June 7, 2023

The House of Representatives has faulted the decision by the Nigerian Federal Government to issue schools the go-ahead to resume on Monday January 18th, in the face of the rising cases of Coronavirus.

The lawmakers argued that government officials failed to consult relevant committees of the National Assembly, which is contrary to claims that all relevant stakeholders were consulted before arriving at the January 18, 2021, resumption date.

The House therefore, demanded for the postponement of school resumption for at least three months, until necessary safety measures are put in place in absolute compliance with Covid-19 protocols.

The Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, made the disclosure during an interview with newsmen Saturday, saying his committee was not consulted.

“They did not consult us; at least in my committee, nobody from the ministry spoke to me. I have been in Abuja. And I am not sure that they spoke to any of my members. They just don’t see us as part of the critical stakeholders,” he said.

In a statement titled “School resumption: Are we truly prepared?” released on Saturday, Ihonvbere, on behalf of his committee, opposed the Monday resumption date.

The statement reads in part, “The Committee on Basic Education and Services, House of Representatives, has received with concern the decision of the Federal Government to reopen schools on January 18, 2021.

“We are particularly concerned that when the infection rates hovered around 500 and under, schools were closed; but now that it hovers well above 1,000 infections daily, schools are being reopened. Why are we rushing to reopen schools without adequate verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure our children?” he asked.

Recall that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 last week gave a go ahead for schools to resume for academic activities across the country.

Most states across the federation have ordered schools to resume, with only Edo pushing it’s resumption date till February 1, 2021.

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