COVID-19: 5 examples of how govt supports people financially and how it works in Nigeria
To cushion the effect of the lockdown imposed in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, many governments across the world have devised various means of helping their citizens and small businesses.
Apart from taking care of the poor, efforts are also being made to financially support those who have been directly affected by the lockdown, e.g. the daily wage earners and those who have lost their jobs due to the lockdown.
In this piece, Legit.ng highlights how various governments across the world have been helping their citizens to mitigate the effect of the pandemic and the attendant lockdown.
Conditional Cash Transfer: National Social Register, BVN and Mobile network
In Nigeria, the federal government is using the Conditional Cash Transfer programme to reach out to the poorest citizens.
Using the National Social Register, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management is distributing N20,000 to the poor citizens across the states of the federation.
In order to capture the urban poor, the ministry has also announced that it will use Bank Verification Number (BVN) and mobile network (phone recharge history) to distribute relief funds.
Under this plan, Nigerians with not more than N5,000 in their accounts will benefit from the initiative.
The programme is still at its early stage as many Nigerians have not benefited from it.
The government has also said that only 25% of the population will benefit from the palliatives.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also made available N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The loans are disbursed through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.
2. United States
To mitigate the damaging impact of the pandemic, President Donald Trump and the US Congress enacted a $2 trillion stimulus bill.
This includes direct payments to many Americans, expansion in unemployment benefits and $350 billion in small business loans.
Individual Americans will get up to $1,200 and couples would receive up to $2,400, plus $500 per child.
Jobless workers may also get an extra $600 a week in addition to their state benefits for up to four months.
The stimulus checks will be sent out to mails with President Trump's name printed on it. According to reports, about 70 million Americans will be captured in the stimulus package.
The government of Canada has created a COVID-19 Economic Response Plan which will provide up to C$107bn ($75bn, £64bn) to support Canadian workers and businesses.
Under the stimulus plan, Canadians without paid sick leave who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children are being paid stipends.
Also, Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact are being paid stipends of C$2,000 a month for the next four months
The Canadian government also has stimulus plans for small businesses facing challenges as a result of the pandemic.
4. South Korea
The Asian country has an employee-retention programme which covers 70 percent of wages or more.
This is to help companies stay afloat without sacking their workers in the face of the economic hardship imposed by the pandemic.
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Malaysia also came up with Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
The Malaysian government has two stimulus packages worth RM250 billion.
Under the stimulus package, households below RM4,000 will receive RM1,600 in cash incentive while RM1,000 will be paid in April.
Households earning between RM4,001 and RM8,000 will receive RM1,000 cash incentive. The first payment of RM500 will be paid in April.
Single individuals earning RM2,000 and below will receive RM800, with RM500 credited into their account in April.
Meanwhile, single individuals earning between RM2,001 and RM4,000 will receive a total of RM500. The first payment of RM250 will also be made in April.
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