Nigerian Lawmakers To Revisit NGO Regulatory Bill – Speaker
The House of Representatives will revisit the controversial bill to regulate Non-Governmental Organisations, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has stated.
The speaker stated it has become imperative to revisit the bill due to the activities of NGOs in the North-eastern part of Nigeria.
Speaking during a debate on a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance on funding for security agents, the speaker also said NGOs will be invited for a discussion before the house takes action.
The leadership of the House on Monday met with security chiefs and were briefed on how some NGOs allegedly aid and abet the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists.
The Nigerian Army last week announced a blacklist of Action Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organisation operating in North-east Nigeria for allegedly ‘aiding and abetting’ Boko Haram terrorists.
A statement issued by the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ Theatre Command in Maiduguri, Borno State, said the army has ‘credible intelligence’ that the NGO supplies food and medication to the outlawed armed group.
The army did not provide details of the ‘credible intelligence’ it has. It also did not state if it has the permission or support of the presidency to announce such a ban.
The NGO bill seeks to, among others, create an NGO Regulatory Commission to regulate NGO’S and civil society organisations, CSOs.
The bill, introduced by a deceased lawmaker, Buba Jibrin, was criticised by many activists and NGOs as government’s way of clamping down on civic groups.
The bill passed second reading at the House of Representatives and was subsequently referred to the Committee on Civil Society Organisations and Development Partners.
On the day of the public hearing on the bill, scores of protesters marched to the National Assembly asking that the bill be dropped.
The committee after the public hearing did not present its report to the lawmakers for consideration, thus indicating it died at the committee level.
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