The House of Representatives has debunked insinuations that the Green Chamber has been distributing official vehicles for the 360 members at a time the country is battling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Benjamin Kalu, Spokesman, House of Representatives, in a statement on Friday, referred to a report in national daily to that effect, which he said was false as all attention had been diverted to addressing the pandemic, which had forced the federal and state governments to take drastic measures.
Kalu said: “Not only has the National Assembly been closed since Tuesday March 24 in the wake of the pandemic, but most lawmakers are also in their constituencies.
“As a House, we are not unmindful of the mood of the nation at this critical time and are committed to ensuring the country stands united in these trying times.
“It is out of that commitment that the House on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, introduced and passed the Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, 2020.
“It is on record that the leadership of the National Assembly on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, about 24 hours after adjournment, engaged some top government officials in the Executive arm and approved the release of N6.5 billion for the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), N10 billion for Lagos State, as part of efforts to address the issue of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite adjourning for two weeks to curb the spread of the virus, the House had expressed its readiness to reconvene at any time to consider measures aimed at addressing the situation, including a review of the 2020 Appropriation Act, if need be.
“We are committed, as lawmakers, to join hands with the Executive arm to take measures aimed at containing the pandemic and providing succour to Nigerians as a result of the economic shock necessitated by Covid-19 all over the world.”
Kalu urged Nigerians to disregard the newspaper report on the vehicles’ distribution, insisting that it was a mischief taken too far.
According to him, “Just yesterday (Thursday), the same paper on its back page, claimed that the House ‘closed shop and went on holiday’ three weeks ago, a clear falsehood that is common knowledge.
“The House only shut down three days ago and not three weeks ago, as falsely and mischievously reported. The paper chose to ignore all the House did within this time, the special session on addressing the high number of out of school children, intervening in the strike action by FCT health workers, etc.
“We also call on Nigerians to join hands with governments at all levels in addressing the issue of COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s all adhere strictly to the preventive measures taken by the government.”