Dogara Speaks On Controversial NGO Bill

Yakubu Dogara the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, welcomed public criticism of the content of the controversial NGO regulatory bill.

Dogara declared this in his welcome remark after the House joined from a two-month recess.

“Public criticism of the content of the Bill is a welcome development and there are many who are doing just that,” he said.

He said it is the reason why every bill is subjected to a public hearing so that the inputs of stakeholders can be obtained to ensure public buy-in.

“I hasten to say that all Nigerians and other corporate persons including non-Nigerians, are stakeholders and have a right to support or oppose a bill,” he said.

“However when opinions are targeted at disparaging the institution of the legislature then it becomes imperative to interrogate the motives driving such, especially when this emanates from those who should know.”

The speaker said that the principal objective of the bill is to inject transparency, accountability and prevent the subversion of national security from both 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,” he said.

Mr. Dogara also emphasised a claim made by other lawmakers that “churches, mosques, esusu, market women associations as well as local quasi-financial institutions are not NGOs and thus the bill has nothing to do with their operations.”

He added that the National Assembly cannot be intimidated into abandoning its sacred legislative duties of providing a platform for Nigerians to agree or disagree on any proposed legislative measure.

“This openness and transparency are what the NGOs have always canvassed and promoted and they should, therefore, embrace this opportunity to interrogate the issues with open arms.”

Mr. Dogara did not, however, address a major concern of opponents of the bill, that there were already enough laws to regulate NGOs.

‎One of the critics of the bill, Chidi Odinkalu, a former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, has raised this as well as other elements in the bill that could make it open to being used to manipulate and gag critical NGOs.

A senator, Shehu Sani, has also voiced opposition to the bill and said he would oppose it when it comes to the Senate.

The NGO regulatory bill has passed second reading in the House of Representatives and is at the committee level. It was sponsored by the Deputy House leader, Umar Jibrin.

The NGO regulatory agency, if established, would be headed by an Executive Secretary and a 17-member Governing Board to be appointed by the Nigerian President for a five-year tenure.

NGO commences Youth Empowerment Through Agriculture in Osun

, By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

As part of efforts geared towards economic development in Nigeria, a non-governmental group, World Institute for Peace (WIP) has revealed its plans to bring about both agricultural and industrial growth in the country.

The group’s founder/executive chairman, Comrade Lamina Kamiludeen Omotoyosi made this known through a press release made available to journalists in Osogbo.

The group disclosed that it would be hosting NEPAL KHADHYA BANK LIMITED, a bank meant to empowering youths through agricultural revolution in Nigeria and Osun State in particular.

According to the release, ” Nigeria have a lot of resources, oil and gas, rich mines and mineral and fertile lands, we have enough resources to support all African countries, but Nigeria went through very crucial painful conditions which have marred her image, besides, media of some courtiers and continents have been misrepresenting her in the world.

“It is the foremost objective of World Institute for Peace (WIP) to put before the world candid picture of Nigeria. World Institute for Peace (WIP) besides, peace, intends to bring agricultural, industrial and economic revolution in Nigeria with the help of foreign individuals, companies and also with the assistance some powerful countries.”

Also, because of the insecurity level and current insurgency in the country,the group has set in place social awareness through peace education.

“World Institute for  Peace (WIP) has devised its plan to bring peace in the world through peace education and conflict resolution strategies and in the same context Peace Ambassadors have been appointed in most of the courtiers.

“To maintain peace in the world, it is very essential factor that we must eradicate the causes of distress in the world and roots of the most of menaces go deep into injustice and financial hardships and unemployment.

“World Institute for Peace (WIP) suggests to stop the trade of raw materials and wants to promote export and trade of the contents in refined condition, it is the sole solution of economic hardships. We shall have to cure all menaces economic and social which are integral ones.”
The group added.

While appreciating the major stakeholders of the organization and particularly the Government of Osun State, under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for the successful program, the group also disclosed its intention to specially commence a youth empowerment programme in the state.

“In April this year 2017 we invited some investors from some Asian countries and Egypt  which we believe before the end of this year are coming back fully to kick off the projects with various investments.

“We apprecite the efforts made by the government of the State of Osun for the successful program. Very soon in this month, our organisation is bringing another serious investors from Nepal. Everything has been put in place to host the team of NEPAL KHADHYA BANK LIMITED. The bank is meant for empowering youth through agricultural revolution and the subject of their project is named “Nepal-Nigeria Partnership on Youth Empowerment Through Agricultural.

“This program will soon commence in Osun.”

NGO Cautions `Independent’ Women Against Unruliness

Mrs Monique Ededuan, the President of Independent Women Initiative, an NGO, on Thursday advised women not to take independence as a licence to become unruly or head of the home.

Ededuan spoke ahead of an empowerment conference being organised by the NGO to help more women to be economically independent.

She told the gathering in Lagos that her NGO empowers 30 women annually with start-up funds to enable them to be self-supporting in the society.

According to her, an independent woman should not become unruly or take over the headship of her home.

She said that this year’s conference, holding on July 29 in Lagos, seeks to take women through the journey from dependent to independent.

“Some marriages today have stood the test of time because the responsibility of catering for the home does not exclusively rest on man alone.

“Independent women have risen to become agents of positive change by becoming an inspiration to people through the positive roles they play in giving back to these communities.

“The woman strikes a balance by being a responsible woman, submissive, supportive wife, excellent business and career woman.

“An empowered woman with a vision finds fulfilment and achieves the impossible in her area of business and contribute to the nation’s economic growth,” Ededuan said.

She urged the three tiers of government to create the enabling environment for women to thrive in their businesses.

“An empowered woman becomes a positive tool and an inspiration to others.

“When a woman is empowered, she supports her family, which creates a society and extends it to all people in the environment.

“When a woman moves from being idle to independent, definitely, she becomes an agent of change in the country,” Ededuan said.

The NGO is a business and entrepreneurship network for women and was established in 2016.

Its vision is to support women financially with start-up business fund and business ideas, to contribute financially in their homes and country.