Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has assured Nigerians that transparency and accountability will be sustained in the conduct of the public hearing stage of the Control of Infectious Disease Bill, 2020. He said the public hearing, which is expected to take place in the next few weeks, would be for two days and would be physical and open to submission of memorandum and position papers from members of the public. Gbajabiamila said this on Monday when he received some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) at his office in Abuja. He assured them that the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) during and after its outbreak were of major concern to the House. He noted that the House would step up its responsibility on issues and palliative programmes around COVID-19, and the Legislative Agenda would be rearranged to reflect the realities of the pandemic. The speaker said, “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 cannot ignore any and that is why we are taking it to the 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.” “Those who could not make it the first day would have the opportunity to be there the second day. The public hearing would be physical because this is all about transparency and accountability. “We don’t want to endanger the lives of Nigerians. It will be beamed live on TV and radio but those that cannot make it to the public hearing will have the opportunity of sending their memorandum to the House,” he added. According to the speaker, the bill that will be enacted by the House will be the total of the submissions of Nigerians. Also at the meeting were the Majority Leader of the House, Hassan Ado-Doguwa; the Chief Whip, Muhammad Monguno; the Deputy Minority Whip, Gideon Gwani; and the House Committee Chairman on Defence, Babajimi Benson. Others included the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Rafsanjani, the Chief Executive Officer of Women Trust Fund, Mufuliat Fijabi; and the Executive Director of Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), Samson Itodo.
Source- Channels TV