Friday, June 1, 2012

'National Tobacco Bill missing on Jonathan’s table’

Mr. Lanre Oginni, Senator Olorunimbe Mamorah, standing and Akinbode Oluwafemi at the recent Roundtable on the National Tobacco Bill.

As Nigeria marks the World Tobacco Day recently (May 31st), the National Tobacco Bill which was passed to law by the sixth Senate on March 9, 2011 has developed wings as reports said the bill was missing on the table of President Goodluck Jonathan.

This was the conclusion of stakeholders who met at a round table conference organised by the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FOFN) in Lagos on the implementation of the National Tobacco Control Bill.

Director Corporate Accountability and Administration in ERA/FOFN, Mr. Oluwafemi Akinbode, lamented that despite the fact that the bill was passed to law about 13 months ago, the president refused to append his signature for it to become law.

According to him, all efforts to know the whereabouts of the bill in the president’s office proved abortive and all those who should know its whereabouts claimed ignorance.

“The information at our disposal indicates that the bill has completed its circle at the National Assembly and has been forwarded to the office of the Presidential Liaison Officer in the National Assembly, Senator Joy Emordi. We are expecting that the bill should be sent to the desk of the President,” he said.

At the Stakeholders’ meeting which held at the Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Lagos was Senator Olorunmibe Mamorah who while a senator in the last administration supported the bill. Also present was Barrister Nurudeen Ogbara, former chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ikeja, Lagos.

Barrister Nurudeen Ogbara, former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikorodu branch, lending his voice to the tobacco bill at the stakeholders' meeting.

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