The Infectious Disease Control Bill was introduced in the Nigerian senate today May 5, under a new name “National Health Emergency Bill”.
The bill sponsored by the Chairman Senate Committee on Communicable Diseases and Primary Healthcare, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North) scaled its first reading on Tuesday.
Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, reportedly made a demand for a gazetted copy of the Bill while also pointing out that it was generating controversies in the House of Representatives.
He said; “I rely on Order 41 of the Senate Standing Rule. As a senator, I am entitled to know the details of this Bill.
“We want to have copies of the gazetted copies. There is controversy over the same Bill in the House of Representatives.
“We don’t want to have the same issue here. We need to be guided to avoid any backlash. I need to read it and prepare ahead of time.”
The Secretariat of the Senate was subsequently directed to make copies of the Bill available to all Senators by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan. He said Senators must have the bill before its second reading next week.
Lawan said; “The copies are ready and everybody will get a copy. We are not taking the second reading immediately. That will be done next week. So, members will have the time to read the contents of the Bill.”