- The federal government has clarified how the N20,000 coronavirus lockdown palliative is being distributed
- Lonwa Apera, the national coordinator of National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office said only one million vulnerable households on the national social register would get the N20,000
- Apera said the social register was created in partnership with state governors, adding that the register will be expanded to have four million households by June 2020.
The federal government has offered clarifications regarding the distribution of the N20,000 palliative to the vulnerable households to cushion the impact of the lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Guardian reports that the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) explained that only one million vulnerable Nigerian households on the National Social Register (NSR) would get the N20,000.
The newspaper adds that the national coordinator of National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Lonwa Apera, said the cash transfer office had earlier worked with various state governors to develop the national register of poor and vulnerable people in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) besides Ogun state.
Apera explained that the cash transfer that was kicked off by the minister of humanitarian affairs was for existing beneficiaries of the programme, and not every Nigerian.
He stated that the cash transfer is currently paying one million poor and vulnerable households but noted that the number will increase to two million in the next payment round in May.
Apera added that the government is also using the register to provide food rations to those who are not on the cash transfer but have children of school age.
He further noted that efforts are ongoing to expand the list to include the urban poor, with plans to have four million households on the register by June 2020.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the transfer of N20,000 by the federal government to poor households had started in the Kwali area council of the FCT Abuja.
Sadia Umar-Farouk, the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, on Wednesday, April 1, said that it was part of President Buhari's plan to help vulnerable Nigerians to cope with the lockdown order over coronavirus.
Umar-Farouk added that the disbursement of the funds will continue for four months starting from March.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has demanded that the federal government provide details of how the donations made towards the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is being spent.
SERAP announced on its official Twitter handle on Sunday, April 5 that it had submitted two Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the Nigerian government demanding to know how the funds donated by well-meaning Nigerians, international bodies, religious groups and countries to kick COVID-19 out of Nigeria is being used.
The civil society organization also faulted the current methods of sharing the palliative fund by the federal government.
SERAP notes that electronic transfers were better than physical cash sharing as is being done.
In another report, one of the vocal Nigerian pastors on the rampaging the world and Nigeria, Bishop Sam Zuga, has written an open letter to the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, Buhari, and Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa state.
Bishop Zuga of House of Joy Ministry claims he has the solution to tackle the dreaded coronavirus and other ailments.
In his open letter, Zuga is seeking permission to use his spiritual formula H2O+NaCl+C12H22O11+ 33°C = 37²7/322 on Nigerians in a 7-day healing festival at Ribadu Square, Yola, Adamawa state.
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