NGO regulation bill pointless – Poll
Does Nigeria need a law to regulate the activities of not-for-profit and non-governmental organisations?
Majority of the respondents to the latest Guardian Poll said it is pointless for the government to want to control duly established NGOs.
The bill titled “An act to provide for the establishment of the non-governmental organisations regulatory commission for the supervision, coordination and monitoring of non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, etc. in Nigeria and for related matters” has passed the second reading in the House of Representatives.
The leadership of the House of Representatives said the bill is not intended to gag NGOs.
“Everyone should understand that the principal objective of the NGO Regulation Bill is to inject transparency, accountability and prevent the subversion of national security from both within and without,” Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara said in a statement on September 26.
“No one can nor indeed should gag the operations of NGOs in Nigeria, but just as they aspire for this freedom, it must be stated that freedom does not come without responsibility as there is no such thing as freedom to be irresponsible.”
He added: “There are also desperate attempts to instigate religious bodies and cultural Organisations to oppose the Bill by spreading the falsehood that they are the target of this bill.”
But in spite of the lofty objectives listed by Dogara, 41.6 per cent of the respondents to the Guardian Poll conducted on the newspaper’s website,
Twitter and Facebook platforms said having such bill is pointless. Another 30.3 per cent said there were more pressing matters that require the attention of the lawmakers.
However, 28.1 per cent of the respondents noted such a bill is needed in order to check the activities of NGOs.