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Friday, December 2, 2011

Sign Tobacco Control bill now, Mamora urges president

Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, who  sponsored the National Tobacco Control Bill, said the country has a lot to benefit from the signing of the bill.
What prompted you to sponsor the National Tobacco Control Bill in the Senate?
It is out of concern for the welfare of Nigerians in general. I felt as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria then and a medical practitioner, I should take up the challenge.
What was the bill out to achieve?
Essentially to control tobacco smoking and the use of tobacco, to regulate the sale, manufacturing, advertising and promotion of tobacco in the country. It was passed in May, this year by the Senate and was concurred by the House of Representatives. It is now before Mr President for his signature.
How do you feel now that the President has not assented to the Tobacco Control bill?
Naturally, I don’t feel good about it. But I am hopeful that Mr President will invariably sign the bill, thereby making it become an Act of the National Assembly. Signing the bill into law has a global dimension because it will put Nigeria on a high pedestal in terms of being a member of the international body of the nations that has taken interest in the health of its citizenry. The bill has socio-economic importance apart from health implications. The President should not only sign the bill but should also ensure that the provisions in the law are enforced.