- House leader, Umar Jibril, says the NGO regulation bill is aimed at ensuring that there is transparency and accountability in the way and manner NGOs collect funds
- The lawmaker states that there is need to ensure that funds collected by organisations are used for Nigerians
- Jibril says the way NGOs are reacting to the proposed bill is not only shameful but condemnable
The sponsor of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) regulation bill, Umar Jibril, has accused some NGOs of using donated funds to support the activities of terrorists and insurgents.
The lawmaker made the accusation on Friday, September 22, when dismissing suggestions that the proposed NGO bill could affect religious bodies and humanitarian agencies in the Nigeria.
Jibril, who is the deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives in a statement said the bill is aimed at ensuring that there is transparency and accountability in the way and manner NGOs collect funds, The cable reports.
The house leader made the clarification in reaction to objections raised by Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the bill about to be considered and passed by the national assembly.
Odinkalu had said the proposed legislation would affect religious bodies, humanitarian agencies and even the esusu system in the village.
But his objections to the proposed law were dismissed by Jibril who insisted that the bill seeks to ensure that funds collected by these organisations are used for Nigerians.
PAY ATTENTION: Read the news on Nigeria’s #1 new app
The statement by the house leader read in part: "Religious bodies and organisations are not NGOs. Our quasi-financial institutions at local levels are not NGOs! These organisations have existed for centuries to serve businesses and commerce of our market women and traders,” he said.
“However, recent developments have shown that some people registered NGOs, solicited for funds and disappeared. That happened recently in the north-east. Some NGOs are used to fund the activities of terrorist and insurgents.
“The NGO bill, therefore, is primarily to set up a commission to regulate their activities and provide a platform for robust relationships between them and the government for the interests of Nigerians.
“In addition, it is to ensure transparency and accountability in the ways and manners the NGOs collect monies and use them for Nigerians. Finally, the way the NGOs are reacting to this wonderful and well-packaged bill, particularly SERAP is not only shameful but condemnable.
“The Nigerian parliament is an institution governed by rules and traditions. When a bill is for public hearing you go there and present your views like other interested Nigerians and invited corporate bodies and government agencies for the standing committee to do justice to the bill. Period.
“Going on cheap propaganda and blackmail and even calling on world bodies including the United Nation to help you withdraw a bill from our national assembly will not help you.”
Meanwhile, southeast lawmakers in the National Assembly have rejected the declaration by the army that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was a terrorist organisation.
This was contained in a statement issued and signed by the caucus chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Hon. Chukwuka Onyema
According to report, they noted that if this was allowed, it could affect innocent persons in the southeast region.
They commended southeast governors for the prompt intervention but called on the federal government to look into the root cause of the agitation.
The lawmakers said it was time for the nation to be anchored on justice, equity and fair play and affirmed their commitment to the unity of the country.
In the Legit.ng TV video below, Nigerians take to the streets of Abuja to demand that the National Assembly pass the 'Not Too Young To Run' bill.