Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila said, activities of the Chinese medical personnel who arrived in Nigeria on Wednesday for the delivery of materials and equipment to the Nigerian government in the fight against COVID – 19 would be monitored.
In a statement on Thursday in Abuja, he said, there was a need to monitor the movement of the Chinese medical personnel as a result of fears expressed by Nigerians over their arrival in the country.
He said the House will legislate to ensure that donations for emergencies like this are fulfilled by individual and corporate donor agencies.
Giving an update through the statement, Gbajabiamila insisted there would be legislation for the disbursement of government and private funds for the pandemic.
He said without legislation, coupled with the fact that disbursement of government funds must be as prescribed by law, spending from the COVID-19 funds may become a subject of litigation.
He also expressed disappointment at the information that medical and other personnel at the entry points and hospitals working on the coronavirus pandemic are yet to be paid hazard allowance.
He said: “This engagement is to see how we can make things better. The Chinese medical personnel, are they coming to upgrade our laboratories, are you accepting them? Who are the technicians that have been running the Kaduna and Kano laboratories before now?
“Where are the Chinese personnel as we speak? How are you sure that the Chinese company responsible for this arrangement is complying with your directives?”
The Speaker also said since the disease is highly infectious, the authorities must test as many Nigerians as possible.
“My point is, let us begin to test everybody since the disease is highly infectious. We have a problem with contact tracing with people giving wrong addresses. Have you tried tracing them through the Immigration Service and telecommunication companies since these details can be sourced from those windows?”
“What we are trying to do is to see if constitutional provision is brought to bear on this issue as stated by Section 80 of the constitution, that disbursement from the coffers of government can only be in a manner prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.
“What we can do is to convene as soon as possible and give you, even if it is a one-line item for you to appropriate these monies, this is because to do otherwise may become a subject of litigation, and the court can say you have no power to disburse from the money that is coming to the coffers of government,” Gbajabiamila added.