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House Reps donate 2-month salary to fight Coronavirus as cases rise to 139

Nigeria’s House of Representatives members have resolved to donate all of their salaries to fight the pandemic coronavirus. This was communicated in a footage shared by Femi Gbajabiamila, the House of Representatives Speaker, on twitter. Gbaja said all the salaries will be transferred to the relief funds account. While the amount each member earns is not made public, there are a total of 360 members in the house.

“We have in the House of Representatives jointly committed in contributing 100 per cent of our salaries for the next two months to the fight of COVID-19 in Nigeria,” Gbaja said. He said the donation will be to “support the provision for the welfare of the frontline medical professionals and health workers and other interventions to provide for the well-being of Nigerians through this trying time.”

Nigeria recorded another four cases of the coronavirus, Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control said.
“Four new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria; 3 in the FCT and 1 in Lagos,” NCDC tweeted Tuesday night. “As at 08:00 pm 31st March there are 139 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Nine have been discharged with two deaths.”

Of the 139 confirmed cases, Lagos state has 82, FCT has 28, and Oyo has eight cases. Osun has five cases, Ogun has four; Kaduna and Bauchi each have three, while Edo and Enugu have two cases each.
Ekiti, Rivers and Benue states have recorded one case each. But the patient in Ekiti was discharged earlier on Tuesday afternoon. Both patients, NCDC said, have underlying medical conditions.

Lagos State and Abuja have been shut down since Monday night, a move by the Nigerian government to stop the spread of the dreaded virus. Both cities have recorded the number of the virus. Some other states have also some form of measures to as well curb the spread. So far, three state governors and President Muhammadu Buhari Chief of State Abba Kyari are among the people infected by the virus.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government on Thursday approved a 10 billion Naira grant to fight the spread of coronavirus in the country. According to a statement from President Muhammadu Buhari, the money will be released to Lagos State, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.
“This grant will enable Lagos increase its capacity to control and contain the outbreak, while also supporting other States with capacity-building,” President Buhari said in a tweet. Buhari also released a 5 billion Naira special intervention fund to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

The Green Chamber financial contribution comes after several wealthy Nigerians and organizations have donated to the same course. The United Bank for Africa (UBA) announced Thursday a donation of N5 billion to provide beds for isolation centers, intensive care unit facilities and direct access to medical advice to up to 450,000 citizens every day.

Wealthy businessmen and captains of industries including Femi Otedola, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Herbert Wigwe, Segun Agbaje and Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, all contributed N1 billion each to support the government in curtailing the pandemic in Nigeria. Mike Adenuga Jr donated N1.5 billion

Also, the Senate has disclosed that senators will contribute 50% of their salaries to efforts geared towards responding to the spread and treatment of Coronavirus cases in the country. Acting Spokesman of the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki, announced the decision in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja yesterday. A senator earns N750, 000 as basic salary and half of that amount is N375, 000.

“After due consultations following a keen review of national efforts to contain the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, the Senate wishes to announce that from March 2020, senators will be donating 50 per cent of their salaries to efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. This monthly contribution from the Upper Legislative Chamber will be sustained until the country is declared free from the deadly virus.

“The Senate commends efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and the administration towards securing our nation against this plague. The Senate is willing and ready to do whatever is required for the effectiveness of the measures in place now or that may be required in future to win the fight against this menace. The Senate commends all agencies at the Federal and state levels for working together to protect public health in the country. It also acknowledges the patriotic response of public-spirited individuals and organisations, who have contributed in one way or the other to support this fight,” the statement reads.

It appealed to Nigerians to comply with the directives on social distancing and observance of basic hygiene explained by public health officials, “as the most effective way to protect ourselves, families and country against COVID-19.”

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