Don’t expect palliatives if you’ve N5,000 bank balance, buy N100 recharge card, FG tells Nigerians

The Federal Government has revealed Nigerians with 5, 000 bank balance and those who recharge their phones with more than N100 will not benefit from the palliatives introduced to lessen the economic burden of the coronavirus pandemic on the masses.  

President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered extension of the two weeks lockdown in Abuja as well as Lagos and Ogun states respectively by 14 days to help combat spread of the novel virus in Nigeria.

Consequently, the president had in his nationwide broadcast assured Nigerians of his administration’s commitment to providing Nigerians with the needed stimulus package required to sustain themselves during the lockdown period.

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But speaking with journalists in Abuja, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, said only poor Nigerians would benefit from the arrangement.

She said: “You are aware that the president in his broadcast of Monday, April 13, 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 on more as well as people living with disabilities.

“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 maybe N100 or less. These are 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.

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“Let me also say that we have a standard. Twenty five percent of the total population is what we will take out. It cannot go round everywhere, but we are starting from somewhere. Twenty five 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.”

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