Two non-governmental organisations, the Environmental Rights Action and the Nigerian Popular Theatre Alliance, were yesterday announced the winners of the Ford Foundation Jubilee Transparency Awards at an event in Abuja, held at the Transcorp Hilton.
To mark Ford’s 50th anniversary in West Africa, the Ford Foundation announced the winners of a special set of grants to support organisations committed to transparency, good governance and citizen engagement in Nigeria. Each organisation will receive $500,000 to enhance the scale and impact of its work. The winners were selected after a rigorous nomination, screening and judging process.
“…since successive governments have disappointed the people,
it is equally as important for us to ask ourselves
– what can I do to be part of the solution.”
Dr. Adhiambo Odaga, the representative for Ford’s West Africa office said these organisations demonstrate the pivotal role that citizen involvement and good governance play in securing a just, sustainable and democratic future for Nigeria and West Africa. “They are a shining example of the potential for West Africa to leverage its extraordinary human and natural resources for the common good,” he said.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in her keynote remarks at the event said Nigerians like to engage in that “bloodsport” of harshly criticising their country. “And while most of it is well deserved since successive governments have disappointed the people, it is equally as important for us to ask ourselves – what can I do to be part of the solution,” she said.
The Transparency Awards, a one-time programme, was launched to achieve two objectives: first, to recognise innovative projects and programs that promote transparent, effective and accountable governance at the community level in Nigeria; and second, to showcase the impact of these projects as models for deepening democracy, good governance and anti-corruption across the country.
Our own Y!/YNaija Editor-in-Chief, Chude Jideonwo was one of the distinguished Nigerians who worked as judges for the Awards. Described as “an institution in his own right,” Mr Jideonwo, who was present at the event, was recognised alongside other members of the awards committee for their stellar pro-bono work for the awards.
The other members of the award committee included:
Dr Bola Fajemirokun- Awards Committee Secretary and Executive Director of Development Initiatives Network (DIN) Victoria Aiyeyemi- founder of the Victoria Aiyeyemi International School,
TY Bello- Musician, Photographer and Director of LINKACHILD,
Honourable Justice A.G. Karibi-Whyte- the Pro-Chancellor of Rivers State University of Science and Technology Muhammad Nurudeen Lemu- Assistant General Secretary of the Islamic Education Trust
Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf- Executive Director of Advocacy Nigeria, and
Professor Bolaji Owasanoye- Verification Committee Chair and Research Professor at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.