The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has announced that members of the House will be donating their 2months salary to fight COVID-19.
The Speaker made this announcement in a video message today.
Senators and Ministers of the federal republic had earlier extended similar gestures.
Gbajabiamila in the message said he had directed the clerk of the National Assembly to see that all members’ salaries for two months are transferred to the National Relief Fund.
Excerpts from the video read: “We have in the House of Representatives jointly committed to contributing one hundred percent (100%) 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 frontline medical professionals and health workers, and other interventions to provide for the wellbeing of all Nigerians through these trying times.
“Accordingly, I have directed the Clerk to the National Assembly to see to it that all members’ salaries are transferred to the National Relief Fund for this month and the next.
“This is independent of ongoing individual efforts by members to alleviate the suffering brought on by this virus and to improve the living conditions of citizens in their various constituencies.
The speaker also urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to disburse funds to the local governments in the country to support households, while also imploring Nigerians to adhere to directives from the government.
“The House also calls on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of its Policy Measures in Response to the COVID-19 outbreak, to immediately direct cash grants to the seven hundred and seventy-four (774) Local Government Area administrations in the country to provide food and other essentials to at-risk individuals and communities.
“This crisis has exposed in the worst possible way the evident weaknesses of our health system. After this is over and moving forward, we must do everything in our power to ensure that we will never again come upon a moment such as this, as ill-equipped as we are now.
“The transmission of this disease at a scale for which our systems are not prepared is our biggest present threat. We alleviate that threat by self-isolating. The bad news about this disease is that everyone is a potential victim, but the good news is that everyone is a potential solution.
“Keep in mind that if we do not rigorously follow these self-isolation guidelines, all our other efforts will at the end of the day come to nothing. Let this be for all of us, a time for introspection and prayer, a time to commune with God. Let us spend time with our children. Study, write, meditate and exercise. Do whatever you must to get through this period but do it at home.
“We are at war and our mission is first to survive, and then to overcome. These objectives require that we act in unison and remain lesser-focused on the challenge at hand. I ask all of you to continue to take care of yourselves. Follow the guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Do not disseminate information of uncertain provenance.
“Do not panic but make sure that those around you understand the risks of this disease and the challenges we face and must overcome together. If we do all that we are called to do at this time, it won’t be long now before we can with joy and thanksgiving together declare mission accomplished.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria has already recorded 135 cases with 2 deaths.