*Pledges N50 million relief fund for stimulus package
Former Nigeria Vice President and Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2019 general elections Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has suggested to the government of Nigeria to credit at least N10, 000 each of the 38. 5 million bank accounts owned by Nigerians after due verification through their Bank verification Numbers (BVN).
The former Vice President in a statement issued on Wednesday said a large percentage of Nigerians do not have the financial capacity to withstand long periods of self-isolation and even lockdown.
He added that it is incumbent on the Federal and state governments to provide palliatives to the Nigerian people to enable them to survive, even as they abide by these necessary measures put in place for their safety.
“As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the world, I applaud the various Nigerian state governments who have proactively taken measures, such as issuing stay at home orders, and shutting down non-essential markets and other places of mass gatherings, while also giving guidelines for social distancing.
“However, we must accept the fact that much of the Nigerian public have a subsistence existence. A large percentage of our people do not have the financial capacity to withstand long periods of self-isolation and even lockdown. It is, therefore, incumbent on the Federal and state governments to provide palliatives to the Nigerian people to enable them to survive, even as they abide by these necessary measures put in place for their safety.
“At an approximate 30 million households or thereabouts, the government should devise modalities to distribute N10,000 as a supplement for foodstuff to each household, among other palliative measures, with no one left behind” the statement read
He also called on the National Assembly to reconvene in an emergency session, through teleconference (in line with the demands of social distancing), to legislate a Stimulus Package Act that will cater for all Nigerian citizens.
The former Vice President also called on all Mobile Telephony Companies in Nigeria to urgently develop mobile money platforms so that the government can reach the unbanked with financial assistance.
He urged these telecommunications firms to offer each of the 100 million mobile phone lines in Nigeria free credit of at least ₦1500 per mobile line, so that Nigerians who show symptoms, or those who just want information, can call the nearest available health facility, or even an ambulance service, as the case may be.
Atiku commended individuals and corporate organisations who have one way or the other provided some form of relief for the Nigerian people. “In essence, this is what makes Nigeria great, when we help each other at such crisis times as this, irrespective of any differences. I further call on more corporations and individuals with capacity, to assist the public in these trying times.
“To this end, Priam Group pledges N50 million on my behalf as my humble contribution to a relief Fund that will form part of the stimulus package” he said