The members of the House of Representatives have resolved to donate their two months’ salary to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila who announced this in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday said the donation will be independent of the contributions by individual lawmakers to alleviate the hardship that their constituents face as a result of the pandemic.
Gbajabiamila said, starting from March, the lawmakers’ donation will be transferred directly to the National Relief Fund account for the fight against COVID-19.
“We have in the House of Representatives jointly committed to contributing one hundred percent (100%) of our salaries for the next two months to the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“Our contribution will support provisions for the welfare of frontline medical professionals and health workers, and other interventions to provide for the wellbeing of all Nigerians through these trying times.
“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,” the Speaker said.
He added that the House would exercise its oversight power to ensure faithful administration of all emergency funds and contributions made so far to ensure they serve the purpose for which they were intended.
According to Gbajabiamila, the House has mandated the Committees on Health and Disaster Preparedness to diligently oversee the distribution of items donated by local and foreign donors to ensure proper management.
Gbajabiamila also said the House has 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.”
The Speaker, therefore, implored Nigerians to adhere strictly to the guidelines given by relevant authorities to prevent further spread of the virus, saying Nigeria could not afford to have a large-scale outbreak of the disease.
He also applauded the sacrifices made by all the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals “who give their best through long hours in the laboratory, in hospitals and emergency care units providing comfort and treatment to mend the sick and heal our country.