OrderPaperToday – The Senate on Tuesday, considered and passed a bill seeking more funds for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in order to reposition it for efficiency.

As contained in the report presented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele presented a report to the effect during plenary.

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According to him, the bill primarily seeks to increase the Commission’s funding for optimal performance in sustaining the Grade A status rating, which the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) gave Nigeria in recognition of its compliance with human rights principles.

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The piece of legislation titled ‘National Human Rights Commission Act 2004 (Repeal and Enactment) Bill 2022,’ is also seeking the reposition and streamline of the institutional framework for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Senator Opeyemi explained that the signing of this bill into law will further guarantee the grade A status granted to Nigeria by the UNGA in recognition of its compliance with the provisions of the Paris Principle.

“The bill also makes specific provisions to provide for the establishment of the National Human Rights Fund in the National Budget as well as provide effective means of sustaining contributions to the Fund.

A virile and enduring democratic value system cannot be fully entrenched in Nigeria if we do not have an independent and incorruptible human rights institution with adequate funding mechanisms free from unnecessary interference from the Government,” Opeyemi said.

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He further explained that the Human Rights Fund which the bill seeks to establish is in line with global practices as it relates to human rights institutions worldwide.

“One of the salient provisions of the bill, is the aspect that has to do with investigations and conduct of public hearings on human rights issues and abuses.

The proposed legislation would engender exchange of good practice and consensus-building, which are the essential components of national reconciliation,” he added.

The Senate therefore passed the bill for third reading after a clause-by-clause consideration by the Committee of the Whole.

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