A member of the House of Representatives from Rivers State, Hon. Doctor Farah Dagogo, has provided #15 million worth of food items for his constituents to cushion the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
Farah Dagogo, who represents Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency, explained that the food items, which included 300 bags of rice, jumbo bags of garri and bags of beans are to be shared equally among all the wards of the two Local Government Areas that make up the Constituency.
The Federal Lawmaker, who made this known through a statement, said he is aware that the #15 million assistance for Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency ‘can never be enough’, However, ‘ hopes the token will ease the pain, inconveniences and hardship we all are experiencing now. ‘
He said the relief package will complement the earlier decision of the House of Representatives to set aside its salaries for March and April to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
While maintaining that ‘ prevailing events’ have only re-enforced his earlier call for a review of the 2020 budget, he equally urged the House to be ‘on top of the pandemic by taking advantage of technology driven forms of communication to sit, which would not only assuage but also bolster the courage of the people’
” These are trying times for representatives and those being represented. This Covid-19 pandemic is real and it has no doubt affected and shaped our ways of living, communicating and reasoning. As a follow up to joining my colleagues at the House of Representatives in committing my salaries for March and April to tackling this menace, I have further made available the sum of #15 million for food items to the people of my Constituency. I know for certain that the money can never be enough. However, I hope the token will ease the pain, inconveniences and hardship we all are experiencing now.
“That is why I considered it imperative that as we are tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, we ( the National Assembly) need to accelerate interactions with the executive to commence immediate review of the 2020 budget as we are now faced with the stark reality that reworking the budget is inevitable, especially with the ongoing economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy as well as the recent oil price crash.
” We need to start looking at the likely fallout of this pandemic. That’s why I’m insisting that while reviewing or reworking the budget, the #37billion for the renovation of the National Assembly should be re-directed to a critical sector of our economy, in this instance, education and with particular focus on the-out-of-school-children issues. We need to curtail it and be proactive as well before it becomes a pandemic.
” As regards procurement of cars for members, my position has always been and still remains, instead of procuring those cars, the monies earlier budgeted should be committed to tackling out-of-school children across the country because that is another time bomb waiting to happen. The monies budgeted should be reviewed and instead added to those earmarked for NASS renovation to tackle the out-of-school issues. This is an opportunity for us not to be reactive but be ahead of the situation. We all can make do with the cars we have for now. That is what the people we represent wants and we have to gladly hearken to their demands. We need to correct the impression the people have of us and this is another golden opportunity for us to sacrifice our comfort for the greater good of the people we represent.
” Fear of clustering or distance should not be a challenge to our sittings at this juncture. We can have some sort of technology driven sitting, like ZOOM or other applications to achieve that, which will then connect all of us at the same time despite our locations and avail us opportunity to discuss critical issues. With that, we are taking a lead that we are on top of the pandemic by maximizing the advantage of technology driven forms of communication to sit, which would not only assuage but also bolster the courage of the people, ” he added.