Governors, labour, doctors reject infectious disease bill

Governors, labour, doctors reject infectious disease bill

- The Infectious Disease Bill proposed by the House of Rep has been overwhelmingly rejected

- Stakeholders such as the state governors, doctors and organised labour all rejected the bill during the public hearing

- The DG of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said he will make his position on the bill known on Thursday

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The controversial Control of Infectious Disease Bill was met with an overwhelming rejection during a public hearing on Wednesday, June 10.

The Nation reports that governors, doctors and Labour rejected the bill which seeks to repeal the Quarantine Act of 1926, the Nigeria National Health Act (2004), and other relevant acts.

Legit.ng gathers that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) opposed the bill.

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Governors, labour, doctors reject infectious disease bill

Governors, labour, doctors reject infectious disease bill. Photo credit: House of Reps
Source: Twitter

The chairman of the NGF, Governor Kayode Fayemi said the bill gives governors scant operational space to manoeuvre.

“This bill takes away the only authority the governors have to take specific steps and measures in their domains during an outbreak of infectious disease,” he said.

He also noted that too many powers were given to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)'s director-general.

“The NGF is concerned that the governors were not consulted in putting the Bill together, neither was any role created for them, in utter disregard for their constitutional functions,” Governor Fayemi added.

Also, the NMA disagreed with many aspects of the bill, such as compulsory invasive medical examination.

The association, represented by its president, Prof. Innocent Ujah, faulted the provision for compulsory treatment or vaccination, saying it is against the ethics of the medical profession.

Ayuba Wabba who represented the Organised Labour also highlighted 17 grey areas in the bill which he described as undemocratic.

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The DG of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu said he would speak on the bill n Thursday, June 11.

In his reaction, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the house leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, he said a lot of the engagement on the proposed legislation “has been ill-informed and outrightly malicious”.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Dino Melaye, a former lawmaker representing Kogi West, warned the general public against the "obnoxious, criminal and anti-people" infectious diseases prohibition and control bill.

In a lengthy post on his Facebook page, the former lawmaker said that should the bill scale through the tricky hurdle of the public hearing, "people's properties would be confiscated as isolation centres with no provision for compensation."

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The former senator likened the bill to waste of taxpayer money, wondering why the lower chamber could not build and amend the 2004 Infectious Disease Act reviewed by the House from the 1926 Quarantine Act.

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Source: Legit

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