Nigeria: Opposition Parties Kick Against Govt's Method of Sharing COVID-19 Palliatives

3 April 2020

Abuja — The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has condemned the method which the federal government has adopted to share stipends to vulnerable people, describing it as a joke, a political trick and a bogus attempt to loot scarce resources in these trying times.

Last Wednesday, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, commenced payment of cash transfer to the vulnerable Nigerians as lockdown takes effect.

CUPP in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, said the method would not achieve the desire to reach out to millions of vulnerable people, adding that failure to reach the genuine vulnerable people is a recipe for uncontrollable social unrest, hunger and violence.

According to the statement, "With an estimated 10.6million people in the government social register, and given the president's directive that each person should get two months' payment, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development began sharing cash to the people. How many thousands of poor people will this woman use her hand to share money in such a way to achieve the essence of reaching out to the most vulnerable people? Does she expect to tell Nigerians that she shared over N200 billion only by cash? Can the federal government convince the citizens that this money got to the real poorest of the poor in the communities?

"Was this money not shared to political party members as some of those seen in videos and photos were expensively dressed and could not have qualified as the very vulnerable group? Was there any mechanism of monitoring these officials who the government has given N200 billion cash or did they have direct instructions on the number of people to pay and the amount to remit to the pockets of the individuals in the presidential villa?

"So how can there be accountability with this method? How is she selecting those she is giving this cash to? So if she shares the money to a few hundred people, who will reach the remaining millions that are in need of this palliative? How can the federal government be directly involved in sharing money when we have local government areas, traditional rulers and Town Unions that can help reach the poorest of poor assuming the government needs to have a sustainable and effective way of distributing the cash?"

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