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Nigerian Governors to NASS: Rest “Infectious Disease Bill 2020” for now

PRESIDENT BUHARI IN AUDIENCE WITH APC GOVERNOR'S FORUM 12; President Muhammadu Buhari (M) flanked by the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sanio Bello and Oyo State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola during an audience with the APC Governors held at the Council Chambers, State House in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. JUNE 18 2019.

 

State governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum has intervened in the likely passage of the controversial “Infectious Disease Bill 2020”, by the National Assembly, seeking a momentary halt of the process.

They urged a stepping down of the bill to pave way for wider consultations with stakeholders.

To give teeth to their intervention, the forum has set up a three-man all-governors commitee of Aminu Masari (Katsina), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Simon Lalong(Plateau) to interface with the leadership of the National Assembly on the bill.

The forum Chairman and Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi, announced this in a communique after their 8th COVID-19 teleconference on Wednesday and released on Thursday, and obtained by PerSecondnews.It reads: “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.”

On the rising cases of COVID-19 across the nation, the governors resolved to collaborate with the Dangote Foundation to set up and train a volunteer health workforce and increase isolation centres nationwide.

They also resolved to make available additional warehouses to store palliatives donated by the private sector and ensure that such donations get to the most vulnerable people in each state.

Other additional measures they promised to take include strengthening their public financial management systems, revision of their 2020 budgets and the amendment of state procurement guidelines to support e-procurement and the participation of small and medium-size enterprises.

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