Nigeria’s outgoing parliament has finally passed a bill that aims to prevent the sexual harassment of university students. Once it is signed into law by newly elected President Bola Tinubu it will be illegal for lecturers to make any sexual advances towards students.
Those who do have sexual relationships with their students could face up to 14 years in jail. The anti-sexual harassment bill was originally introduced in 2016 but did not pass both houses of parliament. It was reintroduced by the senate in 2019 following a BBC investigation that uncovered alleged sexual misconduct by lecturers in Nigeria and Ghana.
BBC Africa Eye’s Sex for Grades documentary prompted outrage, but the bill was further delayed as the House of Representatives wanted some changes – and two parliamentary committees had to come to an agreement on the final wording.
Outgoing lawmakers are trying to wrap up business before newly elected MPs are sworn in next week. A student told BBC News she was happy about the development and hoped President Tinubu would pass it into law soon.
Earlier in the month, a group of students had issued a statement to express their displeasure that the National Assembly had failed to pass it in time for his predecessor – President Muhammadu Buhari – to assent to it before leaving office.