Nigeria NGO Regulation Bill Spurs Civil Society Fears, Legal Threats

A contentious bill in Nigeria is stoking fears of a crackdown on NGOs and civil society groups. If passed, the bill would grant the government extensive powers to monitor and control the operations of NGOs, potentially undermining their independence and effectiveness. Civil society organizations such as SERAP and Amnesty International have vowed to take legal action if necessary to defend their rights and the rights of Nigerian citizens.

A contentious bill, once again introduced in Nigeria, is stoking fears of a crackdown on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society groups. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a prominent civil society organization, has called on members of the Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party in the House of Representatives to reject the proposed legislation.

The bill, presented by Sada Soli of the All Progressives Congress (APC), seeks to establish a legal framework for regulating the activities of NGOs and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). SERAP has labeled it “repressive”, expressing deep concerns that President Bola Tinubu’s administration may use the bill to suppress human rights and civil society groups.

SERAP’s alarm is not unfounded. The bill’s provisions would grant the government extensive powers to monitor and control the operations of NGOs. This includes the authority to inspect their books, dictate their activities, and even dissolve them. Such measures, SERAP argues, would severely undermine the independence and effectiveness of civil society organizations.

A Call to Action

In response to this threat, SERAP has issued a stern warning: if the bill becomes law, they will take legal action. Their stance is echoed by Amnesty International, who stated, “This bill is a dangerous attempt to silence critical voices in Nigeria. It must be rejected.


The debate over the bill has sparked a heated discussion in the House of Representatives. The proponent of the bill, Sada Soli, contends that it is necessary to regulate NGO funding and monitor operations to prevent activities that could harm the country’s interests.

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