The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the activities and sources of funding of non-governmental organisations, for possible culpability in the unending spate of insurgency in the north-east.
This was part of the resolutions reached when a matter of urgent public importance on increased funding for the nation’s security agencies was raised in at the green chamber on Tuesday.
A motion to regulate and investigate the activities of non-governmental organisations was raised in the by Buba Jubrin of the 8th House of Representatives but suffered a setback.
The House moved to probe the activities and funding of the NGOs. It was stated that the bill will now have to be debated afresh.
The NGO Regulatory Commission Bill seeks to supervise, monitor and coordinate the activities of civil society organisations (CSOs) and community-based organisations (CBOs).
This has been rejected by many Nigerians including Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and one of the lead campaigners against the bill, who described it as “totalitarian”.
Those against the bill have argued it will make the operations of the NGOs rigid, and that necessary laws have been put in place to regulate the NGOs already.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamilia, said security chiefs had during a meeting with the house leadership on Monday, complained of the activities of some of the NGOs identified as “bad eggs”, and as a result the NGOs will be invited for a discussion.
The motion asking relevant committees to “investigate all NGOs in Nigeria to investigate their total number and source of funding” was approved .
This development comes a few days after the Nigerian army shut down the activities of Action Against Hunger, one of the NGOs providing help and shelter for victims of insurgence in north-east part of the country. The organisation was accused of providing food for Boko Haram insurgents by the army.
Yakubu Dogara, former speaker, stated that the bill seeks to infuse transparency, accountability and prevent the degeneracy of national security from both within and without.
The House also resolved to partner with the parliaments of other countries with a view to resolving the restrictions on arms purchase by the military.