Coronavirus: House of Reps pass economic stimulus bill

Coronavirus: House of Reps pass economic stimulus bill

- House of Representatives introduces a bill seeking to provide a stimulus for the Nigerian economy amid the novel coronavirus crisis

- The proposed legislation which has passed the third reading is titled the Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, 2020

- The bill among others aims to protect the employment status of Nigerians who might lose their jobs following the economic challenges caused by the pandemic

A bill seeking to provide a stimulus for the Nigerian economy amid the novel coronavirus crisis was introduced in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, March 24, and passed for third reading.

The proposed legislation titled the Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, 2020, aims at providing temporary relief to companies and individuals to alleviate the adverse financial consequences of a slowdown in economic activities caused by the Covid-19 disease.

The bill also aims to protect the employment status of Nigerians who might lose their jobs following the economic challenges caused by the pandemic.

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The proposed legislation was sponsored by the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, the deputy speaker, Ahmed Idris Wade and the eight other principal officers of the House.

The House disclosed that the bill would carter for the general financial well-being of Nigerians pending the eradication of the pandemic and a return to economic stability.

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The bill also seeks to eliminate additional fiscal bottleneck on the importation of medical equipment and imposes a moratorium on mortgage obligations for individuals at a time of widespread economic uncertainty among others.

Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, on Tuesday, March 24 said the state government had acquired 19 ventilators, monitors and other critical equipment for the management of COVID-19 cases if it occurred in the state.

Okowa disclosed this in a statewide broadcast on the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the world.

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He announced that public gatherings, including burials, weddings, conferences and seminars, with over 20 persons in attendance should be suspended immediately.

In another news report, a pilot working with Air Peace has refused to let passengers disembark in Kano state after flying them from Lagos over a suspected case of coronavirus.

According to him, the ban is part of measures being put in place by the state government to protect the people from contracting the deadly coronavirus.

The governor also directed that civil servants from Grade Level 1-12 should stay at home till further notice.

He, however, stated that workers on essential services were exempt from the order, and urged Deltans to avoid non-essential travels in and outside the state.

The disclosure was made by a Twitter user, Ali Grema, who said the pilot awaited the arrival of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) before the door to the plane could be opened.

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However, Bashir Ahmad, personal assistant on new media to President Muhammadu Buhari, said the situation in Kano was not a case of coronavirus.

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