The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Wednesday charged the Federal Government to provide an all-inclusive relief package for Nigerians to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens.
Gbajabiamila made the call during a meeting for an update on the COVID-19 intervention held between the leadership of the National Assembly and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefiele, the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari and others.
The speaker, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said one of the most effective means of alleviating the financial burden of the stay-at-home directive is for the government to give a 100 percent waiver on the electricity consumed by every household in the country.
He, however, noted that without the cooperation and collaboration between the Executive and the Legislature, such a laudable idea may be impossible to achieve.
Gbajabiamila restated the need for collaboration between the two arms of government for the benefit of Nigerians during these trying times.
He said: “We are indeed in an exciting time in Nigeria, and it is how we deal with and confront the problem that would determine how we end up.
“So, I’m waiting with bated breath and I’m anticipating the various packages and stimuli and how we intend to, as a government, deal with the times we find ourselves in.
“I look forward to listening to what is on ground, and I’m even looking forward to more input from the National Assembly when it is time for us to make an input.
“Because as it is often said, two heads are better than one, and we have one government. The National Assembly will not act unilaterally neither will the executive. We will work together for the best outcomes for the people whom we serve.”
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the meeting was critical so that the National Assembly would be adequately informed about the various proposed interventions, for it to be able to promote and support them with constitutional backing when necessary.
He asked the Minister of Petroleum Resources to update the NASS leadership on the state of the nation’s crude oil, saying the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria must, as a matter of necessity, streamline their stimulus packages in consonance with the national budget to avoid duplication of efforts.