The lower chamber of the federal legislature in Nigeria, the House of Representatives has concluded plans to suspend plenary and shut down over fears of the coronavirus pandemic.
The move has already been confirmed to the lawmakers by the Speaker of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila during a virtual meeting on Monday according to The Cable.
It was gathered the move to shut down the chambers as from Tuesday (today) was taken at the weekend to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) infection.
Normally, it is understood that the rep members were expected to proceed on Easter break on Thursday, sources have confirmed that the House leadership does not want to take any chances that would expose the lawmakers to the risk of the virus.
It will be recalled as previously reported by Naija News that Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Buhari had notified the House Speaker that some lawmakers who recently returned to the country had refused to make themselves available for the coronavirus screening.
Similarly, Lagos and Abuja have remained the epicenter of the virus outbreak in Nigeria with seven out of the 40 patients that contracted COVID-19 in Nigeria as of Monday night discovered to be in Abuja where the National Assembly complex is located.
Amidst these uncertainties, Gbajabiamila is understood to have told the lawmakers that the house will conclude Tuesday’s plenary session by 12:30pm, much earlier than the usual time, after which their operations will be suspended.
“The decision was already made over the weekend to shut down the house,” Gbajabiamila said.
“Though the house will be closing tomorrow, I will implore all members to be present on the floor for the passage of a bill titled Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill which the leadership of the House has been working on all weekend and concluded this night.
“The EESB will be the only item on the order paper tomorrow as we intend to conclude sitting by 12.30. We will suspend our rules and will take the 1st 2nd and 3rd readings of the Bill and send immediately to the senate for concurrence.
“I believe if we are able to do this tomorrow, we would be able to close the house knowing we did not leave Nigerians in a lurch. All other details will be given during my address tomorrow,” the speaker is reported to have said.