Bill Seeking To Regulate NGO, Religious Groups Rejected By Public


The bill seeking to regulate activities of Non-Governmental Organisation, worship centres and religious organisations has suffered a major setback.
At the public hearing organised by the House of Representatives on the bill, none of the persons or oganisations that appeared gave any backing to it.
Among those opposed the bill at the public hearing were Matthew Kukah, a Catholic priest and a human rights activist, Abdul Oroh.
While the public hearing was going on, a horde of protesters stormed the National Assembly to register their annoyance over the idea of the bill.
The bill which was initiated by a lawmaker seeks for the creation of an NGO Regulatory Commission.
The commission will regulate the activities of NGOs and Civil Society Organisations, CSOs.
The concern raised by those opposed to the bill is that it would be a tool to curtail silence the civil society organisation to the detriment of the development of the society where independence and freedom should thrive.
Earlier, human rights activist and Lagos based lawyer, Femi Falana, had expressed his disapproval on the bill, calling on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to discard it.
In a statement, he said the legislators should “immediately drop the draft bill aiming to regulate and monitor the activities of all civil society organisations and labour unions in the country as the bill unequivocally threatens the very existence of a free and independent civil society in Nigeria.”