by Alli Mustapha
Due to the increase in cases of the novel coronavirus infection in Nigeria, and in line with playing a role to curtail the spread, the former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has disclosed that his company, Priam Group, would donate N50 million to fund palliative measures for Nigerians.
The last presidential candidate also urged and appealed to the federal government to make provision for a monthly allowance of N10,000 palliative fund that would to some extent be a relief of the hardship currently experienced by Nigerians in these hard times of Covid-19.
This appeal by Atiku is coming after considering the “stay home” directives announced by Federal and some State Governments in the country.
The former presidential aspirant, who lauded the moves by several states government and the Buhari-led federal government to implement such social distancing directives to curb further spread of coronavirus in the country, added that it was also necessary to provide buffer measures for the effects of such protocols on the polity and that the monthly payment of a stipend to each Nigerian would go a long way in reducing sufferings of people.
This was made known through a statement released to newsmen on Wednesday, stating that though the federal government had shown great impulse in its fight against the pandemic in Nigeria, it would also be to the benefit of the people if such alleviation methods could also be implemented.
“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 approximately 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. 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 to all Nigerian citizens” He said.
Conversely, Atiku also urged that the rule of law should be followed in the implementation of his advised palliative scheme, saying that time had come for the National Assembly to reconvene in remotely held emergency session so that it could discourse, decide and legislate on an adequate Stimulus Package Act aimed at reducing Nigerians’ economic shortfalls, pending resolution of the nationwide health crisis.