COVID-19: N’Assembly Extends Resumption by One Week, FG Seeks N500bn Intervention Fund

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• House seeks 2-month free power supply to Nigerians

By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The leadership of the National Assembly has extended it resumption date by one week in compliance with federal government’s 2-week stay-at-home policy.

The resumption date was initially slated for April 7.

The Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, disclosed this on Saturday during a meeting held at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, which had in attendance, the National Assembly leadership, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, among others.

Gbajabiamila, in statement issued on Saturday by his Special Adviser on Media, Lanre Lasisi, also revealed that the House would consider a fresh Stimulus Bill that will ensure that Nigerians get free electricity supply for two months to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Speaker said the proposed Bill would help in boosting the economy through the informal sector as the country prepares for the aftermath of the coronavirus.

He also explained that the proposed Bill would be considered immediately the House reconvenes from its ongoing break, declared due to the pandemic.

Gbajabiamila stated: “It has, however, been agreed by the leadership of the National Assembly that the resumption date, initially slated for April 7, will be extended by one week in compliance with government’s 2-week stay-at-home policy.”

Explaining the necessity for the proposed stimulus bill for the electricity sector, the Speaker said electricity, being a commodity consumed by every household, has a greater effect on the people and that since more Nigerians are in the informal sector, the effects would be felt more by the economy.

Earlier, the Minister for Finance said, among other measures, the establishment of a N500 billion Covid-19 Crisis Intervention Fund was on the table.

She said the money was expected to be raised from various Special Funds and Accounts in consultation with and with the approval of the National Assembly.

According to Ahmed, the intervention fund will be utilized to finance the Federal Government’s support to state in improving their healthcare facilities and also finance the creation of a Special Public Works Programme.

Details later…