The House of Representatives yesterday heard that Nigerians spend about $100m on cancer treatment abroad every year.
This came during a debate on four bills that seek to establish a cancer control centre in Nigeria.
The sponsor of one of the bills, Rep Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi), said over the years, cancer had become one of the major diseases afflicting Nigerians, which should be tackled forthwith.
He said it was for this reason that his bill sought the establishment of a National Cancer Institute for the prevention, treatment and control of cancer in the country.
He said: “The problem is lack of awareness on the control of cancer. On daily basis, one Nigerian man losses his life to prostate cancer. Cancer kills more than HIV and Malaria. The purpose of this bill is to minimize the rate at which people lose their lives to cancer,” he said.
Another sponsor, Rep Muhammed Usman (APC, Kaduna), said cancer had taken the lives of many Nigerians without being detected.
“Nigeria has seven cancer centres and only one machine is working. With the population of 170 million people in Nigeria, 840 machines are needed for cancer treatment. There is need to establish cancer centres in all the states in the country and to properly regulate them. These centres should also be equipped with infrastructure and adequate manpower,” he said. Meanwhile, the House has resolved to investigate the extension of the ban on exportation of Nigeria’s beans to Europe.