Coronavirus: Senate suspends plenary for two weeks

Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan

In a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus disease, the Senate has suspended its plenary sessions for two weeks.

The announcement was made by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary on Tuesday.

The announcement followed a closed-door session which lasted over an hour.

Mr Lawan said while the plenary remains adjourned, lawmakers will be available to attend to important national issues.

“The Senate further resolves to adjourn sitting for two weeks from today due to the pandemic of coronavirus ravaging the entire world and therefore the Senate resumes on the 7th of April. However, the Senate will be on hand in case there is an urgent issue that requires its attention.
“As at now, the only way out of the pandemic is for the population to observe the recommended measures advised by the NCDC. The federal government should devote special funds to fight the COVID-19 threatening Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Lawan also called on the federal government to give financial and other resource assistance to the states in the fight against the virus.

The Senate committees on health and primary healthcare and communicable diseases will continue to discuss with the health ministry and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, he said.

This announcement comes days after the Senate suspended all public hearings and excursions to the National Assembly indefinitely.

Mr Lawan also announced that the gallery of the chamber will remain closed to visitors until further notice.

Prior to the adjournment, the Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, announced the death of Cross River senator, Rose Oko, who died on Monday night after a protracted illness.

Mr Yahaya prayed that his colleagues observe a minute silence in honour of the late lawmaker and suspend all activities – which was adopted.

Nigeria recorded its first death from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak on Monday.

So far, Nigeria has a total of 42 confirmed cases including one death.

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