By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
A don, Princess (Dr) Adebunmi Osadaun has stressed the crucial role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in driving the activities of both the public and private sectors of any economy.
She made the assertion while delivering a lecture organised by the Ondo state government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development on “NGOs Aims, Structure, and Relevance” recently held in Akure , the state capital.
According to her, many socio-political revolutions all around the world were started and midwifed through well articulated NGOs.
While explaining that an NGO entails the coming together of organized people of like minds with a common vision and mission though in an informal way, she noted that it is often based on the spirit of volunteerism
She affirmed that an NGOs’ statutory structure is to operate under the acceptable law of its environment with relevant, serviceable and workable aims and objectives and a trade legal name among other things.
She stated that, Nigeria is one of the countries with the most numerous uncoordinated NGOs in Africa despite serious government regulatory rules and sanctions by the federal and state governments, saying the lecture is apt.
Dr Osadaun therefore maintained that good NGOs are proactive and preemptive of government’s action through global campaign, advocacy, workshops, rallies and use of print and non-print media.
The guest lecturer stressed that viable NGOs are borne out of needs and concerns of the masses or individual thought.
“NGOs do ensure a lasting legacy for the people. In Sweden, many NGOs are fighting rape and sex without consent. In Nigeria, BRECAN are all out to provide free breast and cancer screening. Some NGOs share why men and women must have a voice at all levels of decision making.
“Some NGOs want women equality and dignity with sensitive humanitarian actions, Maternal and Reproductive Health campaign is not left out, some are committed to strengthening healthier families ,Communities, and countries among others, whichever way, the vision must grow through formative stages, generally speaking, NGOs belong to the private sector”, she said.
She highlighted some of the aims and objectives of NGOs to include, putting in place a mass movement of people in the private sectors into decision making roles on critical socio-political issues, private driven empowerment, advocacy and sensitization.
The resource person added that NGOs partner and create informal support to innovation and implementation of government policies or business and equally solving the many unattended to issues and challenges that require companionship, team spirit and networking.
Dr Osadaun who said NGOs play relevant role in trade discipline and social control, education, sanitation and public interest protection, posited that otherwise, government space will be too domineering.
She however admitted that NGOs challenges are many which include cultural sexual stereotypes, impunity, unnecessary proliferation, insecurity and poor managerial skills, poor finances among others which must be tackled to ensure its functionality.
To her, the lecture would go a long way in improving NGOs’ services in the state.