Representatives mull creation of National HIV Trust Fund

The House of Representatives is expected to begin a debate on the general principles of a bill to establish the National HIV Trust Fund, 2022.

According to the private member’s bill, the proposed legislation provides that the Trust Fund would be responsible for managing and disbursing funds to close the funding gap and place more people living with HIV on treatment and mother-to-child transmission. .

As provided for in section 4 of the bill, seen by Online forum, sources of funding include: A 0.5% levy on “the net profit of businesses and the organized private sector operating in Nigeria; 0.2 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the account of the federation; Any seed grants and special response funds that may be provided by federal, state and local Federation government; the sums of money that may be appropriated by the National Assembly in the budget to achieve the objective of this bill; Aid, grants and assistance from bilateral and multilateral international agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector; grants, donations; endowments, bequests and donations, whether in money, land or any other property from any source; and Money from the investment made by the Trust Fund.

Section 5 of the Bill further provides that the trust fund shall be used to meet the training and needs of members in Nigeria; improving drugs to reduce HIV transmission; Overall improvement, performance and efficiency in discharging members’ corporate benefits; purchase of equipment, machinery, including raw materials for members; construction of well-equipped training centers and entrepreneurial facilities in Nigeria; finance the purchase of operational books, teaching materials, training centers and other similar training institutions for corps members, among others.

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Section 25 of the bill which provides for Offenses states that: “A person who contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of this bill commits an offense if an amount owing under this bill is not paid within the period provided for in this article, the Service will notify the Company of a notice of payment of the unpaid sum increased by a sum equal to 5% of the sum; and if any sum demanded under paragraph (a) of this paragraph is not paid within 2 months of the demand, the Company is guilty of an offense under this Bill.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of this Bill, it is the responsibility of any company liable for payment of the sum to ensure that its annual returns are filed with the Service for the purpose of assessment of the sum.

The proposed legislation also required the Commission to return all or part of an amount added to the amount outstanding under clause 2(a) of this bill.

“Where an offense under this Bill is committed by a body corporate or company or other association of individuals: each director, director, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate; each partner or manager of the Firm; any person concerned with the management of the affairs of the association; or any person who held himself out as Bill in that capacity, is jointly and severally guilty of this offense and liable to be prosecuted and punished for the offense in the same manner as if he himself had committed the offence, unless it only proves that the Bill or omission constituting the offense took place without his knowledge, without his consent or with his connivance.

As provided in Section 26 of the Penalties Bill, “A person guilty of an offense under this Bill shall, on conviction, be liable – For a first offence, to a penalty of imprisonment for 6 months or a fine of up to 1 million naira or both; and for second and subsequent offenses to imprisonment for 12 months or a fine of up to 2 million naira or both.

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Representatives mull creation of National HIV Trust Fund

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