Proliferation of Non-Government Organizations, NGOs
Non-governmental organizations are entities which are independent of government’s involvement.
They are usually non-profit organization, many of which are active in humanitarian or the social services.
In 1987, the idea of a formalized collaboration between the Federal Government of Nigeria and non-government organizations, NGOs, was first muted during the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida.
It was however in 1992, that advisory group on the development of NGO’s in Nigeria was established.
The Nigeria network of NGOs was thereafter established.
From sixty numerical strength in 1992, NGOs have grown to over two thousand.
It is worthy of note that out of the staggering figure, only few of them are known to be active and performing, as majority of the organizations only appear and disappear at their own whims and caprices.
The important role of NGOs in socio-economic re-engineering, political re-invigoration, civil and human rights advocacy, ethno religious direction and promotion of sectional interest cannot be disputed.
The Nigeria’s nascent democracy needs to draw strength and support from non-governmental organizations and civil societies for policy-making process to be democratized through consultation, political debate and legislation.
This is evident in the proceedings of the Federal and State lawmakers as all bills and important policies are being made to go through public hearing before it could be passed.
Most NGOs typically pick up government’s deficits in services and social protection for citizens through the philanthropy of donors and socially conscious organizations.
In recent times, findings have shown that NGOs are being abused and used to advance selfish interest.
Although NGOs lay claim to being non-profit making organizations, the claim is however doubtful.
Most NGOs are sponsored and supported with funds from international organizations annually to the tunes of millions of dollars.
Perhaps, this is a source of attraction for the alarming growth and proliferation of NGOs drawing quacks to their rank and file.
Worried by this ugly trend, the House of Representatives under the leadership of its Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila said it would investigate fraudulent application and receipt of foreign grants from international organizations by civil society groups in the country.
The motive for the investigation is to ensure that the operation and activities of the NGOs is transparent and in line with international best practice.
Also in a bid to regulate the activities of NGOs and other organizations, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the companies and allied matters act, CAMA, 2020 into law
By virtue of section eight hundred and thirty-nine of CAMA 2020, the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, must publish the names of officially registered and recognised NGOs and civil society groups in the country, as unregulated NGOs poses serious threat to the image of the country.
NGOs operating illegally in the country must be prohibited while their members prosecuted
This will serve as a deterrent to others, who want to dubiously benefit from foreign grants by international donor agencies.