Reps push Bill For Law To Regulate Orphanages

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed through the second reading, a bill seeking to establish a regulatory agency for the administration of orphanages and other related institutions in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The proposed legislation with the title; “Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Capital Territory Orphanage (registration and regulatory) Agency to regulate the establishment and administration of orphanages and other related institutions in the Federal Capital Territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” is sponsored by Samuel Babatunde Adejare (APC, Lagos).

The bill proposed that any person or organisation that contravenes the provisions therein commits an offence, shall be liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding N5 million or both.

The proposed law also stipulates that where an offence under it is committed by an organisation, the organisation shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N10 million.

The bill states that the proposed FCT agency shall formulate policies, principles and guidelines for the registration and regulation of orphanages and other related institutions, consistent with national development priorities.

The agency will also have the responsibility to “promote partnerships, synergy, integration and cooperation among national and international organisations, focusing on establishment and monitoring of orphanages and related institutions; set mechanisms to ensure efficient administration of orphanages and related institutions in the FCT; and perform such other functions as may be determined by the board to give effect to the provisions of this bill.”

The board, according to the bill, will be made up of the minister in charge of matters relating to women and children, who will be the chairman. Others are a representative not below the rank of a director from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Nigerian Immigration Service, Ministries of Women (and Children) Affairs, Budget and National Planning, Finance, among others.

Also on the board will be two representatives of the organisation for orphanages and related institutions, non-governmental organisations involved in orphans, neglected children, orphanages and related institutions; and the secretary who will be the director-general of the agency.

Leading the debate on its general principles, the sponsor, Adejare said it was germane, timely and would address issues of illegalities that arise from, orphanages that are not registered.


Culled from BusinessDay

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