NGO Collects N250m, Spends N15m And Disappears – Jibril
More revelations are coming as to why lawmakers want Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) regulated.
They have become means of embezzlement and it must stop, a top official of the House of representatives said.
One NGO allegedly collected 250 million Naira meant for provision of aids for displaced persons, spent 15 million and disappeared.
This was made known by the Deputy Majority Leader of House of Representatives, Buba Jibril, said on Monday.
A bill on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Regulation and Coordination has passed its second reading and the lawmakers appear ready to follow through until it scales 3 reading.
Some NGOs have raised concerns about it.
But the House of Representatives has other reasons for insisting that they must be regulated.
While some of the NGOs insist they are regulated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), others say they are self-regulated, but the lawmakers are not ready for such positions.
Jibril insisted that the Bill would stop fraudulent activities of the NGOs and serve the best interest of Nigeria when passed into law.
These NGOs are supposed to be developmental partners of the government, but the lawmaker says their activities have shifted away from this role.
“NGOs are supposed to be partners in progress with the government, to intervene in areas with developmental deficiencies and fill the gaps.
“But many of them remain unregulated, indulging in fraudulent activities while some claim to be regulated by the 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 told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lokoja.
The Bill will be presently for third reading any time soon and if passed, it would give birth to a legal framework for the establishment of a commission to regulate the NGOs.
It appears the target NGOs are foreign based, but they may also have affiliates in Nigeria.
Highlighting the benefits, Jibril said the Bill would enhance security by checking espionage activities of expatriates who come into Nigeria 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 1 that collected over 250 million Naira, spent less than 15 million Naira and disappeared," the Deputy Majority Leader insisted.
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? I 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.