Most frequent questions and answers

INGO, which stands for international non–government organisation is a non-government, non-profit, non-partisan, non-political and non-proselytising organisation with legal status in its country of origin and presence in many other countries. INGOs who come in different sizes and shapes provide humanitarian, recovery and development assistance.

INGOs are in Nigeria to provide the much needed life-saving assistance for people affected by crisis – man made or natural, help vulnerable communities build their resilience to shocks and provide platform for people to fight injustice and claim their rights. Our operations in Nigeria, especially the north-east are guided by four humanitarian principles:

  • Humanity: We respond to human suffering wherever it is found by protecting life and health and ensure respect for human beings;
  • Neutrality: We do not take sides or engage in any form of politics, partisanship, racial and religious activities
  • Impartiality: We provide support based on needs alone and give priority to those facing high levels of distress;
  • Independence: We are independent from political, economic and military objectives.

Few INGOs have been in Nigeria since the civil unrest of 1967 to 1970. However, with the emergence of humanitarian crisis in the north-east, 14 INGOs came together in 2014 to form a body called the Nigeria INGO Forum (NIF), to help coordinate and support INGO operations in Nigeria, most of whom are in north-east Nigeria.

NIF, whose role has evolved since establishment, exits for two (2) main purposes:

  • To provide a joint platform for INGO members to promote a collective approach to efficiently and effectively coordinate interventions and address key issues of common interests.
  • To provide a coordinated approach through which INGOs, the Government of Nigeria (GoN), the UN, donors and other external stakeholders can exchange information and shared expertise, and establish guidelines for a more coordinated, efficient and effective use of aid resources in Nigeria.

Joining NIF comes with individual and institutional benefits. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Connect with colleagues and donors on a regular basis;
  • Advocate in high-level engagements nationally and internationally;
  • Have a common place for resource sharing;
  • Partake in decision-making at the highest level through NIF’s platform.

To learn more, visit our membership page

Funding of NIF is supported by European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and membership contribution.

NIF is currently hosted by Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Nigeria till 2021. Members will rotate hosting the Forum every 2 years.

The host is responsible for providing the office space for the Forum Secretariat, as well as operational support. However, the Forum remains neutral and exists primarily to serve the needs of its members and to act in their interest for a better delivery of service to beneficiaries.

The INGO must be legally registered and operating in Nigeria. It must clearly demonstrate a commitment to abide by NIF Statutes of Governance and Nigerian law, and operates within humanitarian, recovery or development space.

To learn more, visit our membership page

Yes, all members of the Forum are physically active in Nigeria.

The Forum does not extend its membership to all NGOs, for-profit companies, or individual as it is designed to answer to the specific needs of International NGOs active in Nigeria and to act as focal point for the international civil society in Nigeria.

NIF has the following three-body decision making structure:

  • INGO Plenary Assembly – made up of Country Directors and alternates
  • Steering Committee – an elected body of five (5) country directors.
  • NIF Secretariat which consists of the Forum staff and headed by a Director.

In addition, NIF functions through different Working Groups (WG) such as Humanitarian Managers WG, Advocacy WG (ad hoc), Development WG, Finance WG, Logistics WG, HR WG and Government Engagement Committee (Ad hoc). These meetings allow for information exchange, serve as a platform for sharing ideas, challenges and also for tasking the Forum secretariat to follow-up issues affecting its members.