Following the controversies generated by the passage of the second reading of the Infectious Diseases Control Bill, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has announced that a public hearing would be conducted to ensure transparency and accountability over the bill.
He said the public hearing will take place in a few weeks from now, adding that it would be conducted for two days to allow stakeholders participate in the debates and would be physical and open to submission of memorandum and position papers from members of the public.
Gbajabiamila, who spoke on Monday while receiving some Civil Society Organizations that paid him a courtesy call in his office said the effects of the Covid 19 disease during and after its outbreak are of paramount concern to the House.
The CSOs who were led by Clement Nwankwo, the Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), also had in attendance Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC); Mufuliat Fijabi, Chief Executive Officer, Women Trust Fund and Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA).
He said while the House would step up its oversight responsibility on issues and palliative programmes around Covid-19, the 9th Assembly’s Legislative Agenda would be rejigged to reflect the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“On the Control of Infectious Disease Bill, we are aware that many of the comments it generated are genuine, some were political and some were clearly based on the misunderstanding of the bill but we can not ignore any and that is why we are taking it to public hearing.
“It is going to be conducted over two days and because we don’t want to endanger anyone’s life, all the Covid-19 protocols would be observed in a hall that is supposed to take 300 people, we will have about 40,” he said.