The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has said on Monday, that the National Assembly would provide resources in the 2022 budget for the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, he said that the federal Parliament would ensure that the Covid-19 funds were prudently utilised by the relevant government agencies.
Lawan pledged this in Abuja while declaring open, a National Summit on COVID-19 with the theme: ‘End the Pandemic and Build Back Better.” The summit was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee(PSC) on COVID-19.
He told the participants at the summit that “in the 2022 appropriation, whatever is necessary will be provided for Nigeria to continue to fight the pandemic and beyond it.
He said, “there is a caveat, that those who will be given those funds need to provide the kind of prudence that is necessary – the economy, the efficiency in the deployment and application of those resources.
“I will urge our Committees who have been working very hard and very closely with the PSC to ensure very strict and rigorous scrutiny and oversight of our funds in 2022 when we are able to provide them to the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies.
“Members of the National Assembly and other political leaders of this country take the health of Nigerians very seriously and we will continue to be alive to our responsibility to ensure that our citizens are protected and are provided that kind of opportunity to take the vaccine.”
Lawan also urged relevant health authorities to do more to ensure that vaccine hesitancy is minimized or eliminated if possible.
He commended the PSC for the great work it had done in effectively coordinating and mounting a formidable national response to this emergent global public health threat.
He said, “The 9th National Assembly, under my leadership has equally played a critical role in supporting the Executive Arm of Government to respond frontally through the passage of the Quarantine Act 2020 in order to mitigate the effects of COVID – 19 on our citizens and the economy.
“The Act provided and regulated the imposition of quarantine and made other provisions for preventing the introduction, spread, and transmission of dangerous infectious diseases in Nigeria.
“The NASS proactively reviewed the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and the 2020 national budget in order to sufficiently fund the national response to the pandemic and to provide economic stimulus packages for Nigerians.
“In addition, after meticulous scrutiny, the Assembly gave approvals for various loans requested by the Executive to fund the 2020 national budget.”