Tuesday, 26 September 2017

NGO Bill: NASS Cannot Be Intimidated - Dogara

 The National Assembly says it cannot be intimidated into abandoning its duty of providing platform for Nigerians to agree or disagree on any proposed legislative measure.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Yakubu Dogara, said this on Tuesday in Abuja in his remarks at the resumption of plenary after the legislators’ seven-week recess.
Dogara, reacting to the controversy surrounding the NGO Bill, said that transparency was what Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) promoted and therefore should welcome the opportunity to interrogate the issues with open arms.
According to him, 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 within and without.
“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.
“There are also desperate attempts to instigate religious bodies and cultural organizations to oppose the Bill by spreading falsehood that they are the target of this bill.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state once again that churches, mosques, esussu, market women associations as well as local quasi financial institutions are “not NGOs’’ and thus, the bill has nothing to do with their operations.
“The legislative process cannot be short circuited,’’ he said.
The speaker said that members of the Lower Chamber were also aware of the criticism over the NGO Bill which had passed second reading and was at committee stage.
“Honorable members are also aware that the media have been awash with scathing criticism of the institution of the House of Representatives over the NGO Regulation Bill which has passed second reading and is at committee stage.

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