Facilitate passage of Social Work Bill - University Don begs lawmakers

  The Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Jos, Professor Gray Goziem Ejikeme, has appealed to the National Assembly to facilitate the pass...

 

The Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Jos, Professor Gray Goziem Ejikeme, has appealed to the National Assembly to facilitate the passage of the Nigerian Council for Social Work Establishment Bill.

Ejikeme, who is a Professor of Clinical Psychology, made this disclosure on Wednesday while delivering a paper at the 37th Annual National Conference of Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASoW) in Lagos.

Our correspondent recalls that the Nigerian Council for Social Work Establishment Bill 2017 had earlier been passed by the National Assembly.

But in 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari declined to assent the bill due to some grey areas.

The bill which has not been perfected has been sent to the National Assembly for passage.

Ejikeme has, however, appealed to the National Assembly to speed up the passage for President Muhammadu Buhari to append his signature.

While delivering a paper titled “Undergraduate students’ perceptions of social work and social workers” Ejikeme explained that the Social Work Bill needs to be passed into law in Nigeria to regulate and facilitate the practice of social work in the nation.

He added that its passage will confirm that policymakers adequately recognise the important role of social workers in policy development and also reduce wrong perceptions of social work and social workers in terms of what social work can offer the individuals, families, communities and the nation.

Ejikeme said, “The Social Work Bill needs to be passed into law in Nigeria to regulate and facilitate the practice of social work in the nation.

“Its passage will confirm that policymakers adequately recognise the important role of social workers in policy development and implementation and also reduce wrong perceptions of social work and social workers in terms of what social work can offer the individuals, families, communities and the nation.

“Therefore, it is recommended that social workers do not only need to strengthen their roles in Nigeria but also need to increase public awareness of their relevance and seek to be involved in the development of the social policies they are required to implement in the nation”.

NASoW National President, Mashod Mustapha, regretted that the Social Work profession is yet to be codified in Nigerian Law.

He then urged the ninth National Assembly to speedily re-pass the ‘Nigerian Council for Social Work Bill Establishment) Bill 2020 for President Buhari’s assent.

Mustapha said that the bill would stem the activities of quacks and charlatans in the profession.

“It is pertinent to mention that our noble profession – Social Work is yet to be codified in Nigerian Law. Permit us to also appeal to the ninth National Assembly to speedily re-pass the Nigerian Council for Social Work Bill 2020’’ for Mr. President’s assent. The Bill shall stem the activities of quacks and charlatans in the profession and also put Nigeria on the map of countries that are absolutely caring about the welfare of their citizens.

“We the Social workers in Nigeria are resolved, in these trying times, to promote and protect policies and practices that foster social connectedness towards guaranteeing a just and peaceful society”.

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