The FG has said that people with over N5,000 in their bank account will not benefit from the palliatives to reduce lockdown effect on masses. The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, has said that citizens with over N5,000 bank account balance will not be part of the beneficiaries of the palliatives designed to cushion the effect of the lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government also said that it will be using the mobile network providers, to know people that top up the credit units for their phones with as little as N100 or less. However, the state governments will now be involved in the distribution of food items very soon.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq stated this while briefing State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She also said that the Ministry will now focus on the urban poor as it carries out with President Buhari’s directive on the distribution of palliatives to cushion the effects of COVID-19 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.“
She further said that,
“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.
While disclosing the mode of distributing the money across to the people, she said,
“Well, we have three options; one, we are going to use the national social register that we already have and have been using in some states, 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. 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.”
Hajiya Sadiya Farouq continued by saying,
“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 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 said her ministry intends to handover the distribution of food relief items to State governments, so as to address the challenges associated with distribution faced in the past.
“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 (Tuesday).
“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.”
“This donation is coming in kind basically by way of medical equipment and also some structure to be put in place as a response to this COVID-19 pandemic.