As a measure to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria, the House of Representatives will suspend plenary and shut down on Tuesday.
It was learned that the House leadership took the decision to shut down the green chamber so as not to take any chances that would expose the lawmakers to the risk of contracting the virus.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, announced the decision to the lawmakers during a virtual meeting on Monday after he said the House leadership met at the weekend.
According to TheCable, the lower legislative chamber was to proceed on Easter break on Thursday, but the break has been fast-tracked in order to expose the lawmakers to the risk of the virus.
According to Gbajabiamila, the house will conclude Tuesday’s plenary session by 12:30pm after which the operations of the chamber will be suspended.
He said the session is to enable the lawmakers to debate on a bill entitled the ‘Emergency economic stimulus bill’ (EESB) which he said will be the only agenda on Tuesday, and will also be passed before the adjournment.
“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.”
40 patients have contracted COVID-19 in Nigeria as of Monday night and seven are in Abuja where the National Assembly complex is located.
This news medium understands that the National Assembly receives an average of 3,500 visitors every week in addition to the 360 lawmakers in the green chamber, and 109 in the Senate.