Dieticians Petition Senate over Controversial Bill

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James Sowole in Akure
The Institute for Dietetics in Nigeria (IDN) has petitioned the Senate President requesting the National Assembly to halt the passage of the bill titled “Dietitian Council of Nigeria Bill 2016 Bill” into law.

The institute’s prayer was contained in a petition addressed to the Senate President and signed by the. IDN Secretary, Tajudeen Olutope and copied the Clerk of the Senate, the Upper Chamber Legal Department and a Member of the House of Representatives from Oyo State, Hon. Odebunmi Dokun and the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Health.

The controversial bill according to the petitioner had already passed through the First and Second Reading at the House of Representatives saying only the Senate can stop it from becoming a law.

The IDN said while having a law that would regulate the practice of dietetics in Nigeria had been its top priority over the years, the current situation whereby a faction of the professionals in the field would be the one championing the move for selfish reason is worrisome.

“We discovered that proponent of the controversial bill was a breakaway faction of dieticians from our professional body formerly known as Nigeria Dietetics Association of Nigeria (NDA) which metamophosed into IDN and to which all members subscribed to.

“At the moment, dieticians from the entire Northern Nigeria and the other remaining two zones are in the main IDN and those who do not share the ideology of the factional Dietician Association of Nigeria DAN and its leadership.

The petitioner said apart from the fact that majority of dieticians in Nigeria have no input in the bill under consideration, the bill was outside the control of the of the Minister of Health who should ordinarily galvanise the implementation of the bill whenever it becomes a law like other professions in the health field.

The institute said since the bill had scaled through the Second Reading in the House of Representatives, the Senate would be the only saving grace from plaguing the Nigeria with a law that smears absurdity with regards to the Dietitians Council of Nigeria.

“It is on the strength of those issues that we passionately request you to stay action on the consideration of the Dietitian Council of Nigeria Bill 2016 until all the noticeable anomalies are regularised,” it stated.