Caritas Nigeria Asks National Assembly To Drop Plan To Legislate Against NGOs

Caritas Nigeria Asks National Assembly To Drop Plan To Legislate Against NGOs
September 24 19:46 2017 Print This Article

Following moves to legislate the activities of non governmental organisations in the country, Caritas Nigeria and JDPC, an organ of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has asked  the National Assembly to  drop all attempts to legislate on NGOs.
The  National Director of Caritas, Fr. Evaristus Bassey while reacting to government moves to regulate NGOs explained that instead, government should allow NGOs originate such legislation themselves as private member’s bill.

He said “It should be noted that, while we may have a few bad eggs among the NGOs, the main concern of all arms of government should be how to change the perception of Nigerians about government as ineffective, corrupt, wasteful and lacking of vision.

“Now that Hon. Umar Jubilhas made a name for himself, he should withdraw the bill and stop adding fuel to an already heated polity. The bill should not move further than it has reached already”.

Caritas Nigeria and JDPC, according to Bassey, urge all NGOs that employ staff “to collect and remit PAYE of their staff to their various States Revenue services, make the mandatory annual returns to Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) after their annual audits, and get the SCUML certification from EFCC as required, especially if they receive foreign funding, as we believe rightly that there are already enough regulatory frameworks on ground to make superfluous any self-seeking piece of legislation”.

Caritas Nigeria and JDPC while appreciating the need for members of the House to be acknowledged by their constituencies as having put forward a bill for consideration, noted “this should not be at the expense of the reputation of the entire House”.

Bassey explained “presently the National Assembly is perceived as a cesspool of corruption, and such bills that seem to put the House on a face-off with citizens only portray the House as intent on protecting a ‘Lootocracy’ that should not be questioned, hence the intent on muzzling NGOs. This bill is not in the interest of the House itself.

 

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