Atiku seeks relief fund for poor Nigerians

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From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Federal and state governments to set up a palliative fund to assist Nigerians as they observe stay-at-home orders occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a personally signed statement on Wednesday, Atiku observed that much of the Nigerian population live on subsistence basis and do not have the financial capacity to cope with long periods of isolation or lockdown.

“It is, therefore, incumbent on the Federal and state governments to provide palliatives to the Nigerian people to enable them survive, even as they abide by these necessary measures put in place for their own safety”, he said.

Atiku announced a pledge of N50 million to the proposed fund, saying, “To this end, Priam Group pledges N50 million, as my humble contribution to a relief Fund that will form part of the stimulus package.”

Read Also: COVID-19: Atiku’s son tests positive

Stating modalities for the disbursement of the fund, Atiku said, “At an approximate 30 million households or thereabouts, government should devise modalities to distribute N10,000 as supplement for food stuff to each household, among  other palliative measures, with no one left behind.

“It is thus time for 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.

“I also call on all Mobile Telephony Companies in Nigeria to urgently develop mobile money platforms so that government can reach the unbanked with financial assistance.

“I also urge 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”.