Coalition of Nigerian Civil Society organisations are concerned about the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill currently before the National Assembly. The bill titled ‘Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020’, which was sponsored by Gbajabiamila and his colleagues, Pascal Obi and Tanko Sununu, seeks to empower the Federal Government to convert any property in the country, including private properties, to isolation centres.
The Coalition in a statement signed by 40 members, appeal to members of the National Assembly to provide a comprehensive legal and policy framework that ensures the effective management of circumstances involving infectious diseases; streamlining of public health responseand preparedness;involvement of all tiers of government;and transparency in the management of infectious diseaseswould be a positive development. The bill sponsored by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, hurriedly passed first and second readings on the same day – NewsWireNGR exclusively reported the contents of the bill which led to a nationwide uproar.
The sponsors of the bill, largely plagiarised a similar law on disease control by Singapore but in a statement made available to NewsWireNGR, members of civil society organisations in Nigeria, “are alarmed by the House of Representatives’ attempt to give accelerated passage to such a critical legislation like the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill without consultation and inputs from relevant stakeholders and the public”.