18th March, 2020
The Senate on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to immediately brief Nigerians on efforts by the government to address the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the country.
The call on the President was contained in resolutions reached sequel to the consideration of a motion brought to the floor by Senator Danjuma Goje (APC – Gombe Central).
Oluremi Tinubu (APC – Lagos Central), in her contribution to the motion said the outbreak of the disease is a wake up call for Nigerians to take personal hygiene seriously, adding that Nigerians should not go about in fear.
Ajayi Boroffice (APC – Ondo North), said because Nigeria’s borders are porous, foreign nationals now use the land borders as entry and exit route to and from Nigeria.
He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Health to immediately place a ban on citizens of countries already affected by the Coronavirus disease.
Jibrin Barau (APC – Kano North) advised authorities of churches and hotels to introduce the use of testers in identifying infected persons so as to control the spread of the dreaded disease.
Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC – Niger North) said, “the issue at stake is one that calls for caution and proactive measures.”
“There are people who are having the virus and the symptoms are not there.
“For us to deal with this matter, individual contribution is key. Those who have travel to the epicenter of the disease are supposed to isolate themselves. Are they keeping to this?
“If you look at our health facilities, it is not in the best of state. Countries with good health facilities are on lockdown,” the lawmaker added.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP – Taraba South) said, “we (Nigeria) are the largest black nation in the world, and our borders are very porous.”
“The dangers that this virus will bring upon us because of our policy will be very dangerous.
“Once you’re not a Nigerian, we should stop them at the border and ask them to return to where they are coming from,” Bwacha added.
Senator George Thompson Sekibo (PDP – Rivers East) said, “even those that have the technology to solve the problem, the virus is still spreading without respecting any person.
“Let the ministry of health come with real standard on how to behave now.
“Our airports and seaports are still open, and you don’t have the equipments to fight it.
“Let no one from this chamber travel out of here. Let us quarantine those coming from outside. Let us be more careful because we don’t have the resources to fight it,” the law maker appealed.
Sam Egwu (PDP – Ebonyi North), urged Senators who travel out of the country to quarantine themselves before coming to the chamber to attend plenary proceedings.
Senator Yahaya Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC – Kwara Central) advocated for more resources to enable Nigeria establish test Centres across states.
He stressed that the availability of funds will ensure effective tracking, testing and quarantining of anyone who comes in contact with persons identified to be infected with the disease.
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, in his concluding remarks called for improved measures to be taken so as prevent uncontrollable outbreak of the disease in Nigeria.
He cautioned that, “even if our environment is hostile to Coronavirus, we need to be extremely careful. We won’t know when it adjusts to the environment and become very potent.”
The Senate in its prayers, accordingly, urged the Federal Government and Nigerians to keep abreast of all measures and developments related to Coronavirus globally.
Similarly, the Upper Chamber while urging the National Assembly to give the federal government full support to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, called for a Special Intervention Fund to combat the deadly disease.