Sexual harassment offences bill scales second reading in Nigerian Senate
A Bill which aims to commit randy lecturers at tertiary institutions to a minimum of five years in jail, scaled second reading Tuesday in the Senate.
The Bill sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta-Central) and 57 others received overwhelming support especially from female senators who saw it as an opportunity to voice out the frustration and abuse of female students by their teachers.
In his lead debate on the bill, Omo-Agege regretted that unlike universities abroad, tertiary institutions in the country were permissive of sexual harassment on campuses.
He urged the Senate to accelerate the passage of the Bill into law in order to tackle the menace.
Senators Theodore Orji, Biodun Olujimi, Stella Oduah, Binta Garba Masi and other senators who contributed to the Bill, sought stiffer penalties for errant teachers.
They were also of the opinion that the scope of the bill should be widened to cover all areas of abuse of female students.
The lawmakers said that the bill was timely to curb the menace of sexual harassment in the institutions of higher learning.
But Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi) cautioned that targeting a section of the society to make a law would be counter-productive.
Abdullahi said that people were only talking about sexual harassment in tertiary institutions because the institutions are open society.