NCDC Faults House on Planned Suspension of Plenary over Coronavirus

  • Lawmakers may reverse planned suspension

Martins Ifijeh in Lagos and Udora Orizu in Abuja

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has described as needless the decision by the House of Representatives to suspend plenary for two weeks over Coronavirus.

The lawmakers may reverse their decision after Nigerians took to Twitter and other social media platforms to condemn their intention to adjourn plenary for two weeks.

In an interview on Channels Television wednesday, the Director General, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said this could cause panic and send the wrong signal to Nigerians.

He said: “I have all the respect for the honourable members. They represent Nigerians, they express the anxieties of Nigerians across the country but I think the time has not come to suspend plenary.

“If they respond by suspending sessions, everyone else will begin to think ‘should I close my business; should I close my office?;’‘should I close my school? It is disproportionate at this time. I think what the honourable members should do is supporting the work we are doing; the technical work that the experts are doing. Give us your support; give us a sustainable budget so that we can develop the expertise.

“Ask us for advice so that we can advise you on what to do. If I were asked, I would tell them that it is too early to carry out a measure like that. They need to express by their actions and words, confidence in the government institutions that they have set up and which is their mandate to fund.”

The NCDC boss who has been in self-isolation since his return from China last week as part of measures to ensure he does not spread the virus should he be exposed in the course of the trip, said it was only a precaution as he has tested negative to the disease.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday resumed plenary, indicating that the adjournment will likely not to take place.