Executive director of Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), Dr. Dara Akala, has urged all stakeholders to continue using their resources to push for responsive governance, inclusive and equitable economic growth “not only in Niger Delta region, but in Nigeria as a whole.”
Speaking in Abuja yesterday at a ceremony to mark the closing out of the Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) project, he commended the project team for a job well done.
The ceremony followed half a decade of innovative impact and engagement by SACE, especially in the Niger Delta. Akala invited more development partners to penetrate the region, “as there is room for many more of this type of partnership in the region to maximise our development impact.”
SACE, a governance project, which became operational in January 2014, is implemented by Chemonics International with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and PIND.SACE’s deputy chief of party, Lydia Odeh, said though the project was coming to an end, “we expect to see more in the future; we expect our partners to go out with all they have learnt and all of you to go back and continue this wonderful work.
“Since our inception in 2014, we have strengthened civil society bodies to influence the development and implementation of key democratic reforms at the national, state and local levels.”
Through the project, PIND has been able to support civil society organisations (CSOs) and business membership organisations in the Niger Delta, including Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR), Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-Africa) and Youth Alive Foundation (YAF).
SACE Chief of Party, Charles Abani, explained that their activities had led to the training of 8,600, advocacy reaching out to 120 million twitter users, partnership with over 200 partners and over 60 policy outcomes.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Director of Chemonics, Ted LeVasseur; chief of staff to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Mai-Bornu; director of USAID Nigeria’s Office of Peace and Democratic Governance, Blair King; and PIND Capacity Building Programme Manager, Bose Eitokpah.