How vital is the National Orientation Agency’s collaboration with CSOs

National Orientation Agency is a Nigerian government agency created in 2005 and tasked with communicating government policy, staying abreast of public opinion and promoting patriotism, national unity, and development of Nigerian society.

Do Nigerians have faith in NOA to build a communication bridge for citizens to interact with the government? Is citizens’ inclusion and engagement in demanding transparency and accountability encouraged? Or should we go ahead and advocate for ourselves liaising with civil societies in ensuring that our voices are heard and sideline this agency and all it stands for because of constant interferences of political bureaucracies in decision making and activities of NOA.

Am a little bit indecisive on what to think about NOA, but not entirely conclusive because of recent development by this agency to partner with civil society organisations in Nigeria. NOA gave an open call for collaboration with CSOs on the 31st of October 2017 at Ibeto Hotel, Abuja where a good number of representatives from different NGOs were in attendance.

The Director-General @GarbaAbari represented by The Director, Planning, research and strategy Dr Bonat J. Tagwai gave a brief review of NOAs five years strategy plans and their ongoing projects was made available to all participants, and full involvement of CSOs in the implementation of this program welcomed.

Some highlight of their activities includes

  • A well-structured agency and adequately staffed across the country comprising of National Headquarters, 36 States Directorate, FCT 774 Local Government Offices and  3000 volunteer Corp.
  • NOA has visited about 120 LGA and  communities to update them on their activities
  • They have interpreted the Freedom of Information Act into 20 languages to ease understanding of the Act and drive citizen mobilization and participation in demanding accountability and transparency from their government.
  • Has started a survey of 130 MDAs to engage public institutions
  • And have launched NOA FM Radio 97.7 though still test running and ideas will be welcomed on how to utilize this station efficiently.

Civil Societies present participated in group work to explore opportunities for partnerships with Short presentations of each group to highlight areas of collaborations with NOA.

A Cross-Section Of CSOs During The Group work
A Cross-Section Of CSOs During The Group work

The benefit for CSOs to collaborate with NOA was further stressed that based on their staff’s strengths and 3000 volunteers scattered around the country. Ease of carrying out campaigns using this volunteer will be efficient because instead of looking for new hands or travelling to places you don’t know, NOA could provide:

The contacts of their volunteers who are always on the ground in all the state.

Location and addresses of their state offices to assist in working in new terrains.

These, in particular, will assist connected development in further driving their campaigns and growing networks.

A Cross-Section Of CSOs During The Group work

To encourage full involvement and authentic evidence of collaborations, interested Civil Societies should send official letters to the Director-General making reference of this event.

This event was viewed and broadcast on PTV News. 

Hon. Emmanuel Njoku and DG Political, Civic, Ethics and Values Dept. Mrs Ngozi Ekeoba

Connected development as started utilizing this partnership opportunity with NOA as our Program Manager for democracy and governance Hon. Emmanuel Njoku plans on working with NOA in his campaign Engaging Emerging Voters for young people below 18 years in senior secondary two and three respectively.

A little brief of the objective of the campaign by Emmanuel Njoku is to increase voter education among eligible secondary school student. The project hopes to create clubs in secondary school for sustainability across the country and provision of short training on democratic values for members

We anticipate NOA full support in achieving this campaign and ensuring that the younger generation will understand the requirement of leadership and the importance of voting to reach a better outcome in the 2019 elections.