By Deji Elumoye
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday, canvassed for the setting up of a special fund by the federal government for ordinary Nigerians to cushion the effect of stay at home order in the wake of the Coronavirus epidemic.
Lawan, who gave the call as a follow up to Wednesday’s meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and some Ministers and heads of government agencies, emphasised the need for government to make provisions ahead of time to address the basic needs of poor Nigerians as a way of controlling the spread of the disease.
According to him, “our prayer is that we are able to overcome this menace of COVID-19 in good time, because it is really taking a toll on our lives.
“If we have to eventually shut down our country, then as a government we must be prepared to have some relief for the most ordinary people.
“As a government, we must find our own money to fund something for our people, because the United States of America that is talked about or the British Parliament is because this involves public funds.
“I’m not seeing anything at the moment targeted at providing some relief. If we lock up Nigeria today, then we will wake-up trouble, because majority of our citizens go to market everyday before they can get something to eat.
“So, you lock them up in their houses with a threat of disease and without food. We need to have something, a plan of some sorts, in addition to making sure we don’t lock up the farmers market for example, where people can easily go and buy something, and of course pharmacies.
“We need to have some kind of supplies to people, I don’t know how we can achieve this, but we have to be ingenious.
“This is a time to think deep and wide, to provide for our people, in order for us at least to deal with this challenge at the moment,” Lawan advised.