A long drive around five remote villages in different places in Abuja, FCT was toured regarding covid-19 palliative package shared to Nigerians by the Federal Government. Most of the villages were covered and some findings were made in Dutse Alhaji, Lugbe, Kuje, Gwagwalada and Gudu.
This tour was to ascertain who and who benefitted and if truly some poor Nigerians benefited from the 20 000 Naira Federal Government has announced to have been distributed to over 2.6million Nigerians.
Some poor Nigerians especially in the Northern Zones have been receiving 5, 000 Naira monthly Stipends from FG since 2017.
Every beneficiary of the 5,000 has an issued ID card and all personal details captured in a book. As they disburse it to you, you sign on the referenced month and they tick appropriately in their record. You have an alternative family member that can receive the money on your behalf in a situation where you’re not available at the time.
This disbursement is done through a Federal Government program called HOUSEHOLD UPLIFTMENT PROGRAMME (HUP). One of the beneficiaries in Kuje Area Council was kind enough to allow us take a Snap of his Beneficiary ID card after we assured him of keeping his identity private.
Meanwhile, at the beginning of each year, they skip January disbursement and pay 10, 000 Naira by February. But this year 2020 they did not show up as usual.
But they came at the beginning of April 2020 and started disbursement of the money. Money was dispensed as usual but this time it was 20, 000 for the four months, and it was NEVER termed Covid-19 Palliative package.
It was a shocked when they heard in the News and watched in the television that Federal Government provided 20, 000 Naira Covid-19 palliative packages to them. To them, such News is false, as what they received and as ticked in their Cards was the usual 5, 000 Naira monthly stipends.
This stipends has been on since 2017 in the Northern part of Nigeria. Some of the Beneficiaries are not really poorest of the poor Nigerians. The process of capturing and verification is too porous and insincere and so many of those who’re not supposed to be captured in the program get themselves squeezed in. ‘Nigeria thing’ many of us will term this one.
The 20, 000 Naira payment in all the places visited is NEVER a Covid-19 Palliative package but the long established 5, 000 Naira Monthly Stipends to poorest of the poor northern-ism not Nigerians. Some agents of Federal Government (e.g. BPE) shared food items to some residents of Abuja, FCT as Covid-19 Palliative packages, money exclusive.
The alleged 20, 000 Naira Covid-19 Palliative package by Federal Government to 2.6million Nigerians is largely unfounded and unsubstantiated. If such money was shared at all, it’s obviously to a far less number. However, I stand to be corrected with tangible facts on this.
The 5, 000 Naira monthly stipends to poorest of the poor Nigerians seem to be effective only in the Northern part of Nigerians. On this too, I stand to be corrected with tangible facts.
Federal Government should come up with clear statement on how the Vulnerable Nigerians who received the alleged 20, 000 Naira Covid-19 Palliative packages were selected and possibly gazette their information for public notice. After all, it’s our money and we should know how it was spent.
Its absurd on how 2.6 million people was reached in 72 hours considering the system of government.