COVID-19: N/Assembly to maintain oversight on interventions, funds utilisation | Dailytrust

COVID-19: N/Assembly to maintain oversight on interventions, funds utilisation

Senate president, Senator Ahmad Lawan
Senate president, Senator Ahmad Lawan

Senate President Ahmed Lawan says the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, assuring that the National Assembly will continue to maintain oversight of government interventions and utilisation of funds by relevant agencies.

Speaking in Abuja Wednesday at the public unveiling of a book titled, ‘A Political Economy of Pandemics and Consequences of COVID-19 for Nigeria” by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Lawan said the pandemic was a big blow to Nigeria’s economy.

He said the National Assembly would continue to undertake a thorough review of all emergency measures, including all relevant legislations to determine their effectiveness and prepare the government for future emergencies.

“On the economic front, Nigeria suffered a great hit as the price of crude fell drastically to figures not seen before. The restriction in travels and movement further hurt the already fragile economy, particularly the millions of Nigerians in the informal sector who were never prepared for the pandemic.

“In the health sector, the pandemic revealed some inadequacies and underscored the need for a complete overhaul to reposition the sector to better respond to this and future emergencies.

“I encourage all Nigerians, especially frontline workers and those most at risk to take the vaccine, which has been proven to be both effective and safe,” Lawan said.

Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said: “We also have the opportunity at this moment to rethink our approach to nation-building and politics, commerce and economics, and the terms of our engagement with the rest of the world.

“The way we do business, the way we manage the affairs of government, the nature of our interactions with family and friends, all these things have been affected, perhaps permanently.”

Director-General, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, in his welcome address, said the pandemic had unleashed a global health emergency and an unprecedented economic crisis of historic magnitude.

“Looking forward, the book shows that this crisis can be an opportunity to rethink policy to build back with stronger systems for people and economies.

“Within the province of this mandate, therefore, the institute commissioned the book project to study the impact of the COVID-19 on the operations of parliaments and government institutions across democracies and in the Nigerian context in particular and the impact of the virus on various institutions of government,” he said.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; the Director-General of NCDC and the Chief of Staff to the President were all represented at the event.

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