Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and other stakeholders, on Thursday, described the proposed “Infectious Diseases Control Bill 2020” as deficient in addressing salient issues.
NCDC submission and those of the others were made at the two-day public hearing on the bill, which rounded off on Thursday.
Presenting the NCDC memoranda, its Director General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the existing legislation on public health like the “Quarantine Act” are not only obsolete but inadequate to address present challenges and manage emergencies.
“However, while the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill is laudable for recognising the need to rapidly strengthen the existing system for managing public health emergencies, it fails to adequately address several gaps that have been identified,” he said.
Ihekweazu said critical issues like information sharing among key stakeholders and the funding of the management of infectious diseases were absent.
“In its current form, the Bill is not comprehensive and several of its provisions do not conform to the International Health regulations,” he said.
Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, in its own submission stated that reactions and controversies had been generated concerning the manner in which the bill was being hastily treated.
Recall that on the first day of the public hearing last Wednesday, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Nigeria Labour Congress, and the Nigeria Medical Association also faulted the controversial “Infectious Diseases Control Bill 2020”.
The bill passed second reading on the floor of the House on 28 April 2020, and was reluctantly referred for public hearing after intense pressure.