Reps move to increase fine for abusers of national flag to N100,000

Nigeria flag

A bill for an Act to amend the Flag and Coat of Arms Act to regulate display and use of national flags has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill which was sponsored by Rep. Sada Soli (APC-Katsina ) sought to increase the fine for offenders from N100 to N100,000.

Leading the debate, Soli said that both individual, public and corporate organisations violate the use of national flag.

The lawmaker said there was need to curb such excessive abuses of the flag, hence the need for the amendment bill.

He said the bill sought to increase the number of organisations that could arrest any person for an abuse or mis-use of the flag.

The legislator said section 8 of the bill sought to empower the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and para military organisations to seize or remove any flag seen to be abused as against only the Police.

The Flag and Coat of Arms Act states that;

“Subject to provisions of this section, if in any public place in Nigeria, the national flag is to be exhibited or flown for any purpose, it shall not be exhibited with or be flown on the same staff or cross bar with the flag of any state, or the flag of any Commonwealth or foreign country.

“The National Flag or any other flag when exhibited or flown, shall not appear in a defaced or tattered condition; but the national flag shall not be deemed to be defaced by reason only of the fact that it is embodied in or forms part of a state flag.

“Where the flag of any state is flown in the state to which it relates or elsewhere than in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, it shall not be necessary for the national flag to be flown at the same time.

“But if the flag of a state and the national flag are to be flown at the same time in a public place in that state or elsewhere in Nigeria, the national flag of at least the same size as the state flag shall fly above that of any state flag.”

Soli said that section 10 of the bill sought to increase the fines of the offence from N100 to N100,000 for any one liable.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu referred the bill to the relevant committee for further legislative action. (NAN)