The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) recently asked the national assembly to suspend the infectious disease bill which has triggered mixed reactions in the last few days.
The Bill is sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. This bill seeks to repeal the Quarantine Act and ensure the compulsory vaccination of citizens, against infectious diseases and also make possession of health card mandatory for international travellers leaving or arriving in Nigeria just like yellow fever card.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of the Governor’s Forum, issued a statement after a virtual meeting with other Governors, telling the National Assembly to step down on the bill, pending an appropriate public hearing to gather public opinion and concerns.
Furthermore, a three-member committee was constituted by the forum to engage the leadership of the national assembly on the bill.
The Governors said;
“Following an update from the Governor of Sokoto State and Vice Chairman of the NGF, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on the proposed Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020 introduced by the House of Representatives, Governors raised concern with the lack of consultation with State governments who are at the forefront of the epidemic.
“The Forum resolved that the Bill should be stepped down until an appropriate consultative process is held, including a public hearing to gather public opinion and concerns.
“In the light of this, the Forum established a Committee comprising the Governors of Katsina, Sokoto, and Plateau to lead a consultative meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly on the proposed Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020.
“The NGF Secretariat was also mandated to comprehensively review the Bill and its implication on States.”