House of Representatives member, Wole Oke, has raised an alarm over what he called the “frightening spread of the deadly coronvirus scourage in Osun State”.
The lawmaker, who represents Oke Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately make available intervention fund to the state to fight the pandemic.
He also called for collective efforts to put an end to its further spread in the state and the country in general.
In a statement in Abuja, Oke who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, said Osun was not in a financial position to tackle this pandemic alone
He added that with 22 cases already identified in the state, there was the need for federal intervention to help fight the spread.
Oke said this was not the time to play politics, but join hands together to fight a virus that has put the economy of the world at a stand still.
He appealed to President Buhari to consider releasing ¦ N5billion as special intervention fund to the state government to fight the virus to a stand still.
He said all people, irrespective, of race, religion or tribe must unite as one force to combat the common enemy code named COVID-19 before the nation perish.
According to him: “It is frightening and alarming with 22 reported cases down already as of today, we don’t know what is in the offing.
“I think that at this stage, Mr President, who is the Commander- in -Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, should wade into the crisis at hand in Osun before it explodes and turns to a national embarrassment and calamity.
“Mind you, the dreaded coronvirus is no respecter of age, position, class or country
“Giving about N5billion to the state in the first instance will go a long way to address the situation on ground, the Government will be able to procure the needed medical equipment and drugs, create as many as possible isolation centres in all the local governments in the state and for other logistics.”
He added: “Osun State government is not viable enough to be able to shoulder this enormous responsibility which was not in the budget.
“Even the viable states like Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa-ibom Kano, Sokoto and others can not do it alone not to talk of Osun State, an agrigarian and civil service state.”
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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