COVID-19: PEOPLE HAVING MORE THAN N5,000 WON'T BENEFIT FROM PALLIATIVES -FG
The Federal Government has said that people having more than N5,000 in their bank accounts wont partake in the Palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The government also said that it will be using the mobile networks, to know people that top up the credit units for their phones with may be N100 or less.
Furthermore, the states Government would now be involved in the distribution of food items.
This was confirmed by the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq during a briefing with state house correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential villa in Aso Rock. She said the ministry would focus on the poor as they carry out the directive of the president to distribute palliatives to cushion the lockdone effect on Nigerians.
According to her, “You are aware that the President in his broadcast of Monday 13th April, directed that we expand the beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer by one million and in this regard, we are going to focus more now on the urban poor.
“These are people who depend on the informal sector to earn their livelihood; they are daily wage earners and these are the people that we are really going to focus more on as well as people living with disabilities.”
Giving details on how to identify the beneficiaries of the stimulus, she said that the Ministry has three options to be adopted in selecting the beneficiaries of the scheme.
She said, “Well, we have three options; one, we are going to use the national social register that we already have, two, we are also going to focus on the urban poor as I mentioned, by using their verified BVN accounts to get them, that is, people that have an account balance of N5, 000 and below.''
“We are also using the mobile networks, to know people that top up the credit units for their phones with may be N100 or less. Those are also people that we consider to be poor and vulnerable. So, these are the three options that we are exploring and I am sure that by the time we get this data we will be able to give this intervention.”
She however said only 25% of the population would benefit for now, and the ministry might expand the scope later.
She said, “Let me also say that we have a standard. 25 percent of the total population is what we will take out. It cannot go round everywhere but we are starting from somewhere.''
“25 percent of let’s say the location of Lagos state for example is what is going to benefit from this intervention that we are doing. Going forward, we might expand it but this is what is obtainable for now.”
The minister revealed that her ministry plans to handover the distribution of food and relief materials to state Governments so as to help them solve the challenges associated with the distribution in the past.
She said, “On the issue of palliatives in terms of food relief, we have an emergency response plan in place. In the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, we have different functional groups.
“One of such groups, is that which deals with mass care, logistics and security, to be led by the National Emergency Management Agency under the Ministry and they have a structure; from National, States, down to Local Governments, where the various State Emergency Agencies and other security agencies are involved in this distribution.''
“So far, we have already done the distribution together with the State authorities in these two states affected by the lockdown, together with the FCT but going forward, when we are going to give these food items, we are going to hand them over to the states because issues have come up, as at yesterday (Monday,)''
“Our people were mobbed, some of them were attacked in the course of carrying out this assignment so the general conclusion is that we give this food relief directly to the State governments for them to distribute to the beneficiaries.”
Also speaking on the N21bn donated by the European Union, the minister said the donation is coming in form of medical equipment and provision of structures that will help Nigeria fight the deadly disease.