Gbajabiamila defies public outcry, orders call for memorandum on controversial health bill

May 20, 2020
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The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Ninth National Assembly, Right Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, may have defied reason and public outcry against the infectious disease control bill undergoing legislation in the Lower Chamber. Accordingly, the House has placed notice of public hearing, calling for submission of memorandum from selected stakeholders in the country.

The House Committee on Health Care Services

In a notice of public hearing memorandum from the House of Representatives, calling for memoranda, indicated that following the resolution of the House of Representatives mandating the Joint House Committees on Health Care Services, Health Institutions and Justice to conduct a Two Day Public Hearing on A Bill For An Act To Repeal The Quarantine Act And Enact The Control Of Infectious Diseases Act, Make Provisions Relating To Quarantine And Make Regulations For Preventing The Introduction Into And Spread In Nigeria Of Dangerous Infectious Diseases, And For Other Related Matters (HB.836), the committee, therefore, invite memoranda from the public and, particularly, from the under listed stakeholders:

1) Nigerian Governors Forum.

2) Federal Ministry of Health.

3) Federal Ministry of Justice.

4) Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

5) Chief Justice of Nigeria.

6) World Health Organization (WHO).

7) Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON)

8) Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

9) National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA).

10) National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

11) National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

12) National Human Right Commission.

13) Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba.

14) Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).

15) Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.

16) National Association of Resident Doctor (NARD)

17) Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

18) Board of Community Health Practitioners Council.

19) Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria.

20) Pharmacy Council of Nigeria.

21) Optometry Council of Nigeria.

22) Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).

23) Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

24) Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS).

25) Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professional (NUAHP).

26) Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

27) Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI).

28) Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ).

29) College of Pathologist of Nigeria.

30) Traditional Rulers of the 6 Geo-Political Zones

31) Traditional Medicine Association of Nigeria

32) National Association of Epidemiologists.

33) Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Service.

34) National Association of Microbiologists.

35) National Association of Chemists.

36) National Association of Nigeria Nurses & Midwives (NANNAM)

37) Public Health Practitioners.

38) Association of Airline Operators.

39) Port Health Workers.

40) Shippers Council of Nigeria.

41) Vessel Owners Association.

42) Magistrate Association of Nigeria.

43) Lab. Scientist Association of Nigeria.

44) African Union through African Centre for Disease Control.

45) Dangote Foundation.

46) UNICEF.

47) Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria.

48) National Council of Women Society (NCWC).

49) Representative of Coalition of Civil Societies (CSOs)

50) General Public.

Chairman, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, in a statement on Tuesday indicated that the Committee would also appreciate inputs from the intellectual class such as the Universities and Research institutions.

“We humbly request that you send One (1) soft copy in a flash drive and Fifty (50) hard copies of each typed memorandum which should be addressed to The Deputy Director/Clerk Committee on Health Care Services in H102, after Committee Room 17, 1st Floor, white House, House of Representatives Wings, National Assembly Complex, Abuja, not later than Monday 1st June 2020.” The Committee Chairman stated that receipt of Memoranda will end on Friday 5th June 2020, while the Public Hearing will commence as follows:

Date: Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th June 2020.

Time: 10am Daily.

Venue: Conference Room 028, Zero Floor, New Building, of Representative Wing, National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

The committee chairman noted that the Public Hearing will be conducted in line with COVID-19 Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines with strict adherence to wearing of face mask and observance of social distancing.

“The General Public is also advised to follow the Public Hearing on the following social Media Accounts: YouTube live, Facebook and Twitter,” the chairman said.

There have been strong opposition to the bill, essentially on the inadequacies of breaching human rights, privacy right, property right, and craving dictatorship of the NCDC DG.

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