By Ajibola Abayomi,
December 13, 2017
None of the persons who appeared before Nigerian lawmakers on Wednesday expressed support for the bill to regulate non-governmental organisations (NGOS).
A public hearing on the bill was held at by the House of Representatives at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
At the hearing, all the attendees, including a Catholic cleric, Matthew Kukah, and a former lawmaker, Abdul Oroh, opposed the bill.
The bill seeks to, among others, create an NGO Regulatory Commission to regulate NGO’S and civil society organisations, CSOs.
The bill, sponsored by a lawmaker, has been criticised by many activists and NGOs as government’s way of clamping down on civic groups.
While the hearing was going on, scores of protesters marched to the National Assembly asking that the bill be scrapped.
The bill recently passed second reading at the House of Representatives and subsequently referred to the committee on civil society organisations and development partners.
In his submission after the public hearing, the chairman of the committee, Peter Akpatason, assured that he will present the recommendations of the committee to the House without bias.
He had earlier asked if there was any attendee who was in support of the bill. There was none.