COVID-19: ‘Buhari Will Not Abandon Citizens Affected By Lockdown’

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has said the federal government would not abandon Nigerians whose livelihood have been affected by the lock-down order given by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had in an address to the nation on Sunday over the disease, ordered the restriction of movement into and out of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States, in a move to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

BMO stated this in Abuja, saying the various moves by the Buhari administration were indicative that protection and well-being of Nigerians are the concern of the Administration.

According to a statement issued by the organisation’s chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, a clear testimony to this commitment, was the disbursement of N20,000 Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of four months to vulnerable households few days after the president’s order.

The statement said: “In line with the presidential directives on palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown in affected states, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development has begun the process of immediate cash transfer to vulnerable households starting from Kwali, on the outskirts of Abuja.

“It is important to note that the government has factored in daily wage earners affected by the stay-at-home order and has consequently taken steps to make relief food interventions available for communities affected by the order.

“So we are sure that the minister would soon begin the process, especially as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)  in the North-East have started receiving two months ration of food supplies.

“We also want to emphasize that the palliatives will not be restricted to only the areas affected by the federal lockdown as over 11 million poor Nigerians captured in the national social register of poor and vulnerable households cutting across all 36 states and the FCT would benefit.”

The group also noted that the Buhari administration has been taking steady steps in the last few days to assuage the pains that might come with the lockdown.

“We noticed how, twice in a week, the Federal government announced a cut in fuel prices from N145 a litre to N123 as well as a three-month freeze of the planned increase in electricity tariff.

“There is also the directive from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to all Pay-TV operators, including DStv, GOTv, and Startimes to immediately decrypt all local channels on their bouquets to enable Nigerians have access to regular information and updates on the pandemic.

“In addition to all of these is the N50bn Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) rolled out by the Central Bank as a stimulus package to support households and small businesses affected by the pandemic, even before President Buhari’s lockdown directive.

“We also know for a fact that there is more in the offing, especially as the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led Economic Sustainability Committee is developing more palliatives for Nigerians, including the urban poor.”

BMO consequently urged Nigerians to discountenance mischief-makers who claimed that the government had not put anything in place to cushion the impact of the pandemic on homes and businesses

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