Lagos Assembly passes emergency bill, releases details - Coronavirus
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Lagos State House of Assembly, on Thursday, passed into law an emergency bill to combat coronavirus.
The global pandemic has killed over 20,000 people and hit 200 countries.
Sponsored by Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, the Emergency Coronavirus Pandemic Bill 2020.
The bill was presented on the floor of the chamber by the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Noheem Adams after which it scaled the first and second readings.
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After scrutiny by the House Committee on Health, it scaled the third reading and was passed into law.
In details made available to Press, the law empowers Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to spend an initial N20 billion to contain the virus and enforce compliance.
It gives the governor the opportunity to make recourse back to the House for further inputs or additional regulations.
The bill stipulates a fine of N100,000 for defaulters, one month imprisonment in the correctional centre or three months community service.
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Where the offence is not spelt out, it attracts N200,000 and also allows the leadership of the various arms of government to structure their own restriction format.
Section 8 of the bill makes provision for the Coronavirus Trust Fund.
The bill further empowers the governor to declare a state of emergency of up to three months if the situation requires so.
Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja constituency 2) noted that it was important to alleviate the impact of the virus on the economy of Lagos.
He noted that the bill would enable the executive to expend necessary funds to contain the virus by providing adequate facilities in the state owned hospitals.
Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) said: “We urge Lagosians to bear with us. Pandemics are not new but the way government and people react to it matters 150 states in the world.
“Lagos recorded the first case,so they should look at the possibility to broaden it to capture much more.”
Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Somolu I) noted that the spread of the virus is unprecedented and that as a result, stringent measures should be taken to forestall the pandemic.
Obasa said the contingency plan in the 2020 Budget cannot sort out the current issue.
“Government needs be seen doing something, making effective pronouncements. The governor can make recourse back to the House if need be.
“If the budget procedure takes much time that can’t suffice, the kick off fund will help”, the Speaker added.
Currently, there are 51 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria.
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