Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has confirmed that the house would in the next few weeks, hold a two-day public hearing on the controversial infectious diseases control Bill. No dates have been fixed though.
Gbajabiamila has also assured that transparency and accountability would be upheld in the conduct of the public hearing stage, and that the planned hearing would be physical and open to submission of memorandum and position papers from members of the public.
The speaker, who spoke on Monday while receiving some Civil Society Organisations that paid him a courtesy call in his office said the effects of the Covid-19 disease during and after its outbreak were of paramount concern to the House, vowing that he would ensure proper oversight of government spendings in the management of the pandemic.
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).
While noting that the 9th Assembly’s Legislative Agenda would be rejigged to reflect the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic, Gbajabiamila added that the House would continue to observe its weekly sitting and add more days where necessary, assuring that the House would continue to pass critical legislations during the Covid-19 period.
“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”, he said.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Clement Nwankwo, of Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) commended the Speaker and the House for rising to the occasion by its many efforts to proffer solutions for the novel pandemic during and after its outbreak.
“The leadership of the National Assembly have been doing a great job, first to say is how the House of Representatives has shown leadership in consultation pertaining the covid-19 era and particularly taken a lot of positive steps to address some of the issues of concern,” he stated.