By Adedapo Adesanya
Members of the House of Representatives have donated all their salaries for the month of March and April 2020 to fight the COVID-19 that has so far infected 139 persons in Nigeria.
This information was communicated in a footage shared by Speaker of the lower chamber of the National Assembly, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, via his twitter page, @femigbaja on Tuesday.
“We have in the House of Representatives jointly committed in contributing 100 percent of our salaries for the next two months to the fight of COVID-19 in Nigeria,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.
He said the donation will be used to provide for the welfare of the front-line medical professionals and health workers and other interventions to provide for the well-being of Nigerians through this trying time.
“Accordingly, I have directed the Clerk to the National Assembly to see to it that all members’ salaries are transferred to the National Relief Fund for this month and the next.
“This is independent of ongoing individual efforts by members to alleviate the suffering brought on by this virus and to improve the living conditions of citizens in their various constituencies,” the lawmaker from Lagos said.
Mr Gbajabiamila further said members of the parliamaent have urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make cash grants to the 774 local government areas in the country to alleviate the suffering of the masses.
“The House also calls on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of its Policy Measures in Response to the COVID-19 outbreak, to immediately direct cash grants to the seven hundred and seventy-four (774) Local Government Area administrations in the country to provide food and other essentials to at-risk individuals and communities,” he said.
The Speaker implored Nigerians to adhere strictly to the guidelines given by relevant authorities to prevent further spread of the disease, saying Nigeria could not afford to have a large-scale outbreak of the disease.
“This crisis has exposed in the worst possible way the evident weaknesses of our health system. After this is over and moving forward, we must do everything in our power to ensure that we will never again come upon a moment such as this, as ill-equipped as we are now.
“The transmission of this disease at a scale for which our systems are not prepared is our biggest present threat. We alleviate that threat by self-isolating. The bad news of this disease is that everyone is a potential victim, but the good news is that everyone is a potential solution,” he said.
The donation is coming a day after members of the upper chamber of the legislative arm of government announced the decision of its 109 members to contribute 50 percent of their salaries to the efforts to respond to the spread and treatment of coronavirus in the country.
Also, Nigerian government had last week Thursday approved a N10 billion grant to fight the spread of coronavirus in the country while donations have also been made by businessmen, citizens, and other institutions.
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