Saturday 21st January, 2017
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Reps shoot down bill on Surgeon-General's office

Reps shoot down bill on Surgeon-General's office

The House of Representatives has thrown out the bill to set up the office of Surgeon-General of the Federation.
The bill, which was shot down through voice vote, was sponsored by Hon. Abiodun Dada Awoleye (APC, Oyo).
The bill, if it had scaled through would have legalised the estab­lishment of the office that would advise the President, ministers of health and the legislature on mat­ters of health.
The office, Awoleye said, was to further provide health informa­tion and health policy analysis, as well as conduct advocacy cam­paigns on public health matters and generate data for the planning and implementation of interven­tion over any public health issues.
He had also planned to repli­cate the arrangement of having a surgeon general of the federation in the health sector just as auditor general of the federation and ac­countant general of the federation are for the finance sector.
The House threw out the bill on the excuse that it would amount to duplication of functions that are being performed by the ministry of health and the various health institutions at all levels of govern­ment in the country.
Kicking against the bill, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) noted that the Ministry of Health was currently generating data of all health plans, implementation and impact levels.
He warned against raising tensions and acrimony in the sector that could diminish pro­ductivity.
Also kicking against the bill, Hon. Johnson Agbonayima (PDP, Edo) pointed out that the timing was wrong, adding that the country was at the moment going through financial difficul­ties, hence needless to consider the establishment of additional agency that would require fi­nancing.

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