Jigawa State House of Assembly has passed into law making it compulsory for every intending couple to go for free HIV/AIDS test before their wedding.
The passage of the bill was sequel to the adoption of the report of the house committee on control of HIV/AIDS earlier mandated to examine and make recommendations to the house.
Speaker, Alhaji Idris Garba Jahun who presided the plenary session, said the bill was sponsored by member representing Birnin Kudu constituency Alhaji Surajo Mohammad on the first of march this year and the bill was referred to the relevant house committee after scaling through first and second reading.
Chairman House committee on the control of HIV/AIDS and the minority whip, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulaiman Gwiwa who presented the report of the committee on the floor of the House announced that, the bill intended to provide free and compulsory HIV test before marriage and to prohibit all forms of discrimination and stigmatization against persons living with the virus.
The bill also provided for a punishment of a fine of not less than five hundred thousand naira or imprisonment of not less than three years or both against the defaulters. Alhaji Ibrahim Sulaiman Gwiwa pointed out that the committee has made a wider consultation with relevant stakeholders to get positive inputs to the report in view of the sensitivity of the bill.
Notable among them include, the five Emirs of the state, the council of ulamas, Nigerian Bar Association, Jigawa State action committee on the control of HIV/AIDS as well as references in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
After the presentation, the House later went in to the committee of the whole to consider the recommendations of the report and subsequently led it’s adoption.