#StoptheNCDCBill: Nigerians Reject Bill To Strengthen NCDC, Allow Forceful Vaccination

NCDC Bill Passes Second Reading OnoBello

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.

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