The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to sponsor experts on a study trip to Madagascar and Senegal for possible cure of COVID-19.
The lawmakers also asked the FG to set up a N15bn emergency fund for tertiary institutions in Nigeria due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on them.
At the plenary on Tuesday, the House particularly urged the government to set up a strategic N15bn Coronavirus Emergency Fund for Nigerian universities and tertiary institutions “to respond to the impact of coronavirus on academic, research and administrative operations.”
The House also urged the tertiary institutions 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 federal parliament further urged the Federal Government to “immediately” establish an Infectious Diseases Research Institute in six selected universities across the six geopolitical zones of the country, which will be given specific research funding by the Federal Government.
Also, the lawmakers called on the Federal Government to empower some “special universities” to build capacity to do the required testing, to meet up with the national demand on testing due to the rising number of coronavirus cases.
Furthermore, the House urged the Federal Government to constitute a team that will comprise representatives of the government, the academia and relevant stakeholders “to undertake a study tour to Madagascar and Senegal to explore the reported progress in indigenous research into a possible cure of COVID-19 and bring back relevant knowledge and knowhow back to the country.”
In addition, the House mandated the Committees on Tertiary Education; Emergency and Disaster Preparedness; and Science and Technology to ensure implementation and seek the concurrence of the Senate.
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.