Abuja (Sundiata Post) — The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, at the end of its two and half hours, has approved the establishment of the Nigeria Industrial Council (NIC) to stimulate the activities of industries in the country.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, who briefed alongside the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed, and the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the Council will engage the private sector to develop a viable policy for nation’s industrial sector.
The FEC meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, and his first since his return from United Kingdom last week.
The NIC will be chaired by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
It will also have two vice presidents from both the government and the private sector and membership drawn from private sector and relevant ministries.
The Council also approved Draft Bill for National Centre for Disease Control.
According to Adewole, Council approved the draft bill to give legal backing for the establishment of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
According to him, a legal backing will now be given to the agency to have its own board, recruit it’s personnel and a CEO appointed.
He said there is a budget line for NCDC already, adding that the Federal Government is not going to incur any additional expenses.
According to the Minister of Health, the Center, although operational since 2012, has been instrumental in combating the deadly Ebola virus and lassa fever.
Adewole said the agenda is to strengthen the public health intervention to ensure proactiveness against future epidemic.
“To move the agenda of public health intervention forward, what is known internationally is that they will always be another epidemic or another disease outbreak, but what we do not know is when and where it will happen. What we need to do is to get ourselves prepared for the next epidemic.
“The National Council of Health in its meeting in Lagos in 2007, took a decision to establish a Nigerian center for disease control. The center became operational in 2012 and actually constituted a major force in combating Ebola and has been very operational in handling lassa fever in different parts of the country. So, what we have done today is to provide legal framework for this agency so that it can validly perform the role that is expected of such role that is expected of such front line agency. It is patterned after the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention which was established in 1946. The whole concept is not new what is new is that we decided to move ahead with it in Nigeria.
“There is also a European Centre for Disease Control established in 2004 and in 2013, following a resolution in Abuja, African Union also decided to establish a center for disease control.
“Our center for disease control is a front line agency that has been recognised internationally, it has been designated as the regional center for disease control in West Africa, it has also been designated as the regional center for the African center for disease and prevention.
“So, with this approval we can then move on working with National Assembly to put in place the necessary legislative action so that it can formally become an Act of Parliament,” he said.
Adewole clarified that the agency has not been operating illegally.
“It can be likened to a baby you have been carrying on your back and after sometimes you say this baby is big enough to walk and you say walk I will hold you by the hand. So, under the new dispensation we will give a legal framework to the establishment of the board for the agency, defined recruitment, how the director or the CEO of the agency will be appointed. These are things that have now been formalised. It has a budget line and so it’s actually not going incur any additional expenses. There is a budget line for National Center for Disease Control already,” he said.