After four weeks of shutdown of legislative activities, the House of Representatives, today resumed plenary with a demand to the federal government to use the network of the federal lawmakers in the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives.
It would be recalled that the House of Representatives on the 24th of March adjourned plenary following the outbreak of the Coronavirus to avoid the spread of the virus. During the shutdown of the National Assembly, there were controversies over the distribution of the palliatives.
The speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila in his opening remarks, stated that, “many of our people have not benefited from any of the implemented measures.”
Gbajabiamila called on the federal government to make the palliatives inclusive and equitable.
“It is necessary that we act to ensure that many of the people that need help, are reached. We must also ensure that the distribution of interventions across the country is inclusive and equitable.
“At times like this, there is a tendency for the existing fault lines of a nation to become dangerously exacerbated. The government must not be complicit, by acts of omission or commission in any such aggravations, as such will only make it more difficult to maintain the unity of purpose, that is essential to our nation’s survival at this delicate time.
“Let me also at this time call on the administration to take advantage of the unique insights of federal legislators in targeting the distribution of some essential palliatives. When federal government interventions do not reach those that need, we are the first to receive complaints and have to explain to our constituents the reasons why they do not qualify or why they have been left out.”
He added that “Our grassroots interactions provide knowledge and context that can be useful to ensure that the hardest-hit communities receive help. We intend to bring these unique perspectives in our ongoing work to codify the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) into a Bill that will be considered by the House at our next adjourned date. We will also, at that time, seek to pass a second Economic Stimulus Bill to provide necessary relief to individuals and corporate organizations in Nigeria. We expect that before then, the Senate will quickly consider and pass the first Economic Stimulus.”
The House, which will only be sitting on every Tuesday, is considering a bill for an act to repeal the quarantine act 2004 and enact the control of infectious diseases bill.
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