The Director of Social Welfare in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Temitope Bamgboye has assured Social Workers across the country that the focus of the ministry is to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari assents to the Nigeria Council of Social Work bill before the end of his administration.
Bamgboye made this declaration when she received members of the national executive of the Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASoW), the umbrella body of all Social Workers in Nigeria led by its President, Alhaji Mashood Mustapha paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Our correspondent gathered that the Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment, etc.) Bill 2017, the bill which seeks to regulate the practice of Social Work in Nigeria has since been passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate.
The bill which was sent to Buhari by the National Assembly for his assent was thereafter on Tuesday February 6th 2018, rejected by Mr. President due to some technical issues which has now been perfected by the Ministry and other stakeholders.
It was gathered that Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment, etc.) Bill 2017, Police Procurement Fund (Establishment) Bill and Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria Bill were the three bills rejected by Buhari who sent a letter to the House of Representatives conveying his decision to withhold assent to the three Bills passed by the National Assembly.
However, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association, Musliudeen Adebayo in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital said that the association embarked on the advocacy visit to seek the support of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to ensure quick assent of the bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Bamgboye who was flanked by Deputy Director of Social Welfare, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and other staff in the ministry while welcoming the executive to her office said, “I congratulate you the leaders of the association on your emergence,even though I witnessed your election but it is good that you are here.
“It is when the bill is assented to by the President that we can practice as social workers. Our aim is to ensure that the Nigeria Council of Social Work bill is assented to by Mr President before the expiration of this administration.
“We have been to the National Assembly and we have been in touch with them to ensure that the bill can come up in the next plenary when they resumed.
“It is our wish that the bill is assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari before this administration comes to an end. We are committed to ensure that it is assented to by Mr president before the end of this administration. So you can be rest assured that the bill will be assented to by the President before the end of this administration.
“NASoW is an association that is representing all social workers in Nigeria, you are the leaders of our association. We shall work with you as a body and not as individuals.
Mustapha earlier in his address lamented that Social Work is the only profession that is yet to have its regulatory bill.
He then used the medium to thank the stakeholders among whom are the ministry and UNICEF for their efforts towards the actualisation of the bill and he urged the ministry to do what it can to ensure that the bill is passed before the end of this present adminstration.
He said, “We have come here to seek your support to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari assents to our bill. We are the only core professional that is yet to have its regulatory bill. We have been on it for many years.
“We are appealing to you to use your power. We must appreciate you for receiving us today. We need to thank you for your efforts towards the actualisation of our bill”.