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Lawan urges fairness in stimulus package distribution

lawan-urges-fairness-in-stimulus-package-distribution

From Sanni Onogu and Tony Akowe, Abuja

Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday urged the executive arm of the government to ensure equity and fairness in the distribution of the stimulus package across the country.

Lawan, according to a statement by his spokesman, Ola Awoniyi, in Abuja, made the appeal during a meeting of the National Assembly leadership with some members of the Presidential Committee on COVID-19.

In attendance at the meeting, according to the statement, were the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

The statement added that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Speaker Idris Wase, some principal officers and relevant Senate and House committee members also attended the meeting.

The Senate President said all parts of the country should be considered in the intervention initiatives of the Federal Government.

Read Also: Lawan urges sacrifice, commitment in leadership

“We must ensure that there is equity. That there is fairness in the interventions. Every part of this country should have something to ameliorate the situation whether it is Coronavirus infected or not.

“In fact, some of our states had been in a very difficult situation before the outbreak of Coronavirus and such interventions will definitely help,” Lawan said.

He urged the relevant agencies of government to ensure that they streamline their activities along the provisions in the 2020 budget and avoid duplication of projects.

“In our stimulus package, we need to ensure provisions that will streamline with what is already in the 2020 budget so that we don’t do duplication.

“In our last meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning indicated that the executive is proposing a N500billion stimulus package.”

House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila is demanding an all-inclusive relief package for Nigerians to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the people.

He spoke yesterday at a meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefiele and the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari and others, for an update on the COVID-19.

The Speaker said one of the most effective means of alleviating the financial burden of the stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the virus is for the government to give a 100 per cent waiver on the electricity consumed by every household in the country.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, Lanre Lasisi, quoted Gbajabiamila as saying that without the cooperation and collaboration between the Executive and the Legislature, such laudable idea may be impossible to achieve.

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