The Nigerian Senate on Thursday suspended public hearings and restricted access to its chamber indefinitely over growing concerns of Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread in the country.
The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan announced the decision after the upper chamber embarked on a closed session at the resumption of plenary to deliberate on the devastating impact which a spread of the disease may cause in the absence of preventive measures.
According to Lawan, “The Senate resolves to suspend all public hearings till further notice as a result of the Coronavirus, COVID-19.
“In addition, the Senate gallery will remain closed to the public till further notice including excursions from schools and organisations from Tuesday 24th of March, 2020,” Lawan said.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, as at Wednesday recorded new cases of infection in Ekiti State following the death of an infected male American aged 27, who travelled into Nigeria from Richmond, Virginia in the United States of America.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had earlier on Wednesday confirmed that Nigeria had recorded five fresh cases of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Senate may on Tuesday next week consider a report on addressing the critical issue of Nigeria’s power problems.
The report was submitted on Thursday during plenary by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP – Benue North East).
The Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, after the report was laid, directed the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, to make copies available to members of the upper chamber ahead of its likely consideration on Tuesday.
This, according to the Senate President, would allow lawmakers sufficient time to go through its content over the weekend in preparation for the consideration of the report during Tuesday’s session.