October 17, 2018

Dogara Hails CSOs, NGOs For Contribution To Growth Of Democracy In Nigeria

By on December 14, 2017 0 18 Views

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has hailed civil societies and non-governmental organisations for the important role they play in development of democracy and promotion of the well-being of Nigerian citizens.

He made the statement 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.

The Speaker also urged the public not to be apprehensive of opinion made in the House during debates on any Bill, saying they will always have their day at fora such as the public hearing to make their input.

He said 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.

Hon. Dogara stated, “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.”

On the Bill for an Act to amend the Nigerian Red Cross Society Act and related matters, he 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.

See full   speech below;

OPENING REMARKS BY RT. HON. YAKUBU DOGARA, SPEAKER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AT THE OCCASION OF A PUBLIC HEARING ON TWO BILLS ORGANIZED BY HOUSE COMMITTEE ON CIVIL SOCIETY AND DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS, AT THE HEARING ROOM 236, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, ABUJA, ON WEDNESDAY, 13TH NOVEMBER, 2017.

Protocols:

On behalf of the entire Members of the House of Representatives, I welcome you all to this Public Hearing. This Public Hearing is for 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 Organizations Regulatory Commission.

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 organization members made their inputs while the Bill for an Act to amend  the Red Cross Act is making its first public appearance.

By way of reminder and emphasis, permit me to state once again that the object of Public Hearing is to get public buy in  the process of law making. It is the platform for promoting public participation in governance in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Of course 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 organizations and to a large extend 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-emphasized. 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.

Besides, the NGO Bill, the Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Red Cross Society Act… and Related Matters, will also be considered today. I urge that you give it equal attention to enhance the performance of this organization which has been in the service of humanity for centuries.

Let me assure all stakeholders and the general public that the process of law making has and will always be subjected to public scrutiny though thus process of Public Hearing. It is important to inform that this process comes only after the First and Second Readings of the Bill and therefore the public need not be apprehensive of opinion made in House during debates at the Second Reading because they will always have their day at fora such as this.

I commend the Committee once again for their effort and all the stakeholders and invited guests for honouring our invitation. While I now formally declare this Public Hearing open, I wish you all, fruitful deliberations.

God bless you all and bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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