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 that it seeks to properly supervise, monitor and co-ordinate Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs).
Hon. Jibril noted that he was concerned over the defective operational values of such organizations that are left to operate within its own Constitution and sometimes within the whims and caprices of their donors. He added that in this circumstance, the establishment of a Commission is pertinent, as it would further address challenges and gaps identified as a result of the absence of a regulatory legal framework. He further added that the Bill would facilitate and co-ordinate the activities of National and International CSOs; maintain a register that clearly indicates organizations affiliations and locations of their activities; set criteria that needs to be met before registration and recognition; and ensure transparency and accountability in its operations.
Furthermore, Hon. Jibril explained that the Bill also seeks to establish a National Council of Voluntary Agencies as a collective forum for all voluntary organizations registered with the Commission. He further explained that the said Council would develop a Code of Conduct on matters related to funding, foreign affiliation, and national security, amongst others. The Bill, which contains Seven (7) Chapters, Fifty- Eight (58) Clauses and a Schedule will guide the operations of the Commission when established.
Hon Oghene Emmanuel Egor (APC: Delta) who opposed the Bill stated that the establishment of the Commission would defeat the aim and objectives of CSOs as it may attempt to manage and control funds received. He stated that it is not within the jurisdictions of the Federal Government to monitor funds that it did not donate nor have ownership of.
The Bill has been referred to the Committee on CSOs and Development Partners for further legislative input.