17 December 2012

Nigeria: TUC Calls for Public Hearing On National Health Bill

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has called on the National Assembly to organise a public hearing to allow Nigerians make vital inputs into the National Health Bill.

Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting weekend in Lagos, the Congress frowned at the current version of the bill stating it does not accommodate the interest of many Nigerians. The bill, passed by the National Assembly in 2011, was not accented to by President Goodluck Jonathan due to issues raised by some health workers.

The Senate President, Senator David Mark, had explained that the return of the bill was to allow the lawmakers make new vital inputs into the bill that would ensure progress in the health sector. He however assured that the bill would be given accelerated hearing and passage.

Briefing journalist shortly after the meeting, President General of the Congress, Mr. Peter Esele, said the public hearing became necessary to make the bill a better gift to Nigerians.

"The Council frowns at the current version of the National Health Bill which does not accommodate the interest of many Nigerians. We therefore demand an invitation to a public hearing for our input in making the bill a better gift to Nigerians," he said.

Speaking further, Esele said the meeting equally frowned at the continued deterioration of the nation's road networks despite the huge funds expended on same. He called on government to expedite action in repairing the roads especially during the Yuletide period.

He further condemned what he described as the religious coloration being introduced by some religious bodies in the investigation being carried out by the military in the bombing of the military barracks in Jaji. He maintained that the military should be allowed to carry out both its internal and external statutory investigations so that the issues can be properly addressed in the collective interest of Nigerians.

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