Promoting transparency and accountability in the private and public sectors

Private & Public-Sector Transparency & Accountability

Over 2, 000, 000 Nigerians are expected to benefit either directly or indirectly from this intervention. The project is implemented in 4 States of Nigeria (Lagos, Delta, Rivers and Enugu) and also at the national level (Abuja)

Within this programme, Oxfam country strategy proposes a fairer Nigeria, where the economic gap between the richest and poorest is reduced, and where the government can collect sufficient taxes from the wealthy to ensure good quality essential services for all, especially the vulnerable poor. People know their rights and duties, and are engaging in decision making processes. The state becomes open, inclusive, representative, and transparent, with adequate and effective feedback mechanisms in place.

The programme has two major components, namely social accountability (economic literacy & advocacy, participatory budgeting & tracking, make tax fair, inequality & remediation campaigns targeted at policy reforms) and the second component is promoting democracy (civic education, election, and leadership empowerment). The programme intervenes internationally and nationally.

Specifically, under this programme, the Financing for Development (F4D) project is currently being implemented and it envisages to create sustainable impact whereby more Nigerians, especially women, are empowered to participate in decision making, contribute to nation building as active citizens and benefit from better living standards through increased availability of essential services. Similarly, at the long-term, the outcome projected to be achieved is to create a situation of improved policies and practices of government and private sector to reduce poverty and extreme inequality through more effective and efficient management of Nigeria’s tremendous resources and increased citizen participation.

The pathway to change has been planned at 5 various levels, namely;

  1. Improved Policies of Government
  2. Improved Policies of the Private Sector
  3. Strengthened Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
  4. Increased Citizen’s Voice
  5. Building Stronger and wider Alliances.

Objectives

The goal of the private & public-sector transparency & accountability programme is to ensure that socio-economic and political rights of Nigerians are guaranteed by working with citizens, institutions, and the private sector to promote transparency and accountability. This will ensure that the nations 's huge earnings from the extractives sector which form over 80% of government revenues, 95% of foreign exchange and both corporate and citizen generated tax resources translate to appreciable improvement in the living standards of Nigerians through effective and efficient use of public resources.

Influencing, a Strategic Approach

To effectively deliver the strategic objectives of the private & public-sector transparency & accountability programme, we are using influencing strategy. For Oxfam, influencing means systematic efforts to change power relationships, attitudes, and beliefs, and the formulation and implementation of official policies, laws/regulations, budgets, and company policies and practices, in ways that promote more just societies without poverty.

Depending on the context, influencing can include:

  • Leveraging of programme experience
  • Advocacy, and campaigning (including coalition building, research, policy development, lobbying, media, digital tools)
  • Mobilisation (of activists, supporters, citizens)
  • Coordinated worldwide communicating and networking
  • Capacity development (of citizens, partners, civil society, duty bearers)
  • Partnerships and strategic funding.

Working with the Governments

Oxfam views governments as primary duty-bearers with the responsibility to respect, protect and promote people’s rights. Based on our theory of change reflecting the Nigeria context, government may be a partner in development as well as a target for advocacy. We are mindful that people on the frontlines of supporting human rights take many risks and often targeted for their work. Doing no harm is a basic principle we embrace. When working with politicians or political candidates, care must be taken to that we are viewed as non- partisan. It is good for Oxfam to be political, it is not good for Oxfam to be party political.

Working with the Private Sector

Oxfam believes that the private sector can make a positive contribution to poverty reduction and has a responsibility to respect human rights. Oxfam has a multi-faceted approach (from influencing to doing business) to the private sector that is dynamic and can co-exist. This is underpinned by the understanding that no partnership will affect Oxfam’s freedom to express itself or carry out influencing according to its own criteria.

Working with the Civil Society

In everything we do, we must strengthen progressive domestic civil society. We work with and through local civil society organization by collaborating with them to deliver common objectives. We strengthen civil society organizations, we do not displace them. Oxfam does not speak for or on behalf of people living in poverty. We aim to support citizens to raise their own voices. We are not a social movement, but we are an active member of a worldwide civil society constituency for people’s rights. Oxfam uses its brand in Nigeria as a strategic tool only when valued by partners and allies.

Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries are mainly the Nigerian people, workers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), local communities, market women, small scale farmers, artisans, traders, local governments, Ministries Departments, and Agencies of government (MDAs), the private sector actors, etc. Over 2, 000, 000 Nigerians are expected to benefit either directly or indirectly from this intervention. The project is implemented in 4 States of Nigeria (Lagos, Delta, Rivers and Enugu) and also at the national level (Abuja). These states are part of the 16 states where Oxfam in Nigeria already established the state level Tax Justice and Governance Platforms, under the Capacity for Research Advocacy for Fair Taxation (CRAFT).

To drive the requisite policy and practice change needed, the intervention has been aligned into a one programme approach that will revolve around four key thematic areas namely;

  1. Taxation
  2. Budget
  3. Extractives
  4. Inequality campaign.

Similarly, Oxfam in Nigeria has been working on the UNGPs since 2014. Since then, we have engaged in extensive consultations in partnership with a local organization in developing a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. These consultations have led to a draft NAP which is also going through another series of validation from relevant stakeholders. Suffice to mention that Oxfam facilitated a delegation to the National Human Rights Commission to discuss partnership and ownership of the NAP with the commission. This was well received and created the path way to continue engaging the UNGPs at that level.

Oxfam in Nigeria was also a part of the team that developed the global framework on implementing the UNGPs, this framework is hoped to serve as tool and a guide for strengthening the NAP process across countries in a bid to promote, respect and remedy human rights.

Implementing partner organizations

To implement this programme, we are working with;

  1. Action Aid Nigeria
  2. Civil Society Legislative and Advocacy Centre
  3. Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group
  4. KEBETKACHE Women Development and Resource Centre
  5. African Centre for Corporate Responsibilities
  6. BudgiT Information Technology Network.