By Lazarus Zakaa,Abuja.
The Executive Director, Africa Network For Environment and Economic Justice ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor has called on donor’s community as well as development partners to fund the MANTRA project as it’s major donor FDCO terminated their contract due to downturn on UK’s economy.
Reverend Ugolor made the indication at the MANTRA learning summit held in Abuja.
The ANEEJ Director while taking stock on the activities on the Organization in the past three years said, ANEEJ in collaboration with it’s eight partners drawn from the six geopolitical zones of the country have mobilized over 800 community based organizations, and so far monitor the returned assets stashed in foreign jurisdiction, carry out end to end monitoring of use of returned assets, and advocating for reforms in the assets return and management regime in the country.
“Specifically, ANEEJ and it’s partners have worked collaboratively with Nigerian government to carry out end to end monitoring of use of $322.5million Abacha ll returned from Switzerland and being spent for poor Nigerians during the conditional Cash Transfer of the social investment programme.
The ANEEJ boss said the $311.9million Abacha lll returned from Jersey and the United States of America being spend on three infrastructure projects; the Abuja- Kaduna – Kano express road, Lagos – Ibadan dual carriage Road and second Niger bridge.
“We have successfully carried out five monitoring of rounds across the country and have launched some reports which have further advocacy on how to improve social investment programme, particularly the grievance redress mechanism”, he said.
“In December 2019, a total of 834,948 households were registered for the national cash transfer programme and have received a total of 23,742,580,000 Naira.
” Even with the outbreak of Covid19 , our courageous monitors were not deterred as our men and women were out to keep an eye on the distribution of returned Abacha loot as part of the federal government’s palliative measures to poor Nigerians during the Lock down.
“We equally played leading role in the anti corruption working group of the open government partnership by contributing our quota to deepening the implementation of open government at both national and subnational levels.
ANEEJ director said the summit will further strengthen the understanding among critical stakeholders in the areas of assets recovery, and social investment as well build capacity of other CSOs to bridge identified gaps.
He also reaffirmed ANEEJ commitment to implementing the MANTRA project because of the clear results it has achieved as well as the potential impact which still lay ahead.