By Ademola Akanni, Abuja
The Senate on Tuesday, 24 March, 2020 adjourned plenary for two weeks to resume April 7, 2020.
The resolution to so do was reached during a closed session by the Upper Chamber, and announced by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, after a closed meeting by Senators which lasted about 40 minutes.
Lawan, while giving details into what transpired during the closed door session, said lawmakers unanimously agreed that the Senate adjourn plenary for a period of two weeks due to the Coronavirus pandemic which has led to most countries shutting down activities so as to curtail the spread of the disease.
He, however, emphasized that the Senate will reconvene to attend to matters of national importance which require urgent legislative intervention within the period the National Assembly will be on recess.
“The Senate in particular, and the National Assembly in general, further resolved to adjourn sitting for two weeks from today, due to the pandemic of Coronavirus ravaging the entire world and the entire world, and therefore, the Senate resumes on the 7th of April.
“However, the Senate will be on hand in case of emergency in any national issue that requires its attention,” Lawan said.
The Senate President further advised Nigerians to observe all preventive measures recommended by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
While calling on the Federal Government to immediately set aside a Special Intervention Fund to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the Senate President advocated for the release of financial assistance to states for the same purpose.
“As at now the only way out of the pandemic is for the population to observe recommended measures/advices by the National Centre or Disease Control (NCDC).
“The Federal Government should devote special funds to fight the COVID-19 virus threatening Nigeria.
“Also, the Federal Government should give financial and other resource assistance to the states in the fight against the virus,” he said.
Lawan added that, “the Senate Committee on Health and Private Healthcare and Communicable diseases will continue to engage the Federal Ministry of Health and Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Senate before adjourning plenary on Tuesday held a minute silence in honour of Senator Rose Oko, who until her death represented Cross River North Senatorial district in the National Assembly.
The lawmaker died on Monday in a medical facility while undergoing treatment in the United Kingdom.
The one-minute silence was observed for the deceased following a motion by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC – Kebbi North); and seconded by Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP – Abia South).