By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Institute of Social Work of Nigeria (ISWN) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to speedily give his assent to the Social Work Practitioners Bill that was transmitted to him by the National Assembly last month.
The Institute, in a statement signed by its President, Dr. Iyeme Efem, said the bill which has been in the National Assembly since 2012 was passed by both chambers of the eight federal legislature in its twilight.
It noted that the President had 30 days from the day he received the communication from the National Assembly to assent to the bill.
Efem commended the National Assembly and urged the President Buhari to immediately sign the bill into law.
He said, “The council, management and members of the public appreciate our National Assembly representatives for their time and effort in carrying out due legislative process, redefining and passing the bill for establishment of Chartered Institute of Social Work Practitioners of Nigeria.
“We therefore call on our President and Commander-In-Chief of Armed Forces Mohammadu Buhari who is well abreast of the dire need for the professionalisation of the social works sector to sign the Bill into Law.
“The Institute is already prepared and has laid the groundwork to discharge the functions as approved by the National Assembly once the President assents to the Bill.
“The great advantage of the Institute as entrenched in the bill is that it will be self-financing and so will not burden the Federal Government for funds.
“The signing of the Bill will therefore give legal vim to the institute to support the various social sectors of Nigeria without additional financial burden to the Government coffers,” he noted.
Commenting on the importance of the Bill, Efem noted that social work activities have over the years been implemented in ad hoc manner.
He said the bill would bring social work profession in Nigeria at par with International standard by ensuring certification and licensure of the practitioners.
Efem added that with the high rate of youth migration from rural to urban centres, signing the bill into law would reverse the current trend.
According to him, the youth will take advantage of the services as welfare systems would have improved due to the presence of these professionals.