The Civil Society Alliance for Transparency and Development (CSATD) is a coalition of Civil Society Organizations, with a mandate to advocate for better living conditions for the citizens by ensuring qualitative and effective delivery of public goods and services. The coalition aggregates and amplifies the voices of its members in holding public institutions accountable to the citizens who hold the highest office in our democratic system that gives birth to all institutions.
As part of our activities in furtherance of our mandate, the CSATD holds public institutions accountable by periodically assessing their performance based on management performance within the framework of their mandates and budgetary allocations.
Considering the security situation in Nigeria and the added responsibility it has placed on government in terms of emergency care through medium to long term rehabilitation and reintegration of those affected by crises, the CSATD has beamed its searchlight on the relevant agencies in the sector to assess their performance.
We independently assessed the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, wherein we looked at their mandate which gives them the longest engagement with victims of crises and disasters, being the longest care provider.
It must be said that hitherto, the Commission had received meager budgetary allocation despite the enormous responsibility it was saddled with, while staff morale was rather low.
The coming of President Buhari has however changed this trajectory for the better, with increased budgetary allocations and other reforms that has set the commission on the path to better outcomes for the victims of crises.
The CSATD and its members has for the last six months visited sites where the commission carries out its work and measured the level of work against their budgetary allocations and releases. In the coming days we shall be presenting our comprehensive report of the said assessment but this is a presentation of our preliminary findings.
It is our observation that the commission, under the leadership of Hajiya Imaan Suleiman Ibrahim, has sustained the gains made during the course of the Buhari administration. From our investigation the commission has made several giant strides, attracting government support and increased local and international strategic support, which has led to more impact on their areas of work. Though there is more to be done, the commission has shown itself to be capable and deserves to be given more powers and resources to carry out the enormous task before it.
We have found that under the current leadership the commission has vastly improved the packages being given to IDPs in Nigeria and been able to attract more local and international partnerships to support them in this task. It is also the discovery of the CSATD that the Commission has also given priority attention to issues of staff welfare, which has brought about increased motivation to exceed their job descriptions in recognition of the fact that crises management is a continuous exercise.
Today standard protocols have been established for repatriation of Nigerian refugees from neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic, while several communities have been resettled by the commission. The commission has attracted the commendation of the likes of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), which is on record as having put its stamp of approval on the processes of the commission in carrying out its mandate. Today Nigeria has adopted and localized the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), being one of the first countries in Africa to do so.
Our team also monitored procurement practices, which we found to be transparent and in full compliance with the subsisting procurement act and other ancillary laws of the federation. The Commission has also prioritized inter-agency collaboration, establishing seamless relations with agencies working within their space and beyond.
We call on the presidency to sustain and increase the budgetary allocations to the commission. We also call on the Presidency to continue to support the management of the commission for them to do more. We equally call on local and international partners to give more support to the commission for more impact and better outcomes for the victims of disaster and violence.
NATIONAL COORDINATOR, CSATD