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NASS reassures on 2nd wave of COVID-19

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Senate President urges strengthened partnership between Nigeria, U.S

President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan says the National Assembly has made special provisions for prevention and management of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.

Lawan said this when he spoke on Tuesday during plenary to welcome lawmakers back from Christmas/New Year recess.

“Distinguished Colleagues, our Country like many others is experiencing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We therefore, need to continue to treat the situation as a national emergency.

“The national assembly made special provisions in the 2020 budget which runs up to March 31, 2021 as well as the 2021 budget.

“We need to ensure that the funds are properly utilised for the prevention and management of the pandemic,” he said.

Lawan said that it was equally important for senate to engage with the Executive on the selection, procurement, distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccines.

“We must ensure that the selections of the vaccine for our people follows the appropriate and due Scientific process, with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) giving approval only after exhaustive tests.

“We must ensure that government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) responsible for this exercise develop verifiable processes and timelines on how Nigerians would be vaccinated,” he said.

Lawan said the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) 2020 before the national assembly would boost revenue and enhance transparency and accountability in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry when passed.

“There is no gain saying that increase in investments will boost our revenues from oil and gas. The PIB is going to create an All-Winner environment. This will also bolster our economy for the benefit of all,” he said.

According to him, the Senate Joint Committee working on the PIB will conclude its assignment before the end of March.

The senate president, therefore, expressed optimism that the report of the committee would be considered by the national assembly before the end of April.

“The review of the 1999 Constitution is another legislative intervention that the senate is equally committed to.

“There are many issues that Nigerians have built consensus on and they require constitutional amendments to engender unity of our people and efficiency in governance,” Lawan said.

Naomi Sharang

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