The Complete 2004 Laws of Nigeria

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NATIONAL EYE CENTRE ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Establishment, etc., of the National Eye Centre

SECTION

1.   Establishment of the National Eye Centre.

  1. Functions of the Centre.
  2. Constituent parts of the Centre.
  3. The Management Board.
  4. Tenure of office of the Chairman and members of the Board.
  5. General duty of the Board.
  6. Powers of the Board in relation to management, etc., of the Centre staff.

Staff

  1. The Director.
  2. Appointment, etc., of other staff.
  3. Composition of the education committee.
  4. Functions of the education committee.
  5. Candidacy for admission.
  6. Power of the Minister to give directions.

Finance and discipline

  1. Financial provisions.
  2. Fees for services.
  3. Power to accept gifts.
  4. Discipline of students.
  5. Removal and discipline of clinical, administrative and technical staff.
  6. Discipline of junior staff.

Miscellaneous and supplementary

  1. Exclusion of discrimination on account of religion, race, etc.
  2. Annual reports.
  3. Interpretation.
  4. Short title.

SCHEDULE

Supplementary provisions relating to the Board, the Education Committee, etc.

An Act to establish the National Eye Centre at Kaduna for the prevention and cure
of eye defects and diseases and to establish a Board to govern the Centre and an
Academic Committee, to take charge of the Centre's academic affairs.

[1979 No. 52.]

[20th August, 1979]

[Commencement.]

Establishment, etc. of the National Eye Centre

 

 

  1. Establishment of the National Eye Centre

(1) There is hereby established at Kaduna, a center by the name of the National Eye
Centre (in this Act referred to as "the Centre"), which shall be a body corporate with per-
petual succession and a common seal.

(2) The Centre shall be a hospital, specialising in ophthalmology, with facilities for
the training of ophthalmic personnel at all levels.

  1. Functions of the Centre

(1) The functions of the Centre shall be to provide as part of the hospital and special-
ist services, services in connection with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases or defects
of the eye, supply of optical appliances and other supplementary ophthalmic services.

(2) The Centre shall have power-

      (a)        to provide diagnostic, curative, promotive and rehabilitative ophthalmic serv-
ices;

      (b)        to provide ambulatory and domiciliary ophthalmic treatment, employing the
services of ophthalmologists and other medical practitioners;

                          (c)       to provide facilities for the clinical training of ophthalmologists;

       (d)        to provide facilities for the training of ophthalmic and dispensing opticians,
ophthalmic nurses, orthoptists and ophthalmic technicians;

      (e)        to create facilities for research into all aspects of ophthalmology, that is to say,
visual, clinical and experimental;

      (f)         to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic ophthalmic instruments and appli-
ances better suited to the practice of ophthalmology in Nigeria.

(3) For the purposes of the discharge of its functions under the foregoing provisions
of this section, the Centre may-

              (a)       arrange periodic conferences, seminars, study groups and like activities in
ophthalmology;

              (b)       advise the Government of the Federation or of a State on all matters relating to
defects and diseases of the eye and the prevention of blindness;

              (c)        offer such assistance to ophthalmic hospitals or units in various parts of the
Federation, as the Board may deem necessary;

      (d)        do anything in connection with or incidental to the functions conferred on it by
this Act.

3. Constituent parts of the Centre

The Centre shall be constituted as follows, that is to say-
       (a)  management board;
       (b)  an education committee;
       (c)   the clinical and other departments of the Centre;

      (d)   all members of the administrative, clinical and technical staff; and
       (e)  all students of the Centre.

 

4. The Management Board

(1) There is hereby established for the Centre, a board to be known as the National
Eye Centre Management Board (in this Act referred to as "the Board"), which shall have
general responsibility for the government of the Centre and shall consist of-

       (a)        the Chairman;

      (b)       the Director;

      (c)       four persons, broadly representative of the whole Federation and representing a
                 variety of interest, who shall be appointed by the President;

      (d)       two persons appointed by the consultant staff of the hospital from among their
                 number;

 

 (e) the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, or his representative;
 (f) the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, or his representative.

 

(2) The Chairman and other members who are not ex officio shall be appointed by the
President, on the recommendation of the Minister.

(3) The Chairman shall be a person of proven integrity, coupled with experience and
outstanding ability in administration and professional or technical education.

(4) The members specified in paragraphs (b), (d), (e) and if) of subsection (1) of this
section, are hereafter referred to as "ex-officio members".

(5) The supplementary provisions in the Schedule to this Act, shall have effect with
respect to the constitution and proceedings of the Board and the education committee and
the other matters therein mentioned.

[Schedule.]

  1. Tenure of office of the Chairman and members of the Board

(1) The Chairman and any other member of the Board (not being an ex-officio mem-
ber), shall hold office for a period of three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment
for a further period of three years:

Provided that members of the Board appointed under paragraph (d) of section 4 (1)
of this Act, shall hold office for two years and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

(2) A member of the Board, other than an ex-officio member, shall be paid out of
monies at the disposal of the Board such remuneration and allowances in accordance with
scales approved from time to time by the President.

(3) In the event of the death or incapacity of the Chairman of the Board, or if for any
reason other than effluxion of time, the office of the Chairman is vacant, the President
shall, on the recommendation of the Minister, appoint another person as chairman for the
residue of the term of the Chairman of the Board.

(4) The office of a member of the Board shall become vacant if-

       (a) he previously resigns his office by notice in writing given to the Minister;

       (b) the period of his appointment has expired; or

       (c) there is passed by the Board, a resolution declaring-

                       (i)    that he has become unfit for membership of the Board, by reason of the
fact that he has become incapable by reason of mental or bodily infir-
mity of discharging his duties; or

                       (ii)    that he has been absent from three consecutive meetings of the Board
without leave of the Board; or

                               (iii)    he has been convicted of an offence which involves moral turpitude.

(5) Soon after the office of a member becomes vacant, the authority by which he was
appointed shall appoint another person in his place in accordance with the provisions of
this Act.

(6) Any member of the Board other than an ex-officio member may, by notice to the
Board, resign his appointment.

  1. General duty of the Board

(1) The Board shall be the governing body of the Centre and shall be charged with
the general control and superintendence of the policy, finances and property of the Cen-
tre, including its public relations.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, it shall be the duty of the
Board-

             (a)        to construct, equip, maintain and operate the hospital, which is to provide
comprehensive services, teaching and clinical research in ophthalmology;

             (b)        to construct, equip, maintain and operate such training schools and similar in-
stitutions as the Board considers necessary, for providing the Centre at all
times with adequate and sufficiently qualified staff, including ophthalmolo-
gists, ophthalmic technicians, nurses and members of other allied professions
and calling, relevant to the practice of ophthalmology;

      (c)        to construct, equip, maintain and operate such clinics, units, out-patient de-
partments, laboratories, research or experimental stations and other like insti-
tutions, as the Board may consider necessary for the efficient functioning of
the Centre.  

(3) The duty of running the Centre imposed by the foregoing subsection shall in-
clude, without prejudice to the extent of that duty apart from this subsection, the duty of
providing proper courses of instruction for students; but the Board shall not have power
to award degrees, so however that the Board shall not be prevented from arranging for
students to attend courses at or take higher qualifications awarded by other institutions
not controlled by the Board.

(4) The Board shall ensure that the standards of treatment and care for patients pro-
vided at all establishments controlled by the Board and the standards of training at those
establishments, do not fall below those usually provided by similar establishments of
internationally high repute.

(5) Subject to this Act, the Board shall have power to do anything, which in its opin-
ion, is calculated to facilitate the carrying out of its functions under this Act.

  1. Powers of the Board in relation to management, etc., of the Centre staff

The Board shall be responsible for laying down general policies and guidelines relat-
ing to the management of the affairs of the Centre, including the management of the hos-
pital and the provision of facilities relating to the training of all categories of ophthalmic
personnel and it shall be the duty of the Director to execute such policies and to keep
within such guidelines.

Staff

8. The Director

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Director shall be appointed or re-
moved from his office by the President.

(2) The Director shall hold office for four years in the first instance and shall be eli-
gible for reappointment for terms not exceeding three years, on each occasion.

(3) Subject to this section, the Director shall hold office on such terms as to emolu-
ments and otherwise as may be specified in his letter of appointment.

(4) The Director shall, in relation to the Board, take precedence before all other
members of the Centre, except the Chairman of the Board and any person for the time
being acting as Chairman of the Board.

(5) Subject to this section, the Director shall be the chief executive officer of the
Centre and in addition to any other function conferred on him by this Act, have the gen-
eral function of directing the day-to-day activities of the Centre.

  1. Appointment, etc., of other staff

(1) The senior members of the clinical, administrative and technical staff of the Cen-
tre shall be appointed by the Board on the recommendation of a committee, to be known
as the Appointments and Promotions Committee, set up under the provisions of para-
graph 4 (3) of the Schedule to this Act.

[Schedule.]

 (2) The Board shall from among the officers appointed pursuant to subsection (1) of
this section select, on the recommendation of the Director, a person to act both as the
secretary to the Board and to the education committee.

(3) The power to appoint all other categories of staff to hold or act in offices in the
Centre (including power to make appointments on promotion and transfer and to confirm,
dismiss or exercise other disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such of-
fices), shall be exercised by the Director acting on the recommendation of the Junior
Staff Appointments and Promotions Committee, constituted under paragraph 4 (4) of the
Schedule to this Act

10. Composition of the education committee

The education committee shall consist of-

                                 (a) the Director, who shall be the chairman;

                                 (b) the heads of the departments of the Centre, responsible for training; and

                    (c) the persons for the time being holding such offices in the Centre, as the Direc-
tor may specify.

11. Functions of the education committee

The education committee shall have responsibility for the running of the academic af-
fairs of the Centre including-

                   (a)        the organisation and control of courses of study at the Centre and of the ex-
aminations held in connection with those courses;

       (b) determining the requisite qualifications for admission into any of the courses
offered by the Centre;

       (c) determining the duration of the training period; and

                    (d) effecting the affiliation of the Centre with universities and institutions, for the
award of degrees, diplomas or fellowship to students, on the successful com-
pletion of the relevant courses.

12. Candidacy for admission

Where a candidate offers himself for admission as a postgraduate medical student un-
der this Act, he shall satisfy the Board that he is a registered medical practitioner or that
he is on the temporary or provisional register of medical practitioners of the Nigeria
Medical Council.

13. Power of the Minister to give directions

The Minister may give to the Board directions of a general character or relating gen-
erally to particular matters (but not to any individual person or case), with regard to the
exercise by the Board of its functions under this Act, and it shall be the duty of the Board
to comply with the directions, but no direction shall be given which is inconsistent with
the duties of the Board under this Act.

Finance and discipline

14. Financial provisions

(1) The Board shall establish a fund into which it shall pay-

       (a) such sums as may be provided, from time to time, by the Government of the
Federation or of a State for the Centre; and

       (b) all sums accruing to the Centre by way of fees, gifts, testamentary disposition,
contributions from philanthropic persons or organisations or otherwise howso-
ever.

(2) Except with the approval of the Minister, the Centre shall not have power to bor-
row money.

(3) The Board shall prepare and submit to the Minister, not later than 31 December in
each financial year, an estimate of the income and expenditure of the Centre during the
next succeeding financial year.

(4) The Centre shall keep proper accounts in respect of each financial year and proper
records in relation to those accounts and shall cause its accounts to be audited as soon as
may be, after the end of the financial year to which the accounts relate by a firm of audi-
tors appointed, as respects that year, by the Board from the list and in accordance with the
guidelines supplied by the Auditor-General of the Federation.

15. Fees for services

The Board may, with the approval of the Minister, prescribe the scale of fees charge-
able for hospital services provided by the Centre.

16. Power to accept gifts

(1) The Centre may accept gifts of land, money or other property upon such terms
and conditions, if any, as may be specified by the person or organisation making the gift.

(2) The Board shall not accept any gift if the conditions attached by the person mak-
ing the gift are inconsistent with the functions of the Board under this Act.

17. Discipline of students

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, where it appears to the Director that any
student of the Centre has been guilty of misconduct, the Director may, without prejudice
to any other disciplinary powers conferred on him by regulations, direct-

                    (a) that, the student shall not, during such period as may be specified in the direc-
tion, participate in such activities of the Centre or make use of such facilities of
the Centre as may be so specified; or

                    (b)        that the activities of the student shall, during such period as may be specified
in the direction, be restricted in such manner as may be so specified; or

                    (c) that the student be rusticated for such period as may be specified in the direc-
tion; or

       (d) that the student be expelled from the Centre.

 (2) Where a direction is given under subsection (l) (c) or (d) of this section in respect
of any student, the student may, within the prescribed period and in the prescribed man-
ner, appeal from the direction to the Board; and where such an appeal is brought, the
Board shall, after causing inquiry to be made in the matter as the Board considers appro-
priate, either confirm or set aside the direction or modify it in such manner as the Board
thinks tit.

(3) The fact that an appeal from a direction is brought in pursuance of the last fore-
going subsection, shall not affect the operation of the direction while the appeal is pend-
ing.

(4) The Director may delegate his powers under this section to a disciplinary com-
mittee consisting of such members of the Centre as he may nominate.

(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the restriction or termina-
tion of a student's activities at the Centre otherwise than on the ground of misconduct.

(6) It is hereby declared that a direction under subsection (1) (a) of this section may
be combined with a direction under subsection (1) (b) of this section.

(7) Nothing in this section shall affect the provisions of any enactment relating to the
discipline of medical practitioners, pharmacists, nurses or members of any other profes-
sion or calling.

18. Removal and discipline of clinical, administrative and technical staff

(1) If it appears to the Board that there are reasons for believing that any person em-
ployed as a member of the clinical, administrative or technical staff of the Centre, other
than the Director, should be removed from his office or employment, the Board shall re-
quire the Director to--

                                (a) give notice of those reasons to the person in question;

                    (b) afford him an opportunity of making representations in person on the matter to
the Board; and

                    (c) if the person in question so requests within the period of one month beginning
with the date of the notice, make arrangements-

                        (i)    for a committee to investigate the matter and to report on it to the
Board; and

                                               (ii)    for the person in question to be afforded an opportunity of appearing
before and being heard by the investigating committee with respect to
the matter,

and if the Board, after considering the report of the investigating committee, is satisfied
that the person in question should be removed as aforesaid, the Board may so remove him
by a letter signed on the direction of the Board.

(2) The Director may, in a case of misconduct by a member of staff, which in the
opinion of the Director is prejudicial to the interest of the Centre, suspend any such
member and any such suspension shall forthwith be reported to the Board.

 (3) For good cause, any member of the staff may be suspended from his duties or his
appointment may be terminated by the Board; and for the purposes of this section, "good
cause"
 means-

       (a)              a conviction for any offence which the Board considers to be such as to render
the person concerned unfit for the discharge of the functions of his office; or

       (b)             any physical or mental incapacity which the Board, after obtaining medical
advice, considers to be such as to render the person concerned unfit to continue
to hold his office; or

      (c)              conduct of a scandalous or other disgraceful nature which the Board considers
to be such as to render the person concerned unfit to continue to hold his of-
fice; or

      (d)             conduct which the Board considers to be such as to constitute failure or inabil-
ity of the person concerned to discharge the functions of his office or to com-
ply with the terms and conditions of his service.

(4) Any person suspended shall, subject to subsections (2) and (3) of this section, be
on half pay and the Board shall before the expiration of a period of three months after the
date of such suspension, consider the case against that person and come to a decision as
to-

       (a)              whether to continue such person's suspension and if so, on what terms (in-
cluding the proportion of his emoluments to be paid to him); or

       (b)              whether to reinstate such person, in which case the Board shall restore his full
emoluments to him with effect from the date of suspension; or

      (c)               whether to terminate the appointment of the person concerned, in which case
such person will not be entitled to the proportion of his emoluments withheld
during the period of suspension; or

       (d)              whether to take such lesser disciplinary action against such person (including
the restoration of his emoluments that might have been withheld), as the Board
may determine,

and in any case where the Board, pursuant to this section, decides to continue a person's
suspension or decides to take further disciplinary action against a person, the Board shall,
before the expiration of a period of three months from such decision, come to a final de-
termination in respect of the case concerning any such person.

(5) It shall be the duty of the person by whom a letter of removal is signed in pursu-
ance of subsection (1) of this section, to use his best endeavours to cause a copy of the
letter to be served as soon as reasonably practicable on the person to whom it relates.

(6) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section shall prevent the Board from
making regulations for the discipline of students and all other categories of employees of
the Centre, as the Board may prescribe.

(7) Regulations made under subsection (6) of this section, need not be published in
the Federal Gazette, but the Board shall bring them to the notice of all affected persons in
such manner as it may, from time to time, determine.

 

19. Discipline of junior staff

(1) If any junior staff is accused of misconduct or inefficiency, the Director may sus-
pend him for not more than three months and forthwith shall direct the Junior Staff Ap-
pointments and Promotion Committee appointed under the provisions of paragraph 3 (b) 
of the Schedule to this Act-

[Schedule.]

                    (a) to consider the case; and

       (b) to make recommendations as to the appropriate action to be taken by the Di-
rector.

(2) In all cases under this section the officer shall be informed of the charge against
him and shall be given reasonable opportunity to defend himself.

(3) The Director may, after considering the recommendation made pursuant to sub-
section (1) (b) of this section, dismiss, terminate, retire or down-grade the officer con-
cerned.

(4) Any person aggrieved by the Director's decision under subsection (3) of this sec-
tion may, within a period of 21 days from the date of the letter communicating the deci-
sion to him, address a petition to the Board to reconsider his case, and the Board's deci-
sion thereon shall be final.

Miscellaneous and supplementary

20. Exclusion of discrimination on account of religion, race, etc.

No person shall be required to satisfy requirements as to any of the following matters,
that is to say, race (including ethnic grouping), sex, place of birth or of family origin, or
religious or political persuasion, as a condition to becoming or continuing to be a student
at the Centre, the holder of any appointment or employment at the Centre or a member of
any body established by virtue of this Act; and no person shall be subjected to any disad-
vantage or accorded any advantage in relation to the Centre, by reference to any of those
matters:

Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the Centre
from imposing any disability or restriction on any of the aforementioned persons, where
such person wilfully refuses or fails, on grounds of religious belief to undertake any duty
generally and uniformly imposed on all such persons or any group of them which duty,
having regard to its nature and the special circumstances pertaining thereto, is in the
opinion of the Centre reasonably justifiable in the national interest.

21. Annual reports

The Board shall prepare and submit to the President, through the Minister, not later
than 30 June in each year, a report in such form as the Minister may direct on the activi-
ties of the Board during the immediately preceding year and shall include in such report a
copy of the audited accounts of the Centre for that year and of the auditors' report
thereon.

22. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

"the Board" means the governing Board for the Centre, appointed under section 4 (1)
of this Act;

"the Centre" means the National Eye Centre, established under section 1 of this Act;

"functions" includes powers and duties;

"the Minister" means the Minister charged with responsibility for health;

"student" means a person enrolled at an institution controlled by the Board, for the
purpose of pursuing a course of instruction at the institution.

23. Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Eye Centre Act.

SCHEDULE
[Section 4 (5).]

Supplementary provisions relating to the Board, the Education Committee. etc.

Proceedings of the Board

1. Subject to the provisions of this Act and section 27 of the Interpretation Act (which pro-
vides for the decisions of a statutory body to be taken by a majority of the members of the
body and for the person presiding to have a second or casting vote), the Board may make
standing orders regulating the proceedings of the Board or any committee thereof.

[Cap. 123.]

2. The quorum of the Board shall be five, which shall include the Chairman and at least one
other member, who is not an ex-officio member; and the quorum of any committee of the
Board shall be determined by the Board.

3.   (1) Subject to the provisions of any standing orders of the Board, the Board shall meet
whenever it is summoned by the Chairman; and if the Chairman is required so to do by notice
given to him by not less than five other members, he shall summon a meeting of the Board to
be held within fourteen days of the date of the receipt by him of the notice.

(2) At any meeting of the Board, the Chairman of the Board shall preside and if the
Chairman is absent, the members present shall elect one of their number to preside at the
meeting.

(3) Where the Board desires to obtain the advice of any person on any particular matter,
the Board may co-opt him as a member for such period as it thinks fit; but a person who is a
member by virtue of this sub-paragraph, shall not be entitled to vote and shall not count to-
wards a quorum.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this paragraph, the first
meeting of the Board shall be summoned by the Minister, who may give such directions as he
thinks fit as to the procedure which shall be followed at that meeting.

Committees of the Board and Education Committee

4. (1) The Board may appoint one or more committees to carry out on behalf of the Board
such of its functions as the Board may determine, but a decision of a committee shall be of no
effect until it is confirmed by the Board.

(2) The education committee may appoint one or more committees to carry out on be-
half of the education committee such of its functions as the education committee may deter-
mine, but a decision of a committee shall be of no effect until it is confirmed by the education
committee.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Schedule,
the Board shall appoint the following committees, that is-

                                          (a) the Appointments and Promotions Committee, which shall-

                                                  (i)    consist of not less than five members, including the Director, who shall be
the chairman of the Committee;

                                                (ii)    be charged with the responsibility for making recommendations to the
Board on the appointment and promotion of the clinical, administrative and
technical staff of the Centre and have a quorum of three members;

                                 (b)    the Junior Staff Appointments and Promotions Committee, which shall have
the powers set out in section 19 of this Act.

Employees of the Centre 
5. Subject to this Act, the Board shall have power-

                                 (a)    to pay the employees of the Centre such remuneration and allowances as the
Board may with the approval of the Minister determine;

                                 (b)    to pay any person appointed to a committee of the Board such remuneration
(whether by way of fees or otherwise), in respect of the performance of his
functions under this Act and such travelling and subsistence allowances while
on the business of the Board, as the Board may determine;

                                 (c)     to establish for the employees of the Centre such superannuation scheme
(whether contributory or not), as the Board may determine; and

                                         (d) to give loans to its employees for purposes approved by the Board.

Miscellaneous

6. (1) The fixing of the seal of the Board shall be authenticated by the signature of the
Chairman or of some other member, authorised generally or specially by the Board for that
purpose.

(2) Any contract or instrument which, if made or executed by a person not being a body
corporate would not be required to be under seal, may be made or executed on behalf of the
Centre by any person generally or specially authorised to act for that purpose by the Board or
a committee of the Board.

(3) Any document purporting to be a document duly executed under the seal of the
Centre shall be received in evidence and shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to
be so executed.

7. The validity of any proceedings of the Board or a committee thereof, shall not be affected
by any vacancy in the membership of the Board or committee, or by any defect in the ap-
pointment of a member of the Board or of any other person on the committee.

8. Any member, and any person holding office on a committee of the Board, who has a per-
sonal interest in any contract or arrangement entered into or proposed to be considered by the
Board, shall forthwith disclose his interest to the Board and shall not vote on any question
relating to the contract or arrangement.

Education Committee

9. The provisions of this Schedule shall apply mutatis mutandis to the education committee;
so however that in relation to the quorum thereof, it shall be as may be determined by the edu-
cation committee.

SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

                                                   No Subsidiary Legislation