The work of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals revolves around the systems for and implementation of the 'OPEN' initiative. OPEN, or the 'Overview of Public Expenditure in NEEDS (National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy)' initiative tracks the expenditure of debt relief savings from Nigeria's September 2005 Paris Club debt relief.
Three publications describe the debt relief deal, the tracking system and the achievements of the office in detail (if you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me):
For all those with research interests in Nigeria, Fidelis Ogwumike of the University of Ibadan and I are working on a 'Nigerian Research Network'.
The aim of the network is simply to gather a database of researchers and research related to Nigeria from across all sectors and fields of interest, and act as a communication tool for researchers interested in the country. The rationale is that such a tool will improve the quality of research related to the nation at this critical time in its development.
The Society of Monitoring and Evaluation, Nigeria, "acts as a platform for professional evaluators and other parties
interested in evaluation in Nigeria to better communicate, network and build
capacity for evaluation in the country."
Again, the on-line focus of the society is a yahoo group based at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nigerianevaluation (and again, you can join it using the gadget below). The group has message archives, a resource database, relevant links, and a database of evaluators in Nigeria. Activities, such as meetings, conferences etc. are also held, and interested parties should join the yahoo group, or contact me for more information.
A guide to the recent reform program of the government can be found in the first 'NEEDS' (National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy), available here. The new policy thrust of the government is Vision 20:2020 (to be in the top 20 economies of the world by the year 2020). More information can be found here.
An assessment of how successful the government was in implementing the NEEDS reform program can be found in the World Bank's 'Nigeria - A fiscal agenda for change: public expenditure management and financial accountability review', available here. A Brookings paper written by the ex-Minister of Finance, Ngozi Onkonjo-Iweala, at the end of the NEEDS implementation period, provides a broader but less detailed view. The government's Millennium Development Goals web site provides an assessment of the country's progress towards its social welfare goals.
Finally, a sense of how brilliant my old boss is can be gained in this FT article about Mrs. Ibrahim (now az-Zubair), “Amina Ibrahim: Much-needed rush of adrenalin”. A sense of the energy of the country can be gained from the below music video by Banky W (check out the scenes in the background):