Senator wants mandatory mental health tests for political appointees

Senator Dino Melaye  (Instagram/dinomelaye)

Senator Dino Melaye has revealed his plans to propose a bill that will mandate federal appointees to undergo mental health tests before they are cleared for public office.

The lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district disclosed this while speaking at the third annual World Mental Health Day symposium in Abuja on Monday, October 9, 2017.

Speaking on the day’s theme, “Mental health in the workplace”, the lawmaker said that the rate of corruption in the country demands closer scrutiny especially on the mental health of the perpetrators.

Senator Melaye 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.”

To drive home his point, he made an obvious reference 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).

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

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

He made a pointed reference to the low budgetary allocation to psychiatry or mental hospitals in the country, and called for reform in the nation’s health policy.

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