House of Representatives (Reps) has urged the Federal Government to set up a N15b Coronavirus Emergency Fund for Nigerian universities and tertiary institutions to fix the impact of coronavirus on academic, administrative operations and research.
this was made known at the plenary session on Tuesday. Seeking the executive to launch a Coronavirus Student Emergency Fund, where indigent and vulnerable students can apply for student emergency grant to assist them to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.
The lawmakers have requested the Federal Government to empower some special universities to come up with testing capacities and facilities to assist the nation in testing the citizen now that the positive cases keep increasing. The institutions according to the representative members shall also be entitled to some financial funds to enable them research into the pandemic
The representatives further urged the Federal Government to “immediately” establish an Infectious Diseases Research Institute across the six geopolitical zones of the country in six selected universities of the nation.
Another proposal of the representatives is the government constituting a team that will comprise of the government, stakeholders and academia to go on a study tour to Madagascar to gather knowledge on COVID-19 cure. They opined that information gathered will be made available to the appropriate quarters.
In the prayers of the lawmakers, the Committees on Tertiary Education; Emergency and Disaster Preparedness; and Science and Technology has been mandated to ensure implementation and seek the concurrence of the Senate on the N15b Coronavirus fund.
The resolutions were passed based on the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, and Messrs Steve Azaiki, Betara Aliyu, Fred Obua, Francis Agbo, Makwe Livinus, Aniekan Umanah, Olaide Akinremi, Kabiru Tukura and Mahmud Gaya.