Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operate independently from any government and are concerned with a range of duties that are tailored to positively impacting individuals and communities. In Nigeria, many non-governmental organizations are involved in infrastructure development and operation, advocacy for and with the poor, promotion of basic human rights, economic empowerment, and environmental preservation, among others. In this article, we’ll be addressing the types of non-governmental organizations in Nigeria.
The types of NGOs in Nigeria would be discussed below:
Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations
Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) tackle different issues relating to environmentalism including carrying out advocacy and actions that are directed toward environmental development and sustainable development within Nigeria. These non-governmental organizations may launch campaigns against unfavourable practices that degrade the environment, as well as ineffective policies of the government. Some Environmental non-governmental organizations in Nigeria include but are not limited to the Nigerian Environmental Society, Obudu Conservative Centre, Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Studies and Nigerian Conservative Foundation.
Grassroot Support Organizations
Grassroot Support Organizations (GSO) are a type of non-governmental organization that is committed to providing support and services to the disadvantaged portion of the population in Nigeria. GSOs serve as links between disadvantaged groups and donors, financial institutions and even the government to improve their challenging living conditions. In addition, Grassroot Support Organizations indirectly support other organizations that assist impoverished and disadvantaged households and individuals in the country. Some Grassroot Support Organizations in Nigeria include Osibanjo Grassroot Organization, Grassroot Aid Initiative, Humanitarian and Empowerment for Grassroot Initiative, and Grassroot Development Support & Rural Enlightenment Initiative, among numerous others.
International Non-Governmental Organizations
International non-governmental organizations are internationally operating organizations established without any intergovernmental agreement, and are focused on providing relief and development aid to developing countries like Nigeria. In Nigeria, several INGOs are committed to environmental preservation, human rights promotion, provision of social services not provided by the government, encouraging citizen empowerment and community development, and so much more. Some International Non-Governmental Organizations in Nigeria include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, Defence for Children’s Rights, Family Health International, and Transparency International Nigeria, to name a few.
Technical Assistance Non-Governmental Organizations
Technical assistance non-governmental organizations are typically concerned with providing technical support and training that directly impacts citizens and communities. Several Technical assistance NGOs in Nigeria through sponsorships, partnerships and projects give citizens and communities the chance of accessing developing skills for personal development and economic growth. Also, these NGOs may help the government at various levels by providing technical support where it is lacking. Some examples of Technical Assistance Non-Governmental Organizations include TAConnect, Gracit Foundation, and High-Tech Centre for Nigerian Women and Youth.
Civil Society Organizations
Civil society organizations are concerned with pushing for the interests and wills of citizens. In Nigeria, numerous civil society organizations perform roles ranging from tackling government constraints, corruption and disregard for basic human rights, to creating awareness on various issues to keep the citizenry and government more informed. In addition, civil society organizations engage in advocacy, hold the government accountable, as well as deliver services to the poor and underprivileged segment of the populace. Some civil society organizations in Nigeria include Action Aid, Advocate for Human Rights and Justice Development, Alliance for Credible Elections, Centre for Democracy and Development, FATI, REGENZ, Gender on the Balance, Citizen’s Advocacy for Good Governance, Human Rights Justice and Peace Foundation, Nigeria for Change International, and ReclaimNaija.
Government Organized Non-Governmental Organizations
These NGOs are government-sponsored and work to promote the political interests of the government that organized them, as well as perform other functions relating to civil society organizations.
Health-Related Non-Governmental Organizations
These non-governmental organizations employ preventive, rehabilitative, curative and promotive strategies that are geared toward improving the well-being of people in Nigeria. Health-related NGOs step in to fill the vacuum in the healthcare sector caused by constraints on healthcare infrastructure as a result of poor government funding and the rising cost of private-for-profit healthcare in Nigeria. Local and international NGOs usually collaborate with government officials to make healthcare accessible and affordable to the citizenry.
These NGOs and INGOs donate resources to local health facilities, engage in awareness campaigns and education, establish primary health centres, partner with other healthcare providers, and engage in community participation to address the local health problems faced in the country. Many health-related NGOs and INGOs are operating in Nigeria, some of which include Family Health International, Gede Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Brain and Body Foundation, Mental Health Foundation, RedAid Nigeria, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative, Society for Family Health, TY Danjuma Foundation, and ARFH Nigeria.
Religion-Influenced Non-Governmental Organizations
Religion-influenced non-governmental organizations are associated with religious organizations, in the form of formal affiliation, mission statements or goals with values related to religion, or by financial support from religious bodies or based on religious beliefs and/or religious values. These NGOs usually help with relief efforts during emergencies such as flooding, as well as other charitable endeavours aimed at helping the poor and less privileged. Examples of Religion-influenced non-governmental organizations include Muslim Aid and the Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria, among several others.
Market Advocacy Non-Governmental Organizations
It is not unusual for a non-governmental organization to be in more than one of these categories listed above. For example, Family Health International is an international non-governmental organization as well as a health-related NGO. Although NGOs in Nigeria operate independently from the government, four agencies are responsible for supervising their activities. First, the Corporate Affairs Commission bears the responsibility of regulating and supervising the formation, incorporation, registration, management, and dissolution of NGOs in Nigeria. The Special Control Unit against Money Laundering monitors and supervises the activities of NGOs to prevent money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism. The third agency is the National Planning Commission which monitors and regulates the activities of INGOs under the National Planning Commission Act. Lastly, the Federal Inland Revenue Service works to ensure that NGOs properly perform their tax filings when due, even though they aren’t taxed.