OrderPaperToday – A bill seeking to remove the National Orientations Agency (NOA) from the Ministry of Information has passed through second reading at the House of Representatives.

If signed into law, this bill will grant the agency autonomy from the Ministry of Information, allowing it to receive its funding directly from the Federal Government.

Leading the debate on the bill, its sponsor, Sergious Ogun (PDP, Edo) said the NOA is set up to explain the policies of the government to the people.

He also noted that the existence of the agency should not be subjected to the whims of the Minister of Information.

He said “we need the NOA to be independently funded, the way it is currently structured makes it difficult to function.

“If the NOA was functioning properly, issues of Boko Haram and Herdsmen clashes would not have escalated. The NOA has a dual function of talking and listening; their listening function allows them to feed the government the responses of the people.

“NOA relies on local government chairmen for stipends, if people are carried along, we are going to have a better society.”

Contributing to the debate, Johnson Agbonyinma (APC, Edo) stated that the bill could not have come at a better time, considering the current level of insecurity in the country.

According to Egbonyima, “this bill is needed, especially with what Nigerians are experiencing today; the killing of innocent Nigerians. We need the NOA to be functioning properly.”

Also supporting the bill, Muhammed Nuhu Sheriff (APC, Niger) said: “This agency is one of the most important agencies of government. To educate the masses; however, they have not being doing the job properly simply because of lack of funds. The current arrangement should change. NOA should be able to get their funds directly from government after proper appropriations.”

When the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, put the bill to a vote, the “ayes” had it.


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