Following the lockdown of the country in a bid to contain the spread of the Coronavirus disease, a former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has called on the National Assembly to reconvene in an emergency session, perhaps by teleconference (in line with the demands of social distancing), to legislate a Stimulus Package Act that will cater for all Nigerian citizens.
Atiku who made this call in a statement in Abuja recently applauded the various Nigerian state governments who had 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.
He however observed that governments across the federation must accept the fact that much of the Nigerian public have a subsistence existence saying that large percentage of Nigerians 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”, he submitted.
Atiku who is also the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 Presidential election also called on all Mobile Telephony Companies in Nigeria to urgently develop mobile money platforms so that the government could reach the unbanked with financial assistance.
He further urged those 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 showed symptoms, or those who just wanted information, could call the nearest available health facility, or even an ambulance service, as the case may be.
He therefore commended all individuals and corporate organisations who had provided some form of relief for the Nigerian people adding that “in essence, this is what makes Nigeria great, when we help each other at such crisis times as this, irrespective of any differences.”
He continued, “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.”
Photo: Former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
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