“There Is No Better Time For Any Law To Come Into Force”— Senator Utazi On Controversial Health Bill
“I want to say that there is no going back on this bill. We are already set on a voyage and all we want is informed input into this bill.
“There is no better time for any law to come into force. Anytime within the pendency of the four-year tenure of the National Assembly is the time to make any law and that is just what we are doing”.
The House bill, titled “Control of Infectious Disease Bill 2020” was sponsored by the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and two other members, at the resumed sitting of the House in May. Same bill passed it’s first reading early May.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North), is the Senate’s version of the House of Representatives’ amendment of the Quarantine Act, which was subjected to fierce criticism. According to Utazi, the Bill is set to fill up “gaps in Nigeria’s health sector”.
The bill has generated heavy controversy since its introduction regarding the manner of its import and content.
According to Utazi, doctors work in deplorable conditions— including footing medical bills on behalf of patients who are not financially buoyant.
“It is very necessary and timely for this bill to come into place because there are gaps that are existing that needs to be filled. We need to have a legal framework to guide our activities”, he reiterated.
“We cannot continue depending on executive orders one after the other. It is totally wrong. This is a democracy. We are not in a military regime where the executive will make laws for the people.
We have the National Assembly that is in place and sitting and that is what we want to do. We want to take up our duties and do that job,” he said.
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