In spite of criticisms following his introduction of the controversial Control of Infectious Diseases Control Bill and its second reading, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has insisted that the Bill was initiated to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 on Nigerians.

The Speaker said the possible effects of the virus on the nation’s economy and the healthcare delivery system “are responsible for all the steps taken by the lower chamber in its bid to address the health crisis.”

He justified the bill in a statement his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Lanre Lasisi issued after the speaker participated in a virtual interactive session organised by Emmanuel Chapel on Friday

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi; Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Defence Headquarters, Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor and Infectious and Tropical Disease Physician, Prof. Abdulrazaq Habib featured in the virtual session

The session, which focused on the State of Bio-security: National Emergencies and COVID-19 Disruptions, was moderated by Bolanle Austen-Peters.

The speaker argued that the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020 became imperative to address similar health challenges when they occur again in the country.

He said the passage of the first Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, Control of Infectious Diseases Bill and the second Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill which is about to be introduced, were all meant to successfully steer the country out of troubled waters that might follow the pandemic.

He said the passage of the first emergency economic stimulus bill and the introduction of the second document in a matter of weeks were meant to prepare for the shock that would trail the pandemic.

As countries are expected to run into recession, Gbajabiamila disclosed that the lower chamber would soon introduce a bill that would codify government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) with a view to giving it legal backing.

He noted that the Social Investment Programm (SIP), which it had spent several billions of Naira on social interventions, should be institutionalized and backed by law.

He stated: “The second Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill which is in the works right now, affects a lot more people (the middle class) so to speak, that should be on the table in a couple of weeks on the floor of the House.

“A lot is going on in the House, there is a lot of moving part, we can’t fix these in one day but as we continue with our post-Covid-19 team in the House of Representatives, we begin to channel legislations, which is our primary responsibility to deal with the disruptions of our daily lives.

“There’s a takeaway from this. In every bad experience, the most important thing is to learn from it and I think we all agreed that and on the same page that healthcare delivery infrastructure requires priority and a lot of work,” he stated.

268 Nigerians evacuated from China have arrived Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The evacuees were brought back to Nigeria by Air Peace airline who had on Thursday flew some Chinese nationals out of the country to China.

The arrival of the evacuees from China was disclosed by the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa in her twitter handle. She said the ” returnees would proceed on compulsory 14 days quarantine as stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control”.


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