By Naomi Sharang/Kingsley Okoye
Senate President Ahmad Lawan says the National Assembly will continue to review of all COVID-19 emergency measures.
This he said was to determine the effectiveness and prepare the government for future emergencies and would include all relevant legislations.
Lawan stated this on Wednesday at the the official unveiling and public presentation of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) Publication, “A Political Economy of Pandemics and Consequences of COVID-19 for Nigeria.”
He said that as Nigeria began to recover from impact of the pandemic, the national assembly would continue to undertake thorough review of all emergency measures to determine their effectiveness and prepare the government for future emergencies.
“We will equally maintain oversight of government interventions to ensure comprehensive reporting on how funds and other resources were utilised by relevant government agencies during the pandemic.”
“The response of Nigeria to the pandemic was decisive and the government adopted well-defined strategies to contain the spread of the virus, provide healthcare to those affected and cushion the economic effects of the lockdown.”
He, however, noted that in the health sector, the pandemic revealed some inadequacies and underscored the need for a complete overhaul to reposition the sector to better respond to this and future emergencies.
Lawan listed efforts of the national assembly at containing the pandemic to include the fact that lawmakers had to reconvene to consider and pass the revised 2020 budget and approve other financial measures of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his remarks, Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila said Nigeria and indeed the world had in the past year, witnessed a global pandemic that had altered lives in fundamental ways.
“The way we do business, the way we manage the affairs of government, the nature of our interactions with family and friends, all these things have been affected, perhaps permanently.
“For the most part, we do not yet fully understand the consequences of these developments.”
He said the institute had used the instruments of research and data analysis to help Nigerians understand the changes that had happened and were still happening all around.
“This compendium will guide policy making to ensure we are better prepared for the next time. And there will be a next time,” Gbajabiamila said.
The book reviewer, Prof. Sam Egwu, who is the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Niger said the solutions to tackling such pandemics laid within the purview of elected officers.
“That is why where you have a pandemic, you are actually dealing with a political question and it requires political leadership to respond and address them accordingly.”
He also said that parliamentary oversight of policy measures undertaken to deal with health and economic emergencies were critical to the entire outcome.
“While partnerships with other stakeholders including the executive and civil societies are required for sustained effort to combat emergencies.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that leaders, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II gave a goodwill message, urging stakeholders to carry out a peer review “to compare with what other nations are going through.
” Many nations have not really come out of the pandemic,” he said. (NAN)