Covid-19: House to Sit Once a Week till Lockdown Order is Lifted

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House of Representatives Chamber

By Udora Orizu

Following the extension of the lockdown imposed on the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States by President Muhammadu Buhari to curb the spread of coronavirus, the House of Representatives at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday resolved to sit once every week till the lockdown order is lifted.

The House made the resolution, following the adoption of a motion, titled ‘Regulating Plenary Sittings in the Period of Covid-19 Pandemic and Lockdown, pursuant to Order One, Rule 1 (2) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives’ sponsored by Hon. Abubakar Hassan Fulata.

Presenting the motion, Fulata said the House is aware of the constitutional responsibility of the National Assembly to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof and which responsibility could not be discharged because of the lockdown order.

He said the House is also aware of the provisions of Order Five, Rules 4 and 5 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, which regulate the sittings of the House from Monday to Friday on every legislative day except when it is on recess.

The lawmaker assured Nigerians that the Green chamber will provide legislative support to the executive arm during and after the lockdown.

Fulata said: “We are aware of the Stimulus Plan of the federal government to cushion the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the Nation’s economy. On 24 March, the House of Representatives adjourned plenary sessions for a period of two weeks to enable members enlighten their constituents of the dangers of coronavirus infection, also known as Covid-19. Because of the lockdown order issued by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on Sunday, 29 March, 2002, the resumption which was earlier scheduled for 7 April, 2020 was suspended and subsequently adjourned indefinitely. We are desirous to provide legislative support to the Executive arm by approving measures to address the welfare of the citizens during the period of the lockdown, as well as the period after the lockdown.”