Bills To Address Maternal Death, Others Pass Second Reading In Senate
A bill for an act to provide for the effective surveillance, review, and prevention of maternal and perinatal deaths and related matters for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2020 (SB. 581) has scaled the second reading in the Senate.
The bill and six others were read for the second time on Thursday during plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
Sponsored by the Senate Committee Chairman on Health, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe, the bill proposes to introduce a surveillance system to track maternal mortalities in the country and identify the direct and indirect factors responsible for the deaths.
Senator Oloriegbe believes the data on maternal and perinatal deaths would be useful in making recommendations on how to address the problem.
Senator Sadiq Umar, who seconded that the bill should be read for the second time, explained the rationale behind his decision.
He said, “I support this bill because the maternal deaths in this country are unacceptable; these deaths affect the poor primarily and we all have the poor in our constituencies.
“To achieve our goal by 2030, we need to have data that is properly interpreted and informs decision making. I urge us all for this bill to be read the second time.”
Shortly after it was read the second time, the lawmakers referred the bill to the Committee on Health to report back within four weeks.
Another piece of legislation that scaled the second reading was the bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the National Tea and Coffee Development Council by Senator Yusuf Yusuf.
The bill aims to develop and promote growing, production, and marketing of tea and coffee in the country.
Senator Smart Adeyemi, who seconded that the bill should be read for the second time, stated that it should be given all the support that it needed to be passed into law.
According to him, the bill deserves the support of the lawmaker as it will provide job opportunities and enable the country to compete in the global economy of tea and coffee.
Like the first, the bill was read for the second time and referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to report back within four weeks.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, described the bill as a very important one, noting that Nigeria has massive land for the production of tea and coffee.
“If we utilise such an environment, we can help in diversifying our economy. I believe that we have a way of ensuring that this Bill and subsequent ones in the area of agriculture will improve and will help sustain our economy,” he said.
The remaining pieces of legislation that passed through the second reading include a bill for an act to establish the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) to build capacity, conduct integrated applied research and development in roads, buildings, and engineering materials sectors and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 333) by Senator Uche Ekwunife, as well as a bill for an act to repeal the National Human Rights Commission Act CAP N46 LFN 2004 and enact the National Human Rights Commission Act, 2020 to strengthen the Commission to conduct investigations and sustain contributions to the Human Rights Fund for Human Rights Activities in Nigeria and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 586) by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.
Others are bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the Nigerian Arabic Language Village as an Inter-University Centre for Arabic Studies and for other related matters, 2020 (SB. 331) by Senator Kashim Shettima, a bill for an act to establish the Federal Orthopaedic Hospital Kuta and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 279) by Senator Sani Musa, and a bill for an act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the Federal Character and for related matters, 2020 (SB. 514) by Senator Betty Apiafi.