Minister Calls For Harmonization Of NCDC Bill
- Written by Oluwafemi Olowookere
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has called for the harmonization of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) bill for better disease surveillance and outbreak investigations in Nigeria.
The Minister made this call on Monday, 22ndJanuary, 2018, during the public hearing of the Bill Establishing the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control by Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Disease in Abuja.
The Minister said that there was need to harmonize the Executive bill on the establishment of the NCDC and the second NCDC bill sponsored by Senator Ahamfula Orji, adding that it would reduce overlapping of functions.
Speaking on the tenure of the Executive Officer, NCDC, Prof. Adewole proposed a single tenure of five years instead of four years with an opportunity for a second tenure. He maintained that a single tenure of five years would enable the CEO have an action plan and ample time to execute such a plan for the centre.
He emphasized that fast tracking the process of passing the bill would place the NCDC on a sound legal footing to operate.
Declaring the Public Hearing open earlier, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki ,who was represented by the Deputy Senate Leader, Ibn Nallah, said that the NCDC Bill also called Senate Bill number 573 would empower the centre in its short, mid and long term plan.
He also said that it would enable the NCDC to monitor, investigate and curtail diseases outbreak of national and international concerns.
Dr. Saraki urged the various stakeholders to make contributions because healthcare of Nigerians remains paramount to the National Assembly.
During his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Disease, Senator Mao Ohunbunwa, said the NCDC was not backed by any enabling law, adding that the essence of the public hearing was to fill in the existing gaps in the centre.
He expressed that the 8th Senate with the help of the Executive arm of Government pass would pass a robust Act for better operations of NCDC.