Next to Churches, Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs are the next big thing in Nigeria.
It would appear you’d hardly turn a corner without encountering one or the other NGO claiming they are doing one thing or the other to better the lives of the people in their immediate vicinity in particular and beyond it generally.
All of a sudden just about everyone one wants to help to make the world a better place in Nigeria, only that they don’t want to do it with their money, and while at it ‘Foreign’ money is preferable.
NGO’s are the new ‘hustle’, and most people who had once tried their hands at ‘419’ (Nigeria’s numerical for Advance Fee Fraud), but found that opening a church might be too stressful (even though the fruits are bountiful at the end) venture into this tax-free haven with little or no accountability.
Usually, funding for most of the programmes undertaken by NGO’s come from ‘gullible’ western nations, Foundations and wealthy individuals, who have one message or the other to propagate, or are simply pricked to their heart by pictures of starving African children.
The NGO’s in Nigeria mostly disregard the real needs of the society they purport to serve for that which their donors wish for them to highlight.
It has become the rule rather than exception for the wives of presidents, governors and even local government chairmen and administrators to start one, once their husband gets into power and of course thereafter abandon the project once out of office, like Turai Yaradua’s (former first lady) whose NGO building couldn’t be built before her husband died (in office) and had had to challenge Patience Jonathan (current first lady) for attempting to usurp the same land for her own NGO, just because Turai’s had become moribund.
For the first ladies, it is an opportunity to fleece governmental funds, just like Patience Jonathan attempted to do via The Federal Capital Territories, FCT budget even though as a Non Governmental Organization, her NGO isn’t entitled to enjoy ‘officially’ government funding.
It is no surprise that most of the NGO’s set up by wives of politicians pack up with the end of their husbands’ regime in power, as they are merely meant to fatten the purses of the proprietors, as well as serve as conduits for money laundering. The imposing buildings are then converted to private use.
The NGO’s owned and managed by others besides the first ladies are stinkier than the Augean stable. They are mostly located in the big cities even when they claim to their sponsors that they cater for the needs of poor village dwellers, whose pictures they are eager to showcase to their financiers, where in actual fact they spent less than three hours before retreating back to their five-star hotels.
The staff, angling for favour to be closest to the ‘Ogas/Madams@TheTop’ must arse-kiss, butt kiss or bootlick, and laugh at every word or dry joke they make, so they get to be appointed to go to conferences and talkshops in the UK, US, Canada etc, while the less favoured staff and volunteer go to hell holes like Koma in North Central Nigeria or the likes, where there’s no electricity, scant modern civilization etc.
The owners/proprietors live like kings in their mansions, and chauffeured about in the SUV’s attending only international (western) conferences and paying little attention to what it is really they claim to be advocating (that’s left for the admin-person to do). Most times you find them hardly practicing what they preach, the only thing they are adept at is fleecing money from international foundations and even governments once they have a VIP wrapped around their fingers.
Nigeria, like many African countries is fertile ground for them as there remains many issues bedevelling the impoverished masses of the nation suffering from (a corrupt) government neglect, and that is what NGOs see as opportunity (not to redress the situation or bridge gaps between the people and government or policies that government could adopt to help people) to line their pockets and bank accounts heavily with foreign donor funds.
Every card’s on the table. I’m sure a lot of NGO’s will be displeased if ever a cure was to be found for HIV. Pro-gay groups are now being lined heavily since the Nigerian Government criminalized gay marriage (even though such is rare to unheard of in Nigeria) and from a paltry number are now beginning to steadily grow, even while most of the advocates for a reversal of this law aren’t even gay, not like they ought to be to fight for the rights of their fellow men and women, but it’s obvious what all this is about.
Just like the churches, where the sheer number in Nigeria hasn’t positively impacted in the attitudes and morals of the people, the NGO’s have done little to turn the scales in favour of most of the issues they claim to advocate for. The lack of sincerity and focus, the sheer greed and insatiable gluttonous appetites of the owners of these NGO’s make their stated visions, aims and aspirations unattainable.
Only a change in the opposite direction by these NGOs for good will turn the statistics of the plagues suffered by the Nigerian populace in particular and Africa in general around. Besides that, if the government itself was alive to it’s responsibility in the first place maybe, just maybe we would’ve had no need for the so called Non-Governmental Organizations.