The House of Representatives on Thursday approved the second reading of a bill seeking to impose N100,000 fine on anyone who abuses the country’s national flag.
During plenary, sponsor of the bill, Rep. Sam Onuigbo (Abia-PDP), in the debate, said the bill sought to amend Flag and Coat of Arms Act 2004 and would make further provisions to preserve the country’s national heritage.
Before making this known, he lamented the high rate of abuse which the national flag is being subjected to, and urged the House to do everything possible to preserve it.
He said there had been surreptitious effort to change the national flag as many public and private offices constructed the Coat-of Arms on it.
Onuigbo said that the offices even included official photographs of governors, ministers, and even national assembly members in the designs.
His words: “It is important to declare that any addition, subtraction or super imposition outside the version designed by Pa Michael Akinkunmi in 1959 is not the Nigerian flag.”
“Section 10 of the Principal Act is being amended by removing the fine of N100 and replacing same with N100,000,” he said, adding that ‘‘also any person who flies or exhibits the national flag which is deconstructed, thereby creating an impression of using the national flag, where actually the flag is deconstructed shall be guilty of an offence against the Act.
‘‘Similarly, any person who uses the national coat and inserts same into the national flag thereby creating an illegal form of our national flag shall be guilty of an offence against this act.’’