Senator to Sponsor Bill On Mental Health Tests For Political Appointees

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A Senator plans to sponsor a bill that will mandate government appointees to undergo mental health tests before they are cleared to hold public office.

Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial district, who spoke Monday at the third annual World Mental Health Day symposium in Abuja, said mental health tests will help to combat corruption in the country.

Speaking on the day’s theme, Mental Health in the Workplace, Melaye decried the rate of corruption in the country, noting that it demands closer scrutiny especially on the mental health of the perpetrators.

The lawmaker said, “Indeed health experts need to collaborate with those of us at the National Assembly so that we can enact a new bill or work on the existing ones to make it mandatory for political appointees to go through mental health stability before being appointed.”

Referring to the corruption allegations against suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, who was accused of the misappropriation of funds earmarked for the welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE), he lamented the low budgetary allocation to psychiatry or mental hospitals in the country, calling for reform in the nation’s health policy.

“How can someone in his right senses use N2billion to cut grass?” he queried.

Senator Mao Ohuabuwa, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health and Communicable Diseases, also spoke at the symposium and decried lack of attention towards mental health in the country.