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Lagos Assembly passes bill on COVID-19

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The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday passed the Emergency Coronavirus Pandemic Bill 2020 into law to combat and stop the spread of the virus in the state.

This would afford Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu the legislative concurrence to expend money required to effectively contain the virus and enforce compliance by Lagosians.

The bill, initiated by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, was presented on the floor by the Deputy Majority Leader, Noheem Adams and was repeatedly commended by the lawmakers.

The bill, which has 25 sections in all, is titled, “A Bill for a Law to Combat and Stop the Spread of Coronavirus Pandemic in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes.”

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The House Committee Chairman on Health, Hakeem Sokunle, laid the report after which it was subjected to robust debate.

The bill scaled three readings in quick succession given the urgent requirement to ensure the bill is speedily dispensed with.

After thorough deliberation, the bill was passed into law and gave the governor authorisation to spend a kick-off expenditure not more than N20 billion and to make recourse back to the House before any regulations.

The bill also recommends a fine of N100,000 for defaulters, one-month incarceration in the correctional centre or three-month community service.

Where the offences are not spelt out, the offence attracts N200,000 and also allows leadership of the various arms of government to structure their own restriction format. 

The Section 8 of the bill made provision for the Coronavirus Trust Fund and the bill also empowers the governor to declare state of emergency up to three months.

The lawmakers, who took turns to make contributions, all geared towards ensuring the governor’s proactive measures and pronouncement are not at variance with the law.

After passing the bill into law, the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, to prepare and send a clean copy of the bill to the governor for assent.

The House adjourns sitting till April 2, 2020.

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