• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Tinubu moves to regulate sports performance drugs usage with anti-doping bill

Tinubu to commission new Apapa, Tincan Island roads, Saturday

…as Senate passes bill establishing North-West Development Commission

President Bola Tinubu has transmitted a National Anti-Doping Bill 2024 to the Senate. The Bill seeks to regulate performance enhancing substances that can be consumed by athletes for sporting events.

The president’s request was contained in a letter read by Jibrin Barau, the Deputy Senate President, who presided over plenary on Thursday.

The president wants the Senate to consider and pass the Bill before the Olympic Games seminar scheduled to be held in Paris in July for Nigerians to be part of the competition.

President Tinubu, in the letter, explained that the Bill would provide a legal framework for the establishment of the National Anti-Doping Organisation, an organisation that regulates sporting competitions.

He wrote that the establishment of the Agency was a requirement for Nigeria to achieve compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

The World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is the core document that harmonises anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sports organizations and among public authorities around the World.

The president noted that the law would help Nigeria avoid the imposition of signatory consequences, and the inclusion of laws of hosting and participating rights at regional, continental and world championships or major athletic events.

“By the provisions of section 58 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, I forward herewith the National Anti-Doping Bill 2024 for the kind consideration of the Senate.

“The National Anti-Doping Bill 2024 seeks to create an administratively independent National Anti-Doping organization which is a cardinal requirement for Nigeria to achieve compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the international standard for code compliance by signatures.

“The enactment of this vital legislation will also help Nigeria avoid the imposition of signatory consequences, the inclusion of laws of hosting and participating rights at regional, continental and world championships or major athletic events.

“I hope that this submission will receive the humankind expeditious consideration of the distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Nigeria for passage of the same to law before the Olympic Games seminar in Paris in July 2024. Please accept, distinguished president, the assurances of our highest consideration. Regards”, the letter to the Senate read.

Meanwhile, the Senate has passed a Bill to establish the North West Development Commission (NWDC).

The Bill was passed after the Upper Chamber considered and approved the report of the Committee on Special Duties presented by Kaka Shehu, Chairman of the Committee on Thursday.

The Bill was then read for the third time after a majority of Senators voted in favour of it and consequently passed.

Speaking on the proposed impact of the Bill, Shehu, the Senator representing Borno Central Senatorial District, said the bill will stimulate socio-economic development in the northwest geo-political zone.

“The intent and purpose of the bill is structured for the socio-development of the north-west geo-political zone. It is recommended that the senate do approve of the bill” the senator added.

Sharing similar sentiments, Barau Jibrin, the Deputy Senate President, who presided over the session, stressed that establishing the Commission would repair the infrastructure which had been ravaged by insurgents in the North-Western States.

If the bill scales through legislative hurdles in the Federal House of Representing and is granted assent by President Bola Tinubu, it will bring to three, the number of Commissions established for intervention in geopolitical zones.

The Regional Commissions currently in existence include the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), established to intervene on issues and development in the Niger Delta areas; and the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) which was established following the devastation of the north-east by Boko Haram insurgents.

BusinessDay recalls that the Senate in February 2024 passed a Bill for an Act to establish the South-East Development Commission (SEDC).

There are also other bills bills seeking to establish other Regional Commissions at different levels of legislative action. They include the North-Central Development Commission, the South-West Development Commission, and the South-South Development Commission.