Sunday, May 3, 2020

SERAP: Asking Nigerians For Buildings As Isolation Centres Would Be Counterproductive, Do This Instead

SERAP: Asking Nigerians For Buildings As Isolation Centres Would Be Counterproductive, Do This Instead

President Muhammadu Buhari


The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire last week, was reported to have begged Nigerians to donate and temporarily make their buildings available as isolation centres.




According to him, more buildings would be needed, as the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) aims to test two million people in the next three months.

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has however suggested a better solution, as according to the organization, asking Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres for COVID-19, would pose more health challenges, and would be counterproductive.




Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has therefore, sent an urgent appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to “urgently instruct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abukabar Malami, SAN to work with appropriate ministries and agencies to identify, publish and use confiscated stolen assets as isolation centres.”

SERAP made this known in a statement that reads: “Using confiscated assets as isolation centres would provide safe and enabling environments for the treatment and care of people, improve the authorities’ ability to respond to COVID-19, reduce the risks to Nigerians and to public health.”




In the urgent appeal dated May 2, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “While it is important to ramp-up testing for COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus, asking Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres would be counter-productive, as it would put them at greater risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

The organization further said: “Rather than begging Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres, the authorities should identify, publish and use confiscated assets as isolation centres, as a temporary measure.

"Using confiscated assets as isolation centres would be proportionate, necessary, and serve a legitimate objective, namely to protect public health and public order (ordre public).”

According to SERAP, “The proposed measure would be lawful, and more effective, as it would be in the public interest.

Using the confiscated assets as proposed would neither violate the accused’s right to property nor entail a duty to compensate. The proposal by the Minister of Health would pose unnecessary risks to public health.”




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