The House of Representatives at Thursday's plenary on March 16, 2017 passed, for second reading, a Bill seeking to curtain the menace of snake bites by establishing a national center saddled with the responsibility of conducting research as well as production of vaccines that could serve as antidotes to snake poison. The General principles of the Bill was debated on the floor of the House at the instance of Hon. Golu Timothy Simeon. He noted in his lead argument that the “Bill seeks to create a legal framework for the coordination of efforts towards Research into snake related matters and the production of anti-snake vaccines in Nigeria”.
He stated that it has become urgently imperative because of the increasing menace of snake bites in the country which has affected mostly the productive population of our rural dwellers who are farmers and herdsmen engaged in food production. The picture of the situation in Plateau and other states is gloomy and scary. The prevalent rate of bite is very high and the two popular snake treatment centres located in Zamko (Plateau) and Kaltungo (Gombe) are most times without vaccines for the thousands of victims who come for help. The chunk of our population is being decimated by snakes and people are afraid of going to the farms for fear of these dangerous reptiles. The global warming and change in climatic conditions is also a serious contributory factor.
He added that the Bill seeks to have in place a national centre for research and production of snake vaccines in Nigeria as a way of holistically addressing the menace. “Death rate is high in the absence of an effective anti-venom for immediate application and treatment after a bite and therefore the time is ripe for a national research centre on snake control. We have the human and material resources to do it to save lives, increase food and livestock production and that of our GDP. It can also serve as a major foreign exchange earner for us.”
The House also passed for second reading “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigerian Customs Service Board Act, Cap. N100, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Re-enact the Nigerian Customs Service Commission to be charged with the Responsibility for Administration of the Nigerian Customs Service and for Other Matters Connected Therewith, standing in name of Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso .