BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, said for Nigeria to provide ‘herd immunity’ for its over two hundred million population, efforts must be made by the federal government to collaborate with international bodies to develop and produce a vaccine for the purpose.
According to Lawan, the project to develop a vaccine must deploy resources specifically meant to provide the needed environment for Nigerian scientists resident abroad to come up with a vaccine that would serve not only Nigeria’s population, but of other developing countries.
The senate president made this known during the public presentation of a ‘Research Work on the Legislative Efforts and Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic’ by the Young Parliamentarians Forum in collaboration with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in Abuja.
In his address, Lawan recalled the efforts by the National Assembly and State Assemblies in coming up with legislative interventions such as the economic stimulus package to help cushion the effect of the lockdown caused by the pandemic.
He added that such legislative interventions have subsequently extended to long-term legislative proposals that would address the inadequate number of health facilities across the country.
“The legislature was also forthcoming in supporting the executive arm, in formulating policies to cushion the effect of the contagion, particularly because of lockdowns, and the attendant adverse effect on personal and public incomes.
“Talking of public incomes, we know what the National Assembly did, particularly to support the Executive arm of government in passing the economic stimulus package, which we graciously did and, I’m sure the legislatures at the state level did the same in their states”, Lawan said.
On how to successfully vaccinate Nigeria’s over two hundred million population in record time, the senate president called on the federal government to explore the option of collaborating with international bodies and Nigerian scientists abroad for the development of its own vaccine.
Also speaking at the event, speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the chairman of the Young Parliamentarian Forum, Hon. Kabir Ibrahim Tukur, said the
COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges to legislative duties across the world.
On his part, chairman of the Conference of Speakers, Abubakar Suleiman, said the Research Work on the Legislative Efforts and Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic would assist legislators and policy makers to come up with required framework and laws to better prepare the country and its health institutions ahead of such situations.