we have facilitated five regional events in collaboration with the BPP for the South-South Zone, at Calabar (2008), Port Harcourt (2009), Asaba (2011) and Benin City (2012). There was also Contractors’ Forum of the BPP in 2010 at Asaba, which the expert presentation was led by NDEBUMOG. We have also attended numerous events of the BPP at the national level and have sufficient copies at our Regional Budget Library, copies of Federal Government’s MDAs Procurement Plans and Records, copies of the Public Procurement Act, Procurement Manuals, Procurement Code of Conducts, Procurement Journals, Manuals, among other fiscal materials, supplied to us by the BPP (pro bono) in large quantities. These are usually distributed to some communities and critical stakeholders in the zone that are interested in budget work. We were also in the National Coordinating Committee of Anti-corruption Revolution Campaign (ANCOR), under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), including chairing Rivers State Chapter of ANCOR.
Between 2014 and 2016, we were admitted into the membership of Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Support Network (ACE Network), a platform that was conceptualized by anti-corruption stakeholders in consultation, partnership and collaboration with EFCC, following challenges that bedeviled the sustainability of the defunct ANCOR. Also, in 2011, NDEBUMOG’s representative was part of Nigeria’s delegation to the EITI Paris Conference, an event, which EITI Validation for Nigeria was announced.
Under our partnership with Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs (OSSAP-MDGs), we have collaborated with OSSAP-MDGs, together, with the Budget Office of the Federation (BOF) to conduct a workshop on Budgeting for MDGs in the Niger Delta, in partnership with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). The event was at Calabar, Cross River State. All MDGs Line Ministries across the Six South-South States of Nigeria were invited and they participated. This (MDGs pro-poor line) workshop resulted to a later collaboration between Bayelsa State and Cross River State governments and led to capacity sharing between the two states for the implementation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
In line with our commitment to promoting pro-poor governance in Cross River state, we undertook a Capacity Enhancement Training for Key Officers (3 each from all LGAs) across the 18 LGAs of the State on Procurement Due Process in November, 2006. This was done in collaboration with the Budget Monitoring & Price Intelligence Unit (BMPIU), now the BPP-Abuja, the Cross River State Planning Commission and the Local Government Service Commission in Cross River State. This was made possible through funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-REFORMS Project. It was the first of its kind in Cross River State from any Civil Society Organization in the Niger Delta.
From the period enumerated above till now, we have deepened our partnership on fiscal issues with the Cross River State Government. Up till 2014, the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor of Cross River State on Budget Monitoring confers with NDEBUMOG regularly on some fiscal issues that may affect Cross River State within the equilibrium of the National Budget, including invitation(s) of NDEBUMOG to Budget Consultative Processes by the office in Cross River State, amongst others.
Before the formal presentation of the Bayelsa State Public Procurement Bill (now an Act) to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, under the Governorship of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (who later became the president of Nigeria), the Bayelsa State Government, in collaboration with the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit (BMPIU), now BPP, conducted a Pilot Training on “Procurement Due Process for Senior Civil Servants in Bayelsa State” at the Sport Complex, Yenagoa. NDEBUMOG was the only Civil Society Organization invited to deliver a paper to the Senior Officials of the Bayelsa State Government, which was geared towards sharing capacity for the take-off of the Due Process mechanism in Bayelsa State that came into effect with the signing of the Bayelsa State Public Procurement Act into Law by Governor Timipre Sylva on June 17, 2009, with recommendation made by NDEBUMOG at that pilot training (captured in Section 28 of the Bayelsa State Public Procurement Act), being; Community End-User Inclusion.
On gender justice and mainstreaming, our capacity has been sought and offered to NGOs, such as, Centre for International Volunteers for Youth Development (C4I44YD), Gender and Development Action, GADA, among others, towards a responsive gender budgeting. Issues of gender justice are paramount to our organization’s work. We have a Gender Focal Person and gender sensitiveness forms part of our modus operandi. We have emphasized this at budget engagements and at high level fiscal dialogues. We are further committed to it in the course of our work. It is among key elements of our work and shall remain so.
In 2007, the British High Commission, in collaboration with Oxfam GB and Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), conducted a training programme on “Improved Budget Management Systems for Effective Local Government Administration in Nigeria”, which was targeted at Legislative Councilors in Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States. NDEBUMOG was the Technical Partner in the project. The expository from this project led to a near impeachable scenario for one of the Council Chairmen in Rivers State, due to poor disclosure of allocations from Abuja to the Councilors, among other things. NDEBUMOG presented, verbatim, during the training, figures and allocations that have accrued to the Councils within the period, deflecting the “argument” about deductions by the Federal Government due to issues of “ISPOs deposited with the Federal Ministry of Finance” that were used to shadow the actual. We also lend critical capacity to the DfID’s Strengthening Accountability in the Niger Delta (STAND) project, which was earlier handled by IDASA and later, by Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN). This we did, through facilitation of trainings for community partners in STAND’s communities across the Niger Delta, without having to get involved on the intrigues or otherwise of the STAND’s project, beyond facilitation of trainings for some of our Niger Delta Communities.
There are other programmes, projects, activities and engagement for which we were invited, specifically, to enhance capacity of stakeholders and partners, which are too numerous to be mentioned herein.
NDEBUMOG is among frontline Civil Society Organizations working in budget advocacy, transparency, accountability and anti-corruption within the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general. We are the only civil society organization in the region that has formally been engaged by the Federal Government to conduct procurement audits on some Federal Government Agencies. Experiences we have garnered from this engagement have shown that there is need for a total overhaul of the public finance expenditure framework and fiscal regime across the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta and Nigeria, in general, can be turned around from a region of trillions but in chronic poverty , and from being a country suffering from resource disease, where money is not working for the collective good of the majority but for a few.
Formally, we do not have any synergy or working relationship with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from inception of NDEBUMOG in 2005 till date. However, occasionally and spontaneously on our own, we do check-out and monitor capital projects of the NDDC to measure how the existence of the agency is impacting on the lives and development of the Niger Delta. We do this at our instance and cost without political undertones.
Through further recognition of our work by stakeholders, we have collaborated and partnered with some agencies, like; Federal Ministry of Environment- through the National Planning Commission, Federal Ministry of Defence -through MTSS, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs- through MTSS, National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) through CSOLO, National Assembly Budget & Research Office (NABRO), PLAC, and with specific committees, among others. All these are geared towards improving PFEM within the overall fiscal processes in Nigeria. It is important to state that partnerships and collaborations with the Budget Office of the Federation (BOF), Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), National Assembly Budget & Research Office (NABRO), National Assembly Committees, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Delta State House of Assembly, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Rivers State House of Assembly, and some MDAs, among the States within the Niger Delta, including some Local Government Areas, which has indeed deepened our work in the region within the supply side, even as the harsh reality against the communities (the demand side) are enormously glaring and need to be bridged by all actors in government. However, these are synergic partnerships aimed at enhancing our work and which do not relegate the position of the Niger Delta communities as our most important critical partner and the reason for our existence.
We have our Board’s approved 5 year Strategic Plan (2013-2018) presently in force at NDEBUMOG. The primary aim and objective of the plan is to offer direction to the organization towards achieving its set objectives, goals, mission and vision. This strategic plan is subject to reviews at every five years. The five-year period and reviews of our strategic plan will be a time of assessing and deepening NDEBUMOG’s approaches to its works. Concurrently, NDEBUMOG will take more of a leadership role in working with a broader array of partners comprising of: community groups, government and civil society organizations within the Niger Delta with national interlocking, using the approach of actively engaging more experts and (committed) volunteers.
With a fresh perspective on our mission, understanding what we do well, and the environment in which we operate, NDEBUMOG will pursue the full actualization of its strategic direction guided by the strategic plan.
The ultimate result NDEBUMOG aspires to achieve is good governance and changing community conditions to make life more meaningful for every person and communities in general.
A Niger Delta where all public resources are maximally utilized for the benefit of all the citizens
To promote transparency and accountability for sustainable development in Niger Delta and democratic consolidation in Nigeria
OUR AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
· Simplifying and disseminating budget information.
· Identifying and setting (budget) priorities.
· Influencing revenues policies.
· Identifying budget trends and providing projections.
· Highlighting best practices.
· Tracking revenues and expenditures.
At NDEBUMOG, we believe that the key to improving the efficiency and quality of public spending and services is to strengthen citizens’ ability to hold their government accountable.
Our work to enhance accountability is based on three main approaches:
• Strengthening non-governmental organizations’ and citizens’ capacity to undertake budget monitoring and accountability work;
• Developing and disseminating tools and lessons to support accountability work;
• Strengthening government’s capacity and political will to work with civil society in a way that improves spending and services.
ETHICS, CODES, CONDUCT AND RESPONSIBILITY
VALUES: All members of the organization shall jointly pursue a common value of transparency.
TRANSPARENCY: Openness in the conduct of organizational affairs and observation of laid down procedures.
INTEGRITY: Responsive, Responsible, Professional, and Sensitive to the needs of others. Tolerance and Responsiveness to criticisms and pro-activity.
PROBITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, ANSWERABILITY: Regard office, power and authority as a trust with obligation to render services and account of stewardship. Our members, officials, consulting experts and volunteers, must therefore, adhere by obeying organizational constituted authority and give respect to office holders and consultants commissioned to undertake important task.
SOCIAL JUSTICE: Ensuring fairness, equity and equal opportunity in apportioning responsibilities and resources, especially to committed members, officers and volunteers.
HUMAN DIGNITY: Respect for human life and the human person and promotion of access to meaningful existence of all humans, especially, the poor.
OVERCOME FEAR: All members and officials of the organization must always overcome political, human, and survivalist fears in the course of our budget monitoring, analysis, tracking and evaluation work.
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOVERNMENT: All members, officials and volunteers must never use their privileged position to seek political favor from politicians or government officials, or seek job offers or contracts from same, which directly and/or indirectly could influence their sense of judgment in the process of our work and relationship with politicians and government. Issues of conflict of interest must strictly be understood and adhered to as enshrined in our Constitution, Board Charter and related document.
After developing our Vision and Mission statements, we gave more detailed consideration to how we can achieve our purpose, thereby; having the chance to realize our Vision. We reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of our organization and considered the unique opportunities available to us. We also reviewed the manner in which we have operated until now and identified those areas, where we could do more or work in a different way in order to be more effective.
From these deliberations, we derived our Strategic Objectives. These set out what we will aim to do over the coming five years, and are in essence, a reflection of the core functions of NDEBUMOG. We have sought to ensure that our Strategic Objectives are appropriate to our place in the Nigerian governmental landscape, particularly, as it relates to the Niger Delta region. We consider these factors to be the key to the successful delivery of internal plans and the long-term establishment of NDEBUMOG as a force in promoting and supporting good governance and fiscal responsibility in Nigeria.
There are six Strategic Objectives of NDEBUMOG, which are embedded in important official documents to consciously guide our members, officials, experts, consultants and volunteers in our day-to-day operations and activities. It is available to our strategic partners and for persons and institutions wishing to engage with NDEBUMOG at a strategic level or other related engagements, which may fiscally fix the Niger Delta communities or on other task related to relevant stakeholders.
KEY ACTION ITEMS
Alongside the development of our Strategic Objectives, we also considered the 'Key Actions' that we expect to undertake to achieve these objectives. We have identified a number of Key Actions, including, at least, one for each of our Strategic Objectives, which are critical to the achievement of the Objectives.
These Key Actions have been carefully formulated to ensure they would be adhered to, as long as, we successfully carry out appropriate activities in each of our core areas. The production of these Actions were not be affected by external factors and are wholly within our control, making us clearly accountable for their implementation.
The Key Actions that NDEBUMOG will undertake are:
• Conduct research, tracking, procurement audit, shadow analysis, scoping studies and projects investigations to inform advocacy for reforms and actions.
• Carry out bribery index, focusing on selected sectors.
• Disseminate results of internally and externally generated research.
• Organize policy dialogues on good governance with policy makers and duty bearers in key sectors.
• Conduct policy reviews and issue briefs to support advocacy for reforms in key sectors.
• Commission position papers on improving governance in key sectors.
• Disseminate policies and legislation on public procurement and fiscal responsibility.
• Establish and strengthen networks and partnerships for improved governance.
• Build the capacity of partners and civil society organizations to effectively promote good governance.
• Supporting CSOs to mainstream transparency and accountability issues into their work.
• Experience and knowledge sharing through BEL and shadow budget to help communities.
• Documentation of good practices for replication and scaling up.
• Establish and strengthen community voluntary accountability committees.
• Introduce and promote citizen score card on key sectors.
• Sensitize communities on corruption and its impacts on public service delivery.
• Publish and disseminate guidelines for promoting accountability and transparency.
• Carry out training for the mass media in budget implementation reporting and reporting corruption generally.
• Support the development and implementation of Pacts between communities and States, Federal and Local Governments/ service providers.
• Carry out studies on the nature and impact of corruption on businesses.
• Advocate for legal and policy reforms to address corruption in the private sector.
• Print and disseminate messages on corruption in private-public activities.
• Identify and sensitize informal and formal businesses on corruption.
• Hold meetings, which would bring together, state and non state actors and other stakeholders to identify and agree on a minimum set of indicators for political finance transparency within Political Parties, locally and at the national level.
• Organize workshops and meetings to bring together anti-corruption crusaders, political parties financing and elections’ oversight bodies to advocate for adoption of a benchmark for anti-corruption and party finance regulatory framework.
• Carry out monitoring of the electoral processes and issue reports on the exercises as they may affect qualitative electoral outcomes that would affect fiscal governance in the short, medium and long terms.
• Organize and facilitate public debates among political parties and the general public to mainstream anti corruption into electoral processes.
• Engage in pro-poor legislative lobbying at all tiers of government in areas which shall bring sanity to the governance process and reduce corruption in the governance process.
• Advocate for the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act as a tool for openness in reducing corruption, including protection for whistle blowers.
*Budgeting/governance -Budget Advocacy, Budget Monitoring, Budget Analysis, Budget Tracking, Procurement Monitoring and Audit, Extractive Industries Transparency, Good Fiscal Governance, Pro-poor Legislative Lobbying, Monitoring and Evaluation, Impact Analysis, Scoping Studies, Shadow Analysis, Fiscal Discipline, Anti-corruption, Trainings, Researches, Tracking Political Campaign Financing, and Projects Audits, Energy and Mining, Community Development, among others.
FIELD OF ACTIVITIES
Our activities are spread around the Six South-South (Niger Delta) States of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers States but with national linkages and interlocking, which blends with the thematic areas of our work, through a vast network of partners, allies, associates and platforms that connect various stakeholders across the country and beyond.
Updated 17th June, 2016