The Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, has asked the National Assembly to halt the passage of Infectious Disease Bill to give room for wider consultations with stakeholders.
The governors made known their position in a communique signed on Thursday by the Chairman of the forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State after their teleconference meeting on Wednesday.
It read in part, “Following an update from the Governor of Sokoto State and Vice Chairman of the NGF, Aminu Waziri 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.”
The forum, therefore, set up a three-member committee made up of Governors Aminu Masari of Katsina, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Simon Lalong of Plateau states to meet with the leadership of the National Assembly over the issue.
The governors, who also expressed concerns over the rising cases of the COVID-19 infections across the nation, resolved to among other things, work in collaboration with the Dangote Foundation to set up and train a volunteer health workforce and increase the tempo of setting up isolation centres.
They also resolved to make available additional warehouses to store palliatives donated by the private sector and ensure that such donations get to the most vulnerable in each state.