NGF pledges to support operationalization of human rights funds

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum under the leadership of the interim Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has pledged the support of the Forum for the operationalization of the long-awaited Human Rights Funds

A statement by Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, Deputy Director Public Affairs of the commission said, Gov Tambuwal made this pledge when he played host to the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu who led members of his management on a courtesy visit at the Forum’s Secretariat in Abuja.

Gov Tambuwal said he appreciates the existence of the Commission in a democratic setting, adding that the establishment of the Commission in 1995 brought reprieve from the International Community.

He recalled that there has been a long-standing partnership between him and the Commission and assured that the partnership will be supported by the NGF because the Forum is an institution that supports democratic governance in Nigeria.

“The NGF supports institutions that promote and uphold the rights of citizens as well as develop democratic institutions, by ensuring that they are independent in every sense of the world” Tambuwal said.

“We will work with you in the implementation of the funds as prescribed by section 15 of the Act, and the secretariat is also there to work with you in facilitating the implementation of the law which will engender independence of the Commission” he added.

On the issue of funding, the former lawmaker expressed concern over the lean financial status of the Commission with which the Commission tries to pull all strings in order to deliver on its mandate, adding that the NHRC is an institution that must be supported in all ramifications.

“As a former member of the parliament, I know that you do not enjoy robust funding. The commission is one of the democratic institutions that we must all support; take out the human rights Commission, and you will see what will happen we need to do a lot more in the promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria” Tambuwal said.

Earlier the Executive Secretary of the Commission explained that the visit was to enable NHRC to have a robust discussion on the issue of operationalizing the human rights funds, through the NGF.

He said one of the key provisions of the amended Act was the financial autonomy of the Commission which could be achieved through the establishment of the Human Rights Funds under Section 15 of the NHRC Act (as amended).

The helmsman of the NHRC said that the Commission’s governing council intended to achieve this provision through consultation, sensitization, and advocacy, among others.

According to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, “The human rights funds when realized will be paid into a dedicated account to be used for the purposes prescribed in the Act, and will accommodate and respect requests by donors on how funds donated may be utilized within the law” he said.

It could be recalled that the NHRC Act was amended in 2010 to address inadequate powers and funding challenges, which have hindered Commission from operating effectively since its establishment.


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