Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Appropriation Bill 2018.
The president also assented to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control And Prevention (Establishment ) Bill, 2018; the Extradition (Amendment ) Bill 2018; National Environmental Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency (Establishment ) (Amendment ) Bill 2018; and Nigerian Institute of Mining And Geosciences, Jos (Establishment ) Bill, 2018.
Consequent upon the assent, the bills have now become Acts.
Briefing State House correspondents on the content and objectives of the Acts, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, said the FCT Appropriation Act, 2018 was made up of aggregate capital and recurrent expenditure of N371.532 billion meant for implementation “up to the financial year ending December 31, 2018.”
Enang also explained that the Extradition (Amendment) Act, 2018 vests jurisdiction on extradition proceedings henceforth on the Federal High Court and no longer on the Magistrates Court or Magistrates.
According to him, amendment to the Act introduces a new Section 15(2) with the aim of “preventing double jeopardy as protected by Section 36(9) of the Constitution” and in accordance with extraction treaty.
He explained that anyone surrendered to Nigeria in accordance with the treaty could not be arrested, detained, extradited or otherwise dealt with in Nigeria or any other country within the Commonwealth or any other country having same extraditing agreement with Nigeria if the proceedings relate to an offence for which he has been previously convicted or acquitted in the requesting country for which extradition is sought by the Nigerian authorities.
On the other hand, he said the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Establishment Act, 2018) is aimed at promoting, coordinating and facilitating the prevention, detection and control of communicable diseases and other public health emergencies in Nigeria.
According to him, the Act which was submitted by the president as an executive bill on October 17, 2017 to the National Assembly seeks to:
“Develop, maintain and coordinate surveillance systems to collect, analyse and interpret data on diseases of public health importance , in order to detect public health threats, guide health intervention and set public health priorities;
“Lead the response to disease outbreaks, public health emergencies and disasters in order to minimise the impact on health;
“Develop and maintain a network of reference and specialized laboratories for pathogen detection, disease surveillance and outbreak response;
“Develop and maintain guidelines and processes for specimen collection and transportation to reference laboratories including the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard reference laboratories in Nigeria;
“Provide information to the public through multiple platforms on diseases and public health events;”
“Provide support and coordinate the control of national and trans-border responses to mass public health emergencies, such as mass casualties, floods, nuclear, biological and chemical terrorism, disease outbreaks and heavy metals poisoning, among others.”
On National Environmental Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency (Establishment) (Amendment) Act, 2018, Enang said this fresh amendment to the 2007 Act more succinctly defines matters of appointment to the council, empowers the agency or appropriate person to cause immediate abatement of imminent environmental pollution while appropriate warrant or court order is sought to ensure public safety, among others.
Finally, the presidential liasion officer said the Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences, Jos (Establishment) Act, 2018 establishes the institute with the objective of providing courses of instruction, training and research in geosciences and mining and producing technicians and such skilled personnel normally required for the mining and related industries.
He also said the Act provides for both the public and private sectors alike, laboratory services for rock and mineral identification, sampling and mineral beneficiation and mineral and metallurgical analysis.
Enang added that the Act authorised the conduct of research in mining, quarrying and related industries as well as skilled training for the artisanal and small scale mining operators; among others.