Nigeria Senate considers bill to establish college of traditional medicine amid COVID-19 battle

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The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday considered a bill seeking to give legislative backing for the establishment of the Federal College of Traditional, Complimentary and Alternate Medicine as an agency under the Federal Ministry of Health. 

The bill which was sponsored by Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC – Kwara Central) scaled second reading during plenary. 

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According to Oloriegbe, the need to explore the option of traditional and alternative medicine has become imperative “in light of our present day realities, especially the ongoing challenge of COVID-19 Pandemic and the need to find cure for it from available local herbs and traditional medicine.”

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“With this bill, the Federal College of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine will become a legal institution for the training and re-training of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine professionals in Nigeria and this would enable the implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Traditional Medicine strategic plan 2014-2023.

The lawmaker while emphasizing that the college would boost the standard of practice of Traditional, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine in Nigeria, underscored its importance towards improving the coordination of evidence-based medicine in the field of Nigeria Indigenous Medicine. 

“It will also update the extent of usage of Traditional Medicine in Nigeria and facilitate the implementation of National Policy on integrative medicine.”

“The domestication of the training, (instead of spending huge resource to train people abroad) will prevent unnecessary wastage of hard earn foreign currency which could be put to other essential services. The College would also serve as training hub for West Africa Sub-Region”, Oloriegbe added. 

The bill after consideration was referred by the Senate President, Ahamad Lawan, to the Committee in Tertiary Institution and TETFUND to report back in four weeks.  

Meanwhile, A bill for An Act to repeal the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Act 2010 and to enact the Nigerian Local and Content Development and Enforcement Commission Act scaled second reading during plenary on Wednesday. 

The bill which was sponsored by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC – Niger North) was referred to the Committee on Local Content for further legislative work. 

In a related development, A bill for an Act to amend the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority Act also scaled Second reading on the floor of the Senate. 

Sponsored by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan (PDP – Akwa Ibom North East), the Bill according to the lawmaker, seeks to “stimulate economic development by means of reducing inflationary pressure and insulating the the national economy from volatility in the prices of non-renewable resources.”

The bill was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Finance for further legislative input. 

The Committee which is chaired by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC – Lagos West) is expected to submit its report in four weeks. 

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