By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
A bill for an act to establish the College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Nigeria, yesterday passed second reading in the senate, even as the sponsor, Senator Clever Ikisikpo recommended the sum of N3.9 billion as take-off fund for the establishment, if passed into law.
In his explanatory note attached to the lead debate, Senator Ikisikpo noted that the take-off grant of N3.9bn would cover consultancy, capital costs, personnel emoluments, and cost of specialised training for staff, among others.
Presenting the lead debate on the floor of the senate, Ikisikpo noted that the bill was aimed at providing constitutional framework for more effective operations of the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, created as an agency under the Federal Ministry of Health in 2007.
He explained that providing legislative backing for the college would ultimately complement federal government’s efforts at encouraging alternative medicine practice which had already been embraced by medical practitioners in most European, Asian and African countries.
The college, he said was saddled with the responsibility of training and retraining alternative medicine practitioners in the health-care delivery services.
Ikisikpo also explained that the institution will carry out clinical and research, as well as provide an alternative method of treating ailments.
He assured Nigerians that the institution was capable of increasing life expectancy in Nigeria from 45 to 75 years, based on the quality and effective healthcare services it was capable of providing.