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Concerned about the restrictive nature of the NGO Regulatory Agency Bill, 123 nonprofit leaders on Tuesday 12 September struck back against the proposed Bill arguing that it is not ‘’fit for purpose’’ and should be ‘’killed”.
Through a declaration issued at the end of a one-day national dialogue to discuss the Bill and its implications for civic space in Nigeria, participants expressed their concern noting that the Bill if passed will make Nigeria backslide on its international commitments to standards, norms and principles on freedom of association and assembly.
“We are extremely concerned that there is a NGO Regulatory Agency Bill (HB58) seeking to regulate the nonprofit sector. Nigeria as a signatory to many international standards, norms and principles around freedom of association and assembly cannot be seen to be backsliding on its commitments to the rights of citizens and citizen organisations”.
Convened by the Nigeria Network of NGOs and InnerCity Mission for Children, the national dialogue called on the National Assembly to stop further consideration of the Bill. “We fully support the call by various civil society actors to stop the passage of Bill 585. We condemn the Bill in its entirety and call on the House Committee on Civil Society to uphold decisions of civil society organisations at the July 25, 2017 roundtable to ‘’kill the bill’’. We stand in solidarity with the 54 civil society actors and experts issuing a statement on Bill HB585 as reported by Premium Times on its website on September 7, 2017
A copy of the Declaration issued at the end of the event can be downloaded here.