UNODC Representative signs project document on anti-corruption

The project NGA T97 "Partnership with Bayelsa State: Bayelsa Expenditure and Income Transparency Initiative (BEITI) and the Judicial Integrity Action Programme (JIA)" reached a highpoint with the signing of the project document by the secretary to the government of Bayelsa state Honourable Gideon O. Ekeuwei and the UNODC Representative Ms. Dagmar Thomas on the 12 th of January 2011.

The BEITI initiative is a brainchild of the present governor of Bayelsa state Timipre Sylva who found a need to embark on initiatives that will restore the confidence of the citizens, the business community as well as the international community in the government's commitment to the growth and development of the state.

The overall objective of the three year project is to improve the capacity of the Bayelsa State Government to develop and enact legislation in line with the provisions of the UNCAC and to build institutional and operational capacities to effectively implement such legislation. More specifically, the project will support the target groups under this project, in particular the BEITI Secretariat, the Bayelsa State Working Group (BSWG) and Bayelsa Non Governmental Organizations Forum BANGOF) to advocate for the speedy enactment of the BEITI Bill, as well as subsequent legislative amendments, if such should be required to ensure the effective implementation of the objectives of the Bill. Once enacted, the project will support these stakeholders, through training, policy and technical advice, operational support and other forms of capacity building in developing the necessary skills, tools, procedures and structures to effectively implement the provisions of the above legislation

Moreover, the project will support the justice sector in Bayelsa state to develop and implement an action plan for comprehensive justice sector reform as well as assist relevant target groups in developing preventive anti-corruption policies in compliance with the UNCAC and in enhancing their capacities, in particular of the BEITI Secretariat, to effectively implement such policies. To this end a contribution agreement was signed with the Bayelsa State judiciary whereby the government will provide approximately $200,000 dollars cash contribution to the project. Another approximately $700,000 will be applied towards project implementation as in-kind and direct government funded contribution. The first installment of the cash contribution has already been disbursed to UNODC. The project has commenced the concept stage of implementation.