Rep. Buba Jibril, Deputy Majority Leader of House of Representatives, on Monday said the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Regulation and Coordination Bill would serve the best interest of Nigeria when passed into law.
Jibril who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja said the bill aimed to regulate activities of the NGOs and keep them in proper check as developmental partners of government.
The parliamentarian, who also represents the Lokoja/Koton-Karfe Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, said NGOs were supposed to be partners in progress with government, to intervene in areas with developmental deficiencies and fill the gaps.
He however, regretted that many of them remained unregulated, indulging in fraudulent activities while some claim to be regulated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
“You cannot use residual laws of other agencies of government to say you are being regulated.
““We need a commission empowered by the National Assembly and sanctioned by the Presidency to do that,” he said.
According to him, the bill, which is due for third reading, seeks to provide the legal framework for the establishment of a commission to regulate the NGOs.
Jibril said the country would benefit a lot from the bill as it would enhance security by checking espionage activities of expatriates who come into the country under the cover of NGOs.
“We are still suffering from the incidences of terrorism and insurgency. We have foreign NGOs coming into this country.
“People are not looking at that aspect of all these people coming, there is no regulation.
“We must monitor their activities because through these NGOs, a lot of atrocities are being committed.
““They even have capacity to topple governments like they almost did in Russia before Putin quickly outlawed them.
“You heard what happened in the North-East. A lot of them went in there, collected money and disappeared.
““There was even one that collected over N250 million, spent less than N15 million and disappeared.”
According to him, these people are using the NGOs to launder money yet some are saying nobody should regulate.
“You want to self-regulate, what kind of regulation is that? Í believe Nigerians need to open their eyes.
“All the propaganda and lies being peddled by those opposing the bill are just to safeguard their selfish interests and nefarious activities against this country.
“Like I said, we have procedures in the National Assembly. The bill is for Third Reading.
““Anybody is free to come on the day of the third reading to present his position, that is all that is expected,’’ he said.