Nigeria

Nigeria

Flag of Nigeria

In 2019, Westminster Foundation for Democracy launched a two-year programme (2019-2021) to promote inclusion and build citizens’ capacity to demand open and transparent governance. The programme engaged representatives from political parties, civil society organisations and young volunteers who worked together to promote politics with values in the Nigerian political system and advance youth inclusion in the decision-making processes of political parties.

2012: year of first WFD programme in the country
Context

In Nigeria, young people make up 51% of registered voters, and women constitute 67%. The low or non-participation of this huge majority in decision-making processes stops their voices from being heard and their perspectives from being taken into account in the policies that directly impact their lives.

With the passage of the eligibility age law in May 2018, space was created for 18 to 35-year-olds, who constitute over 60% of the population, to be more involved in the governance process. However, the effects of this may not be immediate, as work still needs to be done to strengthen youth capacity to organise and be involved, bring positive values to, and change the face of politics. Political parties, including their youth wings, also need to be more inclusive, democratic and promote ideologies which will remove barriers to the emergence of women and young leaders.

Engaging young people in politics

Working with youth-focused civil society organisations, as well as formal youth bodies, Politics with Values (PwV) Network and the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF), the programme showed young people how they can support campaigns that advocate for greater youth participation and engage with political institutions. WFD and the UK political parties shared a range of experiences on youth participation from the UK and other countries where WFD works. The combination of grassroots campaigning and high-level advocacy helped address the low levels of youth participation and representation in Nigeria by encouraging more youth-led policy initiatives and better inter-generational partnerships.

Partnership to Engage, Reform, and Learn (PERL)

Funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), WFD was part of the consortium that implemented the flagship, five-year Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) programme. Working at the national level and in the 3 States of Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna, WFD supported constituencies to influence governments about the services they received, and any policies related to them. To achieve this, WFD supported the use of evidence-based research for policy recommendations related to the budget process in the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly in Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna, with lessons replicated in other State Assemblies. The consortium successfully supported the advocacy for state houses of assembly financial autonomy, and the developed implementation mechanism to be adopted by the state assemblies.  

Key results

Conducted the political economy analysis of the National Assembly (NASS) of Nigeria, and three State Assemblies (Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna) for effective engagement

Worked with stakeholders to develop the implementation framework for financial autonomy of the State House of Assembly. This framework has become the operational tool for the respective 36 State Assemblies.

Strengthened the capacities of the National Association of Public Accounts Committees in Nigeria (NAPAC). PAC Clerks now have better understanding of the presentation and consideration of the Auditor General’s reports and the processes and procedures to get relevant outcomes from Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

Strengthened the capacities of stakeholders and State Assemblies to build consensus on the Audit Bill

Commonwealth Equality Project (CEP)

Fighting discrimination against women, girls and other disadvantaged groups requires the development of an enabling environment – in which local decision-makers and civil society actors are better able to advance equality and inclusion in politics and society. Between October 2020 and March 2021, WFD and Kaleidoscope Trust (KT) implemented the Commonwealth Equality Project (CEP). The programme focused on exploring and strengthening gender equality, inclusion, and rights of marginalized groups through an inclusive policy development.

CEP supported the Oyo State House of Assembly to review the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill and pass same into law, sensitized stakeholders at the grassroots on the VAPP Act, and conducted a national research on the implementation of the act, as a guide for other states yet to domesticate it. The VAPP act provides a legal framework for the protection of all citizens – including vulnerable people such as women, girls, children, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).

CEP was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) through the Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF).

Key results

Supported the Oyo State House of Assembly (OSHA) to review and pass the Oyo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law, which was translated into the local language of Yoruba, and the braille for the visually impaired.

Conducted the first ever assessment of the VAPP Act and related laws protecting women and girls in 12 States of Nigeria

Hosted, in partnership with the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Association against Gender Based Violence (NGWA-GBV), a consultative meeting of all First Ladies of the 36 States of Nigeria, to review the report on the VAPP Act and related laws against SGBV, which contributed to fast-tracking the adoption and passage of VAPP law across the States of Nigeria.

Supporting Parliamentarians in Sub-Saharan Africa to prepare for COP26 programme

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. To mitigate this challenge, huge changes at all levels of society, politics and businesses are required. From 1-12 November 2021, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, United Kingdom. COP26 is significant as it will be the first COP after the COVID-19 pandemic erupted and most countries will have to make a new pledge after the 2015 Paris Agreement

Ahead of COP26, WFD and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS)  implemented a programme to inform parliamentarians in five Sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, of COP26 issues. The programme,  ran from January to June 2021, and supported parliamentarians in examining the national progress in delivering Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and in advancing their work in scrutinising national climate policies and legislations.

Key results

Supported the House of Representatives Committee on Environment to interface with key stakeholders to review progress on Nigeria’s nationally determined commitments (NDCs)

Strengthened the capacity of MPs and parliamentary staff of relevant committees of the National Assembly to evaluate progress and advance the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions on Climate Change

Networked MPs in Nigeria with their colleagues sub-Saharan African for knowledge sharing on environment and COP26

Supporting Marginalised Nigerians in the Election Process (#OurVoteCountsNG)

WFD, with funding from the European Union, and in partnership with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) implemented a three-year programme christened #OurVoteCountsNG with the overall goal of increasing the participation of youths, women, and persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in elections. The programme contributed to this goal by creating awareness among underrepresented groups, using targeted messaging, conveyed through using peer-to-peer voter education strategy, about the electoral process, particularly in hard to reach communities.  Working closely with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and women networks, the project built the confidence of citizens in the electoral process and made them realize the importance of their votes to the process. The peer-to-peer strategy entails building the capacity of young people to reach out and engage with their peers, as well as women reaching out to fellow women, thereby strengthening active, responsive, participatory, and engaged citizenry.

Relevant programme information

Country Data

Population:

Population:

195.9
million
GDP:

GDP:

$397.3
billion USD
GDI per capita:

GDI per capita:

$1,960
USD
Media freedom:

Media freedom:

51/100
(partly free)
Democracy index:

Democracy index:

44.4/100
(partly free)

Key Results

Facilitated exchange of ideas and networking between youth-focused organisations in Nigeria and their colleagues in UK
Five-year action plan developed with Young Parliamentarian Forum to put youth issues at the heart of the political debate
Strengthening and replication of sustainable platforms for legislative engagement with young people
Development of Youth Agenda as advocacy and accountability tool at the grassroots
Strengthened audit and public account process in Nigeria
Establishment of NYSC Voter Education CDS groups in the focal States of Imo, Osun and Abuja
Supported the Oyo State House of Assembly (OSHA) to review and pass the Oyo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law, which was translated into the local language of Yoruba, and the braille for the visually impaired
Strengthened the capacity of MPs and parliamentary staff of relevant committees of the National Assembly to evaluate progress and advance the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions on Climate Change
Conducted the political economy analysis of the National Assembly (NASS) of Nigeria, and three State Assemblies (Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna) for effective engagement

Implementation

Inclusive and Accountable Politics / GIA
Underway
Supporting Parliamentarians in Sub-Saharan Africa to prepare for COP26
Completed
Programme end: June 2021
Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) - Engaged Citizen Pillar (ECP)
Completed
Programme end: May 2021
Nigeria Inclusive and Accountable Politics
Completed
Programme end: March 2021
Supporting Marginalised Nigerians in the Election Process (#OurVoteCountsNG)
Completed
Programme end: June 2021
Commonwealth Equality Project (CEP)
Completed
Programme end: March 2021
Nigeria Advancing Inclusive and Accountable Democracy in the Commonwealth
Completed
Programme end: March 2020
Youth Empowerment Programme
Completed
Programme end: March 2018

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