Govs ask National Assembly to step down Infectious Diseases Bill

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The Nigerian Governors Forum has urged the National Assembly to step down the Infectious Disease Bill to allow for wider consultations with stakeholders.

It also set up a three-member committee made up of Governors Aminu Masari (Katsina), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Simon Lalong (Plateau) to meet with the leadership of the National Assembly on the issue.

This was contained in a communiqué signed by the Chairman of the forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi, of Ekiti State after the 8th COVID-19 teleconference meeting of the NGF on Wednesday.

The communiqué, issued on Thursday, read, “Following an update from the Governor of Sokoto State and Vice Chairman of the NGF, Aminu Tambuwal, on the proposed Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020 introduced by the House of Representatives, governors raised concern with the lack of consultation with state governments who are at the forefront of the epidemic. The Forum resolved that the Bill should be stepped down until an appropriate consultative process is held, including a public hearing to gather public opinion and concerns.

“In the light of this, the Forum established a committee comprising the governors of Katsina, Sokoto and Plateau to lead a consultative meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly on the proposed Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020. The NGF secretariat was also mandated to comprehensively review the Bill and its implication on states.”

But the House of Representatives has faulted the NGF for asking the federal parliament to step down the controversial bill.

The House accused Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State of misleading the NGF to make the call.

Reacting to the call, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu, in a statement on Thursday, stated that the “federal parliament does not legislate for states.”

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