Nigerian lawmaker’s plan to regulate public management and social work practice

There is so much happening at the same time in Nigerian politics than a regular Nigerian can keep up with. Nonetheless, as Nigerians, we must keep up with everything going on in our country, because the entire dynamics of our nation (including its politics) rests on the decisions we make today.

Earlier in the week, while must of us were busy with our respective hustles and committments, President Buhari had refused to assent to several bills that had been passed to him by the lawmakers at Nigeria’s National Assembly (NASS).

I had missed this news too. But just this morning as I walked into a lounge close to where I live in Lagos, I found a recent edition of a local newspaper and decided to flip through its pages before going ahead to do some work on my tablet.

NASS, led by Bukola Saraki, had put forward the said bills to the president after they all passed first and second reading as expected on its floor.

The bills include the Police Procurement Fund Bill (2017), Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria Bill (2017) and Nigerian Council for Social Work Bill (2017).

The Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria Bill

In a nutshell, this bill was intended to ban people who are not members of the named institution from engaging in public management practice in the country.

The Nigerian Council for Social Work Bill

In the same manner, this bill was meant to ban people who are not members of the named institution from participating in social work practice in Nigeria.

President Buhari’s refusal to assent

The president had refused to assent to these bills, however.

Concerning the Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria Bill, the president said that the bill did not clarify the scope of the profession of public management that people who are not members of the institution are to be banned from practising.

And for the Nigerian Council for Social Work Bill, he said the bill also failed to clarify the scope of the profession of social work for which it seeks to prohibit people who are not members of the institution from practising.

In conclusion

I believe it is a good thing that the president has refused to assent to these bills based on the poor provisions that they have presented.

What happens to freedom of association, if these bills are assented to by the president?

Any law that prohibits people who are not members of an institution from freely practising any profession in the country amounts to an outright violation of the rights of the people to freedom of association.

Does it also mean that businesses will be banned from undertaking social work because they are not members of the Nigerian Council for Social Work?

These bills will only end up creating forced association which will limit participation and decision making in the practice of public management and social work.

Although it can be a good idea to have a law that protects people who are practising any of these professions and their respective beneficiaries. But not one that will limit and shortchange them.

If NASS has missed this, they should be reminded.

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Brutalising of innocent citizens by armed forces must end

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – The Nigerian Armed Forces are meant to be protecting the interests of Nigerian citizens, they are not to take the law into their own hands by punishing offenders for any slight misconduct or harass innocent citizens without fear of reprimand.

Recently, there have been several cases where soldiers misuse their power. Another case has been reported again.

On Tuesday, December 26, 2017, two soldiers were caught on camera in Ajah market, Lagos, beating a man who hit one of them with his tricycle, as an anonymous seller at the market disclosed.

Report said the traders in the market were afraid to disclose what really led to the incident out of their fear for the soldiers.

The man was stripped naked and one of the soldiers threatened to cut off his manhood.

On any occasion, is it normal that those that are meant to protect the interests of the citizens become the ones brutalising the citizens at any slight opportunity?

If the man hit the soldier because his tricycle brake was faulty or he drove recklessly, he should be handed over to the right authority for not putting his tricycle in good condition or driving recklessly.

It should not get to the extent of stripping him naked and threatening to cut off his manhood.

It is clear that there is need to provide proper orientation for members of the armed forces, especially the low ranking non-commissioned ones who are always responsible for harassing innocent citizens.

Write to ed@thenewsghost.com.ng about any case of armed forces brutality.

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