Dogara Commends NGOs For Growth Of Democracy In Nigeria


BY SYLVESTER ALIJO, ABUJA – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has hailed civil societies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for the important roles they play in development of democracy and promotion of the well-being of Nigerian citizens.

Dogara, who gave the commendation while speaking at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Civil Society and Developmental Partners, on two Bills: The bill to amend the Nigerian Red Cross Act and related matters and the bill for an Act for the establishment of Non-Governmental Organisations Regulatory Commission, urged the public not to be apprehensive of opinion made in the House during debates on any Bill.

He said the people will always have their day at fora such as the public hearing to make their input, adding that the public hearing was the second avenue for civil society organisation members to make their inputs to the proposed legislation which will guide their operations in Nigeria and urged them to utilise the platform to present areas of concern for consideration.

The Speaker further said, “We are fully aware that NGOs and CSOs constitute one of the formidable platforms for public participation in governance.

“NGOs and CSOs are involved in diverse fields; they are involved in poverty reduction, human rights, anti-environmental and domestic violence, anti-corruption, HIV/AIDs and other socio-political projects and programmes.

“Generally, NGOs and CSOs are independent organisations and to a large extent, their work is voluntary and they are also non-profit-making. It is, therefore, obvious that in a democracy where the focal point is the general well-being of the people, the role of NGOs and CSOs cannot be over-emphasised.

“It is therefore not surprising that the Bill on Regulation of NGOs has generated a lot of public interest recently. It is our expectation that this interest will be manifested at today’s Hearing, not only in impressive attendance but in the quality of contributions.

“I wish to note that this Hearing for the NGO Regulatory Commission Bill, in particular, is a fellow up of the Committee’s Roundtable/Technical Session Held on 25th of July, 2017 at the Rockview Hotels, Abuja, where civil society organisation members made their inputs….

“Let me assure all stakeholders and the general public that the process of law making has and will always be subjected to public scrutiny through this process of public hearing.”

Commenting on the Bill for an Act to amend the Nigerian Red Cross Society Act and related matters, Dogara asked that equal attention be given to the Bill to enhance the performance of the organisation which has been in the service of humanity for centuries.

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