National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has asked the Nigerian Government to transfer relief funds to citizens via their Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Tinubu in a statement said the relief fund will meet the needs of many families who the government’s stay-at-home order has exposed to more hardship.
“Most families need relief. If relief is not forthcoming, these families risk hunger and its attendant suffering and woes,” Tinubu said.
“The money-less family still needs food, water, shelter and, to a lesser degree, utilities. In a compassionate society, they should not be made to do without.”
Tinubu’s advice to the government comes after President Muhammadu Buhari asked citizens to remain in their homes for two additional weeks to enable the government to curb the spread of coronavirus.
During the 14-days of the first lockdown, the government said it had disbursed some funds to vulnerable households in Lagos, Ogun State and Abuja to ease of economic pain of the masses.
However, many Nigerians complained of not being beneficiaries of the government’s N20,000 conditional cash transfer it said commenced days after the first lockdown. This trended the #PayUsViaBVN hashtag on Twitter earlier this week where citizens expressed displeasure in the method government was using to render palliatives to poor families.
Supporting the argument, “Tinubu said The amount should be enough to pay for the monthly needs of an ‘average’ household for food and other basics.”
The former Lagos State governor said the government’s relief fund will also serve as unemployment insurance to people that have lost their jobs due to the lockdown.
“This will be more targeted at the actual victims of the crisis but harder to administer. This stipend will also have to be extended to owners of small and medium-sized businesses.
“Third, the government can render some form of payroll support to companies and businesses that seek to retain workers albeit they may not be fully employed.”
He also asked the government to extend disbursement of the funds to companies who cannot sustain their operations by paying the workers on their payroll.
“The stipend can help companies stay in operation while maintaining workers on their payroll. By maintaining workers, the company can more swiftly return to full operation when normalcy returns,” Tinubu said.