By Deji Elumoye
All the 109 senators in the National Assembly will from this month earn half of their salaries, while the balance will be contributed to the federal government’s purse to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
A decision to that effect was reached at the weekend by the federal lawmakers with the arrangement subsisting till Nigeria is certified free of the epidemic.
The Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, who made this known on Monday via a statement, said the senators decided to contribute 50 per cent of their salaries to the efforts to respond to the spread and treatment of coronavirus in Nigeria.
The statement read: “After due consultations following a keen review of the national efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, the Senate wishes to announce that from March 2020, distinguished senators will be donating 50 per cent of their salaries to these efforts to stop the spread of the disease, otherwise known as COVID-19, in our country.
“This monthly contribution from the Upper Legislative Chamber will be sustained until Nigeria is declared safe from the ravages of this deadly disease.
“The Senate commends the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and the administration towards the goal of securing our nation against this plague. The Senate is willing and ready to do whatever is required of the Legislature for the effectiveness of all the measures in place now or that may be required in the future to win the fight against this menace.
“The Senate commends all agencies of the federal and state levels for working in collaboration to protect public health across the country. It also acknowledges the patriotic response of public-spirited individuals and organisations who have contributed in one way or the other in support of this fight.
“The Senate further appeals to the citizens to comply with the directives on social distancing and observance of basic rules of hygiene as explained by public health officials as the most effective way to protect ourselves, families and country against COVID-19.
“This is a global adversity that is testing the wit and resilience of mankind all over the world. By staying resolute and each of us responsibly playing their role, COVID-19 like all epidemics before it will soon be pushed into history.”