Covid-19: There’s need for proactive actions – Gbajabiamila
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday said the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up a challenge for Nigeria to be proactive in its social, health and economic affairs.
He said it has become incumbent on the leadership of the country to have a rethink on approach to nation-building, politics, commerce and economics in terms of engagement with the rest of the world.
Gbajabiamila’s call was contained in his remarks at the public presentation of a book by the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS titled, “A political economy of pandemics & consequences of COVID-19 for Nigeria”.
The Speaker commended the Institute, saying the book be a guide to making of of polices going forward.
“There will be a next time. The interconnectedness of global trade and our increased ability to traverse the world for leisure and enterprise guarantees that diseases that start in one part of the world cannot for too long be isolated there. This is our new reality, and we need to plan government in recognition of this.
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”One of the benefits of having survived a global pandemic is that we are freed to decide to redesign things to better reflect our best expectations and to meet the highest ambitions we have of ourselves. We have a lot of work to do for our country. And in the months ahead, we will have to ask and answer a lot of hard questions about where we go from here. Thanks to Prof. Abubakar Suleiman and his team from the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), we have one more useful tool to guide our work and support our best efforts.”
In his goodwill message, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said the book is coming handy to assist in the legislative functions of the National Assembly.
”In the thick of the pandemic, the National Assembly reconvened to consider and pass the revised 2020 budget and approve other financial measures of Mr. President. The National Assembly remained involved in governance processes not only in considering and approving executive proposals but more importantly in providing oversight. These and other efforts of the government are objectively assessed in this book and the analysis shows that despite numerous challenges and obstacles, the government and people of Nigeria responded to the pandemic with our characteristic resilience and resolve.
”In particular, the response of the National Assembly to the pandemic was early and swift as shown in the numerous motions and resolutions of the Senate and House calling government’s attention to COVID-19 and the need to take pre-emptive measures to limit the impact on the Nigerian economy and livelihoods”, he said.
In his remarks earlier, the Director General of (NILDS), Prof. Suleiman Abubakar said that the book has far reaching recommendations on emergency preparedness.
”It goes further to offer wide-ranging and far-reaching recommendations on emergency preparedness, areas of reform and strategies that could be adopted by the government to mitigate the effects of this and future emergencies. More than forty (40) experts contributed chapters in the compendium. These include academics and practitioners drawn from the National Assembly, NILDS, universities, research institutes and other institutions of higher learning, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Finance, National Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC), human rights activists, media and representatives of civil society organisations, among others”, he said.