Civil Society Groups (CSOs)and Non Governmental Organisations, (NGOs) have vehemently rejected the proposed NGO Bill which currently is in its public hearing stage in the House of Representatives.
This submission by the NGOs and CSOs was made during a two-day public hearing on two Bills organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Civil Society Organisation.
The Bills are; a Bill for an Act to amend the Nigerian Red Cross Society Act to clarify the object of Society and increase some penalties and other related matters and a Bill for an Act to amend the
The CSOs and the NGOs perceived the Bill as another draconian law to stifle the operations and activities of the organisations whose core mandate is purely humanitarian.
The various Organizations rejected the BILL which recently passed second reading maintaining that, upholding the Bill will not only amount to duplication since there are existing laws and agencies which regulate their activities as such bill will disrupt the activities of the organisations.
Declaring the Public Hearing open, the Speaker House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara who was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Finance, Representative Ibrahim Babangida said the role of CSOs and NGOs can not be overemphasized especially in a democracy where the wellbeing of the people is of great importance
On his part, Chairman of the Committee, Representative Peter Akpatason said the critical importance of the hearing was to guide the Committee in reaching an informed opinion from stakeholders.
But in a unanimous outright rejection, the stakeholders were unanimous in their rejection of the Bill while complained that there were already existing laws guiding activities of CSOs and NGOs, and that the proposed bill will stifle the laudable activities achieved by the organizations over the years.
The public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Civil Society Organisation was expected to aggregate views from the various stakeholders with the aim of passing an NGO laws that will guide the activities and operations of NGOs and CSOs in the country.