FROM THE SENATE
In line with our earlier promise to provide support as the need arises in this time of #Covid19, the leadership of the National Assembly, today met with the Minister of Finance and her team to discuss ways of addressing the impact of the pandemic.
This meeting, the second in the series after we shut down the National Assembly for two weeks, is a follow-up to one the leadership held last week Wednesday with members of the Presidential Committee which was set up for the management of the COVID19 crisis.
This is indeed a clear testimony of what we have said we’ll do as it helps us to better perform our roles as legislatures especially in this time of crisis.
The minister has told us what the plan of the Executive is, particularly in establishing a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund which will be channeled into upgrading our healthcare facilities both at the national and states level as well as provide intervention for states.
There is also the aspect of the fund proposed to be used to take care of special Public Work Programmes currently being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for the purpose of creating jobs at this critical time.
Details of these according to the minister would be brought to the National Assembly for consideration. When this is done, we are prepared on our part to take and expedite necessary actions to ensure that we are able to provide succor to the people.
For instance, we have to redefine the implementation of the Social Intervention Programme. Going out to communities to give them N20,000 per person might not be the best way to go. It is still an effort, but I think we need a better approach that will be more efficient.
Going forward, we need to interact more because very fundamental decisions will need to be taken, and these decisions can only be said to be constitutionally legal if the legislature gives its stamp of authority for the executive to implement and execute.
Such interactions are critical because we are in an emergency and time is of essence.
So, we must work as expeditiously as possible to ensure that we put in place the things that will make life meaningful for Nigerians.