Nigerians have taken to social media to express their displeasure towards the Control of Infectious Diseases bill which has just passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
According to Vanguard News, the Bill for an Act to repeal the Quarantine Act and enact the Control of Infectious Diseases bill grants the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) more administrative powers for forceful vaccinations to limitations on Freedom of association.
Leading the debate, the bill’s alleged sponsor Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila said that the NCDC had very little powers to carry out its mandate even though it is a body with great professionals.
Gbajabiamila said the bill sought to empower the NCDC to make it more proactive and not just reactive and function when there is an outbreak. He said when the bill is signed and becomes law, the health agency will be empowered to administer necessary vaccines to curb the spread of pandemics.
The lawmaker said that the bill also seeks to make provisions relating to quarantine and make regulations for preventing the introduction and spreading of infectious diseases in Nigeria. He also said that the Control of Infectious Diseases bill provided a penalty of between N200, 000 and N5 million for defaulters.
According to Gbajabiamila, the Infectious Diseases bill also seeks to empower the President and the Minister of Health to exercise certain necessary powers at first instance, during any outbreak. However, he said that in second and third instances, the President would have to seek the approval of the National Assembly.
The speaker urged members to pass the bill for second and third reading and seek concurrence from the Senate before it was sent to the president for assent.
Some Nigerians on Twitter have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Bill. See few reactions below.
— Daniel Edjeba (@DanGreatness) April 30, 2020
Most members voted against the bill but Deputy Speaker, Rep. Ahmed Wase ruled that the bill be passed for 2nd reading.
In a democracy, a bill got to 2nd reading and almost 50% of the House haven't seen or read the bill.
— AyeMojubar 😷 (@ayemojubar) April 30, 2020
So, a Bill that seeks to empower NCDC to administer vaccines to curb the spread of Pandemic has hurriedly passed through 1st & 2nd reading in the @NGRHouse w/o a public hearing. Why the rush? What & whose agenda are they pushing? #StoptheNCDCBill @segalink @dino_melaye @realFFK pic.twitter.com/64AMq4RyJQ
— Joshua Oluwafemi (@joshfemi_) April 30, 2020
• The Americans are not accepting forced vaccination
• the British are not accepting forced vaccination
• the Europeans are not accepting forced vaccination
Why are you sneakingly forcing it to Nigerians by publishing the so called NCDC bill? #StoptheNCDCBill
— | Duniyar Hausawa |@🏠 (@HausaTrends) April 30, 2020
My Observations on NCDC Bill:
– Bill sponsored by Speaker.
– Puts it to a debate.
– Reps are expected to debate on a bill they never read or saw but only know the title.
– Some house members push back and request for a public hearing/committee deliberations.#StoptheNCDCBill
— Okpalo Benjamin (@Phroneticalben) April 30, 2020
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