Speaker of House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, has announced that all 360 members of the house resolved to donate their two months’ salaries to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
In a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, Gbajabiamila said that the two-month salaries donation was independent of the contributions by individual lawmakers to alleviate the hardship at their various constituencies.
According to him, from March salary, 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 100 per cent 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 front-line medical professionals and health workers, and other interventions to provide for the well-being of all Nigerians through these trying times.
“Accordingly, I have directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to see to it that all members’ salaries are transferred to the National Relief Fund for this month and the next,” he said.
The speaker said 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.
”The House has already 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’’, he said.
Gbajabiamila also said the house had 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.
He implored Nigerians to adhere strictly to the guidelines given by relevant authorities to prevent further spread of the disease, saying that Nigeria could not afford to have a large scale outbreak of the disease.
The lawmaker commended the sacrifices made by all the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.
He also lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to manage the outbreak and alleviate its adverse economic and social impact on Nigerians.
Gbajabiamila said the house would in every way it could “continue to support these efforts to ensure that our people make it through this difficult time with dignity and peace of mind.”
He urged governors of states that had not recorded any confirmed case to proceed as if they had, taken all precautions and making all the same preparations as in those states where there had been established cases.
Gbajabiamila also expressed profound appreciation to all the individuals and organisations who had stepped up to support Federal and State Governments.
“Let it be that when we think of this moment and of the roles we have each played, our memories are filled with the remembrance of heroes and the names of those who in their lives fought for life and left the vivid air signed with their honour,” Gbajabiamila said.