A Bill to provide for the Establishment of Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO) Regulatory Commission Nigeria passes second reading in the House of Representatives.
Leading the debate at the plenary session of July 14th 2016, Hon. Umar Buba Jibril (Deputy Leader, PDP: Kogi) who is the Sponsor of the Bill, stated the aim was to properly supervise, monitor and co-ordinate Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs).
Whilst the bill is said to have its merits, it has also raised concerns and been opposed on the grounds that it would defeat the aim and objectives of CSOs as it may attempt to manage and control funds received. Hon Oghene Emmanuel Egor (APC: Delta) who opposed the Bill stated that it is not within the jurisdictions of the Federal Government to monitor funds that it did not donate nor have ownership of.
Non-governmental Organizations, as defined by Wikipedia, is a not-for-profit organization that is independent from states and international governmental organisations. They are usually funded by donations and are run primarily by volunteers.
Looking at the terms that define the operating system of an NGO brings the aims and objectives of the bill into focus. Although, there is no standard structure guiding its operations, NGOs should be free from inter-governmental influence and interference with the free expression of its views, in all aspects.
Governments should partner with Non-governmental Organizations, ensuring they achieve their set goals.
Presently, some civil society groups in Nigeria have also condemned the bill and have written a statement to that effect, addressing it to the House of Representatives.
The Bill has been referred to the Committee on CSOs and Development Partners for further legislative input.
Click here to view the Bill.