The Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, Gideon Gwani has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the Environmental Health Council Bill, 2022 and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, 2022.
Gwani, a member representing the Kaura federal constituency of Kaduna State also hailed members of the 9th National Assembly for the feat.
The Environmental Health Council Bill and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council bill were assented to by the President on Thursday, 25th August 2022.
Gwani, who sponsored the two bills, said “the Act amends the Environmental Health Officers (Registration, etc.) Act No. 11, 2002 to re-designate the Council, enhance its powers and professionalise the practice of environmental health profession in Nigeria, make provisions for appointment and tenure of the Registrar amongst others.”
A statement he signed following the signing of the bills said”Section 1(a-c) of the Act empowers the Council to determine the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the profession of environmental health and improve those standards as circumstances may permit; secure in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the establishment and maintenance of a register of persons entitled to practice as members of the profession and the publication of the list of those persons;
“The Council is also empowered to establish and review a code of conduct as the Council considers desirable for the effective practice of environmental health profession; charge practising fees as may be determined by the Council; register and license individual and corporate environmental health practitioners in all aspects and ramifications of environmental health practice.
“Section 1(f-h) further provides that the Council is saddled with the responsibility of conducting examinations in the profession and awarding certificates or diplomas to successful candidates as appropriate and for such purpose, the Council shall prescribe fees to be paid in that respect; setting professional environmental health practice standards and working with stakeholders to ensure compliance; as well as initiate and approve training programmes desirable for the improvement of the profession.”
While giving an update on the second legislation, Gwani explained that the Act repeals the Raw Materials Research and Development Council Act, 2004 and enacts the Raw Materials Research and Development Council Act, 2022 to develop local raw materials and coordinate research efforts, especially in relation to raw materials acquisition, exploitation, conservation and development.
He added: “The Act further empowers the Council to undertake measures to ensure the systematic exploitation, development and utilisation of Nigeria’s raw material resources; draw up policy guidelines and action programmes on raw materials acquisition, exploitation and development; review raw material resources availability and utilisation with a view to advising the Federal Government on the strategic implication of depletion, conservation or stock-piling of such resources; and advise on the adoption of machinery and processes for raw material utilisation.
“The Council is also expected to encourage publicity of research findings and other information relevant to local sourcing of industries; encourage the growth of in-plant research and development capabilities; advise on and devise awards or systems for industries that achieve any break-through or make innovations and inventions; organise workshops, symposia and seminars designed to enlighten people on new developments and solutions discovered; consider and advise on special research grants for specific objectives; undertake research and development on local raw materials for utilisation by industries; liaise with relevant regulatory agencies for the standardisation of raw materials to meet industrial specification; promote Nigeria’s competitiveness in raw materials and products development; establish raw materials analysis and certification laboratories for use by industries and consider and advise on any other issue capable of enhancing the objectives of the Council.”