Senate moves to legalise lobbying in Nigeria

The Nigerian Senate

The Senate on Wednesday began moves to legalise lobbying in Nigeria as it passed for second reading, a Bill seeking for law to register and regulate lobbying as a profession.

The “Bill for an Act for the Regulation and Registration of Lobbyists in Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith, 2016’’ is sponsored by Dino Melaye, (APC, Kogi West).

While presenting his lead debate, Mr. Melaye argued that the National Assembly needed to recognise and approve professional lobbyists in the legislature.

He added that the Bill would also make provision for intending lobbyist to be duly registered under the Company and Allied and Matters Act.

Mr. Melaye said that the lobbyist after being registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) would also have to register with the Ministry of Justice to practice as lobbyist in the Senate or House of Representatives.

He defined lobbying as an activity in which special interests hire well-connected professional advocates, often lawyers, to argue for specific legislation in parliament.

He said that although the bill looked controversial and perceived as negative, lobbying took place at every level of government.

“The bill will create stricter registration requirement for lobbyists and also require lobbyists to disclose how much they make and spend on lobbying.

“It will ban lobbyist from paying for gifts and food as a means of inducement and it would give oversight agencies more powers to investigate violation of ethics laws,” he said.

The lawmaker added that the Bill will also offer the legislator opportunity to be more informed about a bill before it comes for reading.

According to him, the lobbyists will be readily available to inform the legislators of the idea behind the Bill being pushed.

Many senators, including Ben Bruce, Godswill Akpabio, and Mohammed Ali Ndume, who spoke, supported the Bill.

They argued that when passed, the Bill would help legislators to sponsor individual bills.

The senate referred the Bill to its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, with a directive to report back in three weeks.


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  • kusanagi

    How does this help the common man on the street? It doesn’t. All it does is legalize rich people and big corporations sponsoring bills by lobbying (bribing) senators so they can earn more money.

    • PolyGon2013


  • Muhammad

    What else can one expect of the specie of legislators , as a priority ?
    You can not give what you do not have .
    It will decongest the bar by expanding business environment . Then what they do with processing judicial cases will now cover processing bills .

  • muazu wali

    Now that Buhari has blocked all leakages and keeps his eyes on judiciious use of public funds the senate is creating fronts to legalise stealing. This bill should never see the light of day!

    Wnat is tge use of their aides on whom enourmous amount of money is being spent?

  • wally

    They are now trying to legalise corruption.

  • Inieke Akpan Ekuma

    well most Nigerians Legislators are products of criminality and therefore will always legalize illegality

    • FEMI A USA

      Wait you have not seen anything yet because gabling casino is coming nearest you Las Vegas in Nevada and Atlantic city in New jersey. When you think you had seen it all strange thing happens.

  • Kamalu

    Lobbying is legalised bribery. These guys always thinking on how to subvert the laws.

    • muazu wali

      This will fail like the social media bill which they wanted to prevent free exchange of information among Nigerians.

  • JasV

    I assure you that this bill if it passes will stop dead on President Buhari’s table. When a presidunce like badluck jonathan gets there it may pass through.

  • Malik

    At a time when America is complaining of the effect of lobbying – aka legalised bribing – on its democratic process, Melaye and his cohorts are seeking to bring the ugly phenomenon to our political landscape. Well done, we never expected anything less to be honest.

    • joe

      Thank you . Something needs to be done urgently.

  • blueeyedkitten

    Let’s just swap the legislators with lobbyists then.

    • muazu wali

      An excellent idea. In that case we would surely stop pretending that we have distinguished and honourable people in the national assembly.

  • Sir Demo

    President Bubari should veto this bill outrightly. These bastards in the NASS are really tasking our patience. What is Parliamentary portfolio committee for?

  • Bimbola

    The legalization of bribery at the highest level in Nigeria.

  • tony10

    Lobbying is a legalization of bribery to National Assermbly members. Period. All the sweet words Dino is using to define it are red herrings. It is practised in US but we all know it is a legal bribery.

  • Anthony Lewis


  • joe

    Do we have to import all the worst things they have in America? I mean ,the US have NASA, they have Google Oracle, Facebook, Microsoft etc. Why are we not copying their culture, their culture research and industrry. Why is it that the only thing we can emulate from this great country is the rigged and corrupt system of lobbying which a people like Bernie Sanders are fighting to kill. What can we do to rid our country of people like Dino?

    • Karl Imom

      These are thieves creating more ways to steal Nigeria dry. I bet, this is a temporary democracy; the military will soon be on its way back to power.

  • Truth is bitter

    Dinomayhem and the senathieves, you will not succeed. Contemporary rogues!

  • joelaw

    Anything copied by Nigeria often end up as corrupted version of the original. There are strict laws guiding lobbyist in America, the fear is when it gets here impunity will not let it work. People like Dino, Akpabio and other sponsors will hijack it and turn it to an ATM machine to funnel bribes to legislators.

  • Rominiyis

    People of Kogi State should please find a better person to represent them at the senate. One thing Americans complained about their democracy is the influence of lobbyist which substitute interest of constituents with special interest groups who pay to have laws enacted to protect their interest. Example. Group like Gays can pay greedy senators to sponsor and pass its legalization even if majority of citizens opposed. This Melaye is the worst person to be call a senator. A complete disgrace. He should be recall. Imagine! Of all the problems of Nigeria. This man does not which this country well.

    • FEMI A USA

      Thank you. They have offices on K st NW and Upper Manhattan in NY. that is where he emulating it and big supporters of Mrs. Clinton.