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Senates Moves to Legalise Lobbying in National Assembly

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National Assembly Complex

National Assembly Complex

The Senate on Wednesday began moves to legalise lobbying in Nigeria as it passed for second reading, a Bill seeking for law to register and regulate lobbying as a profession.

The “Bill for an Act for the Regulation and Registration of Lobbyists in Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith, 2016’’  is sponsored by Sen. Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West).

While presenting his lead debate, Melaye argued that the National Assembly needed to recognise and approve professional lobbyists in the legislature.

He added that the Bill would also make provision for intending lobbyist to be duly registered under the Company and Allied and Matters Act.

Melaye said that the lobbyist after being registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) would also have to register with the Ministry of Justice to practice as lobbyist in the Senate or House of Representatives.

He defined lobbying as an activity in which special interests hire well-connected professional advocates, often lawyers, to argue for specific legislation in parliament.

He said that although the bill looked controversial and perceived as negative, lobbying took place at every level of government.

“The bill will create stricter registration requirement for lobbyists and also require lobbyists to disclose how much they make and spend on lobbying.

It will ban lobbyist from paying for gifts and food as a means of inducement and it would give oversight agencies more powers to investigate violation of ethics laws,” he said.

The lawmaker added that the Bill will also offer the legislator opportunity to be more informed about a bill before it comes for reading.

According to him, the lobbyists will be readily available to inform the legislators of the idea behind the Bill being pushed.

Many senators, including Ben Murray-Bruce, Godswill Akpabio, and Mohammed Ali Ndume, who spoke, supported the Bill.

They argued that when passed, the Bill would help legislators to sponsor individual bills.

The senate referred the Bill to its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, with a directive to report back in three weeks.

8 Comments

  1. Cindy

    October 13, 2016 at 7:51 am

    What BS is this?

  2. Ekene

    October 13, 2016 at 8:38 am

    They will never copy good culture, it’s the one they will abuse that they will copy. Lobbying is accepted in American Parliament but it’s not made into law

  3. James

    October 13, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Legalizing corruption.

  4. yemite

    October 13, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Rubbish!! Can’t they arrange 36 religion scholar leader from the 36 state we have in Nigeria to serve as supreme final internal and external decision making? This will be also act as special adviser to both legislative, judicial and executive at which they will have power to remove any 3 of the Arms that go against constitutional guide lay down by them.

  5. Luu

    October 13, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Two words for them
    NDI ARA
    MAD PEOPLE

    We need to fight for unicameral NASS. We can be paying bunch of lunatics for doing nothing
    #Saynotolobbybill
    #UnicameralNASS

  6. Naijatalk

    October 13, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Legalize lobbying? What jokers do we have for leaders. Lobbyists influence lawmakers and bills passed into laws, lobbyists in a Nigerian congress is just disaster. Who will actually fight for the common man.

  7. Iris

    October 13, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I cannot…I can’t even think of what to say to this garbage. Meanwhile ANY married woman is still considered an adult according to their law.

  8. fred

    October 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I support them wholeheartedly. Elrufai and co used the American system to support the arrest of judges in Nigeria saying the FBI does same in America. Good. So lets not be selective in what we copy from America. Lets copy all. Aferall Elrufai and co forgot to quote America when the man that named his dog Buhari was arrested. Such an arrest will never happen if you name your dog Obama in America. If lobbying is allowed in American conger, it should be allowed here. Lets copy all please.

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