Niger Assembly summons commissioners, others over COVID-19 response

The Niger State House of Assembly Ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19 has directed that the chairman and all members of the state Taskforce Committee on COVID-19 should appear before it on July 16.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ad-hoc committee gave the order on Monday following the absence of some key members of the taskforce at a scheduled interactive meeting with the lawmakers.

Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Chairman of the state Taskforce Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the State Government had led some members of the taskforce to the meeting on Monday to update the ad-hoc committee on its activities and expenditures.

However, Alhaji Malik Bosso, Chairman of the House Ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19, expressed displeasure at the absence of majority of the members of the task force earlier invited to brief the committee.

He noted that out of the 35-member COVID-19 taskforce committee only 11 members were present for the interface.

According to him, out of the 11 commissioners that were members of the state taskforce committee on COVID-19, only four were present during the interface.

“We were assigned to interface with the taskforce committee on COVID-19; therefore, we must take the assignment seriously to get adequate information. Therefore, we can not proceed until they are complete,” he said.

Bosso said that the commissioners of health, education, transport and agriculture were key members of the taskforce committee on COVID-19, adding that the interface could not proceed without their presence.

Also, Alhaji Bashir Lokogoma, (Wushishi Constituency), moved for the adjournment of the meeting which was seconded by Jibrin Baba (Lavun Constituency).

He said that representation from the task force committee on COVID-19 was scanty, adding that the chairman alone would not be able to respond adequately to questions from the ad-hoc committee members.

“If we have question for those that are not present, their representatives might not be able to answer adequately, therefore, I move that this meeting be rescheduled for Thursday,” he said.

Responding, Matane, said it was the first time that members of his committee were not present at the interface, adding that some of the commissioners were indisposed.

“Some travelled, some are bereaved, some are private people, some are representative of traditional rulers and I cannot force them to be here, but those within government that are not here and since the committee needs them to be here, we will bring them, ” he said. (NAN)

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