ACTIONAID NIGERIA SIGNS MoU WITH ANEEJ ON IFIs WATCH
ABUJA- Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice [ANEEJ] a non-governmental organization based in Benin City with Advocacy Office in Abuja is to commence monitoring of International Financial Institutions in Nigeria- World Bank, I.M.F and African Development Bank. The project which is supported by ActionAid Nigeria is to run for the period February – December 2008.
At a Memorandum of Understanding signing, the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria Dr. Otive Igbuzor noted that ANEEJ has a track record of experience working on IFIs issues in Nigeria and internationally hence the partnership.
Explaining the need for the project, Dr. Igbuzor said: “The IFIs have a strong history of funding development projects that are poorly conceived and out of touch with the development needs of the target beneficiary communities. While the World Bank purports to be a driver of sustainable development, its projects often cause irreversible environmental and social damage.
Large dams, oil and gas installations as well as mining, and agriculture projects have often caused irreversible environmental and social impacts to local communities, in addition to harming the global environment thereby threatening sustainable livelihoods of already poor voiceless members of the society.”
Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor who signed the MoU on behalf of his organization explaining his organization’s interest on IFIs’ activities said:
“We have come to observe that the International Financial Institutions have reinforced poverty through irresponsible lending and unprofitable polices and programmes. It is only important that as non-state actors, we should rise up to the occasion of monitoring the activities of these IFIs and come out with clear and possible alternatives. We will continue to reject imposition of policies that would not translate into poverty reduction or that would exacerbate underdevelopment of our people”, the ANEEJ boss said.
Ugolor listed the scope and objectives of the project to include organizing an Expert Group Meeting on IFIs and identify advocacy entry points, monitor the IFIs and their missions, undertake reports and studies of IFI activities, provide alternative policy recommendation and critically engage the IFIs through advocacy.
Chairman Board of Trustees of ANEEJ, Prof. Ben Aigbonkhan while thanking ActionAid Nigeria which has partnered with ANEEJ for three years running, said it is heartwarming in the annals of civil society activism to find international NGOs partnering with local NGOs to address the numerous development challenges facing Nigerians.