The Public and Private Development Centre, PPDC, is a rare and effective definition of watchdog activism in the broad and expansive Nigerian civic space. Its challenging location in the governance framework of our country’s political and policy setting is that exerting midriff of civic oversight. From that spot, PPDC nudges the state to actualise its statutory horizontal accountability functions but also looks round to empower and challenge citizens in a vertical definition of accountability.
At a time that civil society institutions tend to find comfort and loose meaning in the term career, PPDC forcefully projects our vision and significance of the non-government organisation [NGO] at increasing the participation of citizens in governance in order to develop instruments through which they can hold power to be accountable at both the public and private sectors.
In this regard therefore, for over ten years, PPDC has developed several procurement programmes such as it open contracting platform for Africa; Budeshi and Nigeria Integrity Film Awards; and the Homevida platform, which have all improved advocacy metrics for an open society and helped inhibit corruption in specific systems.
Evidence also that one mind can make the difference in shaping the direction of change with purpose and clarity of vision are the powerful factor of the Chairman, Mr Chibuzo Ekwekwu and the focused youthful leader of the organisation, Ms Seember Nyager, a technologist and a lawyer who has steered the ship towards in most recent achievements.
Several organisations have leaned on PPDC to support their mission goals to help develop a democratic society. This has often come through PPDC’s pro-bono judicial review on behalf of procurement monitors who have been denied access to information on the contracting process in the sectors where monitors are deployed.
Still, PPDC has been able to monitor the FOI rankings of public institutions in Nigeria and used animations to push citizens to seek public accountability in a way few organisations have done in the history of this nation. Those in doubt will recall how the organisation has assigned procurement monitors to sectors such as the health, education, oil and gas and power/energy sector and has also led various campaigns on radio enforcing open contracting measures for the citizenry.
Nothing has however come close to the new initiative BUDESHI through which PPDC has worked with several organisations from the world of research, academe, media, investigators, and public policy advocates and planners to institute the most comprehensive and certainly most impactful open platform to monitor and hold procurement and contractual institutions to be accountable.
It is no surprise that PPDC is today an active valve in the global Open Alliance, African Freedom of Information Coalition, Open Data Working Group and a Country Convener of the Nigerian contract monitoring coalition. These are not ego-stuffing accompaniments; PPDC, has truly been dedicated to promoting integrity in the society. Today, the board of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism proudly rewards, and welcomes PPDC to the prestigious team of citizen heroes through this award as the 2016 Anti-corruption Defender of the year. Congratulations.