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Gbajabiamila, Abayomi, others seek more synergy among states in tackling pandemic

Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has called for more synergy among states and agencies in the country to aid the fight against the covid-19 pandemic.

Gbajabiamila disclosed that the House was working with the Senate to enact a legislation aimed at offering tax relief and other stimulus packages for companies to cushion the effect of the pandemic.

He stated this Friday while featuring in a webinar interactive session organised by the Emmanuel Chapel Methodist Church with the titled, ‘State of bio-system; national emergencies and covid-19 disruption’.

The interactive session also featured Akin Abayomi, commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Abdulrazaq Garba Habib, an infectious disease physician; Major-General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Training and Operations.

The programme was held to inform the public on the state of bio-security in the country and attempt to update laws on the preventing and containment of infectious diseases.

Gbajabiamila stressed that the House was desirous about strengthening necessary laws to help tackle outbreak of pandemic and diseases in the country, which informed moves to pass the infectious diseases bill. He stressed that the House had also taken moves to collaborate with the executive to expand the social investment programme to touch more vulnerable Nigerians.

According to him, “We are working at passing the infectious diseases bill and working on legislation that would allow companies to cut 50 percent of their tax; I mean tax reduction and other stimulus packages for companies; that bill is in the Senate.

“We are also working on social investment to take care of vulnerable Nigerians, but the geographical spread would be determined by law.”

In his contribution, Akin Abayomi, commissioner for Health in Lagos, said the state was able to respond rapidly to the coronavirus pandemic because it had set up a bio-system infrastructure and policies to shape in place together with the required professionals.

Major-General Lucky Irabor, in his speech, expressed the readiness of the military to deal with security threat in any part of the country that could arise from the deaths associated with the covid-19 pandemic.

Irabor stressed that the military formations had taken extra precaution by carrying out a general enlightenment on the covid-19 pandemic, and fumigation of most Army barracks, while officers who had gone on course outside the country were often isolated upon return to the country.

Abdulrazaq Garba Habib, however, called for the strengthening and enactments of relevant laws in the country so that containment of infectious diseases and pandemic in the country would be made easier.

He called for more synergy among state government and security agencies so that the enforcement of inter-state restriction of movement could be effective to curtain the spread of the pandemic.

“It is important that we explore and review existing laws to meet urgent demands, the House of Representatives has to work with stakeholders to strengthen the Infectious Disease Bill to meet the demand of Nigerians, if we are serious about tackling pandemic in Nigeria,” Abdulrazaq said.

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