Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) has asked the House of Representatives to hold an electronic public hearing on the contentious infectious diseases bill.
The coalition made up of 65 CSOs says the proposed method would ensure massive participation and would be a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.
The bill prescribes, among other provisions, compulsory vaccination of citizens against infectious diseases.
But this is not sitting well with some citizens who have described it as “draconian.”
In a statement yesterday, the CSOs said the decision of the House to subject the bill to a public hearing is an acknowledgment of the “sincere concerns” generated by the proposed legislation, adding that they cannot afford a haphazard process.
“The House of Reps should amend its standing rules on the procedure for lawmaking to integrate the newly proposed procedures as suggested by the Honourable Speaker,” they said.
“The secured video-conferencing platform selected should be published with a list of participating organizations on the dates of the scheduled E-Public Hearing.
“In order to ensure massive participation, the Hearing should be scheduled to hold between two or three days with representatives of organisations given 5-10 minutes for their presentations/submissions. Alternatively, the House can host a televised physical public hearing with strict adherence to physical distancing guidelines.”