Advisory Council on Religious Affairs Act
An Act to provide for the establishment of an Advisory Council on Religious Affairs charged with responsibility for fostering religious harmony in the Country.
[Commencement.] [2nd October, 1987]
1. Establishment of the Advisory Council on Religious Affairs
There is hereby established a body to be known as the Advisory Council on Religious Affairs (in this Act referred to as “the Council”) which shall perform such functions as may be assigned to it under this Act.
2. Membership of the Council
(1) The Council shall consist of 12 members to represent the Christian groups and 12 members to represent the Muslim groups to be appointed by the President.
(2) The President, may vary, increase or reduce the membership of the Council by an order published in the Federal Gazette.
(3) The Council shall appoint from amongst its members on rotational basis a member to be the Chairman of the Council and another member as the Secretary, provided that both the Chairman and Secretary shall not be members of the same group.
3. Functions of the Council
The Council shall be charged with the following functions, that is-
(a) promoting and inculcating moral values in the Nigerian society;
(b) serving as an avenue for articulating cordial relationship amongst the various religious groups and between them and the Federal Government;
(c) assisting the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria and the populace by stressing and accentuating the position and roles religion should play in national development;
(d) serving as a forum for harnessing religion to serve national goals towards economic recovery, consolidation of national unity and the promotion of political cohesion and stability;
(e) considering and making recommendations to the Federal Government on matters that may assist in fostering the spiritual development of Nigeria in a manner acceptable to all religious groups;
(f) making recommendations on such other matters as the Federal Government may from time to time refer to the Council.
4. Secretariat of the Council
(1) There shall be established a Secretariat for the Council to be situated at the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, Abuja.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Council shall operate as an autonomous body and the Ministry of Internal Affairs shall provide it with all reasonable facilities for its Secretarial.
5. Proceedings of the Council
(1) The Council shall have power to regulate its proceedings and may make standing orders for that purpose and subject to any standing orders and to subsection (2) or this section, may function notwithstanding-
(a) any vacancy in its membership; or
(b) any defect in the appointment of a member; or
(c) that a person not entitled to do so took part in its proceedings.
(2) The quorum at any meeting of the Council shall be eight, consisting of four members from each group.
(3) Where standing orders made under subsection (1) of this section provide for the Council to co-opt persons who are not members of the Council, such persons may attend the meetings of the Council and advise the Council on any matter referred to them by the Council but shall not count towards a quorum and shall not be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Council.
(1) Subject to its standing orders, the Council may appoint such number of standing and ad hoc committees as it thinks fit to consider and report on any matter with which the Council is concerned.
(2) Every committee set up under this section shall be presided over by a member of the Council and shall be made up of such number of members as the Council may determine in each case.
(3) The quorum of any committee set up by the Council shall be as may be determined by the Council.
7. Financial provisions and audit
(1) The Council shall establish and maintain a fund from which shall be defrayed all expenditure incurred by the Council.
(2) There shall be paid or credited to the fund established in pursuance of this section-
(a) such moneys as may be granted in each year to the Council by the Federal Government;
(b) all other moneys accruing to the Council from any other source.
(3) The Secretary to the Council shall prepare not later than 31 August in each year an estimate of the expenditure and income of the Council during the next succeeding year and when so prepared shall be submitted to the Vice-President for approval.
(4) The Secretary to the Council shall be the accounting officer for the purpose of controlling and disbursing amounts from the fund established by this section.
(5) The accounts of the Council shall be audited by an auditor appointed by the Council from the list and in accordance with the guidelines supplied by the Auditor-General for the Federation.
8. Annual report
The Council shall prepare and submit to the President in December of each year a report of the activities of the Council during the year.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
“Council” means the Advisory Council on Religious Affairs established by section of this Act;
“members” includes the chairman and the secretary of the Council;
“Minister” means the Minister charged with responsibility for Internal Affairs; and
“Ministry” shall be construed accordingly.
10. Short title
This Act may be cited as the Advisory Council on Religious Affairs Act.
Credit: Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC)