STATEMENT BY CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS ON THE PROPOSED CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES BILL BEFORE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the National Assembly resumed legislative activities after one month of recess, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon resumption, the House of Representatives considered a Bill titled ‘Control of Infectious Diseases Bill’ co-sponsored by Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Reps; Rep. Pascal Obi; and Rep. Tanko Sununu. The Bill, which seeks to repeal the obsolete Quarantine Act of 1929 and enact the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, make provisions relating to quarantine and regulations for preventing the introduction into and spread of dangerous infectious diseases in Nigeria, and for other related matters. The Bill has passed first and second reading at plenary under controversial circumstances. We also learnt that the bill was slated for a record third reading that same day, before it was resisted by some vigilant members.

The civil society community opines

we 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. We understand that the House is resolute to pass the bill and it has fixed Tuesday, May 5, 2020 for presentation of the report of the Committee of the Whole and clause by clause voting on the bill without public hearing or consultation with relevant stakeholders. This runs contrary to the principles of public health response and preparedness; involvement of all tiers of government; and transparency in the management of infectious Diseases would be a positive development. However, we 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. We understand that the House is resolute to pass the bill and it has fixed Tuesday, May 5, 2020 for presentation of the report of the Committee of the Whole and clause by clause voting on the bill without public hearing or consultation with relevant stakeholders. This runs contrary to the principles of

effective and inclusive lawmaking.

Download Full Statement

Final CSO Statement on Control of Infectious Diseases bill (Updated)