Following criticisms of the style of distribution of palliatives to cushion the COVID-19 lockdown effect, the Federal Government announced new criteria to be examined before cash would be transferred to Nigerians.
On Tuesday, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar, announced that the Buhari administration considered Nigerians who buy N100 call credit as poor and would ensure they get money.
She disclosed that urban poor dwellers with an account balance of N5,000 or less will be among the beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme.
Farouq explained that aside from the National Social Register, Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), record of purchase of airtime by mobile phone owners was part of the yardsticks.
“We are also using the mobile network, people that top up their phones with maybe N100, N200. These are the people we consider to be poor and vulnerable,’’ the minister added.
Interestingly, it was the first time the government was mentioning BVNs in nearly one month since the lockdown went into effect in several sectors of the economy.
The government, at different press briefings and statements, focused on distribution of physical cash and food items, ignoring the easier and safer route of direct payments.
This led to condemnations by Nigerians and groups who said the CCT policy was enmeshed in fraud and demanding the list of beneficiaries.
On Wednesday, Bola Tinubu, national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, added his voice to the BVN option.
“Payments can be made quickly by using the BVNs of prospective recipients to make direct deposits into individual bank accounts. This will encourage those without bank accounts to establish such accounts.
“This process will bring millions of people into formal banking. It will also be safer and not lead to the types of violence and crime that might follow physical cash transfers,” Tinubu noted.
Farouq’s comments triggered heavy backlash as Nigerians are wondering the basis for the criteria.
The guidelines generated hundreds of comments; more than 95 percent of the respondents declared their opposition to the conditions.
Some reactions below:
Alumuku Terfa: This billions of naira donations you are receiving from all nooks and crannies…If one may ask, what is the exact population of Nigeria that if a fraction of the amount is to be shared, a minimum range of #200,000 that won’t accommodate? You only consider yourselves and your generations yet unborn on issues of looting.
Edwin Oloche Stephen: Nobody should complain ooo. Were you people not the ones shouting sai BABA and NEXT LEVEL recently, continue to enjoy ur NEXT LEVEL. Some of you are complaining about the present without even thinking of how some private sectors will sack their staff a few months after coronavirus because recession will surely hit this country soon.
Toyib Adeleke: Infact, I’ve been with zero account since a few days now and find all ways to borrow money with outstanding debt to get food and sustain life with family. It’s now difficult for me to sleep. This one is worse than covid-19 believe me.
Terina Francis: Thunder fire una. When you asked us to stay at home did you tell us that only those with less than 5k should only be the ones to stay at home? You won’t escape God’s judgement.
Rita Sunny Okonkwo: Do the right thing NO, consider the masses NO, give us light NO, social amenities nkoh NO, give us jobs as graduates NO, Restructure NO, Biafra NO + killing and arrest, Revolution No + arrest. We may mean nothing to you and our voice may not be heard but a day is coming when divine intervention will come and the rich will one day run to the poor masses for help. God is not a man.
Itz DE Potential: Have said it times without number that nothing good will ever come out of this government: You guys can see by yourself. As bad as Lie Mohammed, this woman is the worst of all the ministers in the Buhari govt.
Next level. Let’s manage it, you guys voted for APC. Sai baba!
Jasper Anietimfon Louis: I wish on election days, we’ll give these devils the same condition they gave to us…if you are contesting for governor you won’t have less than 5k..and you will have to swear in so many places. After that we will now decide. God will punish you people.
Zenith Alex Povilichenko: A shameful government will always parade a shameful set of personnel. Some of them are not qualify to be a classroom teacher because they lack critical thinking.
Injoor Solomon: Covid-19 has exposed this government to the last level, most especially in the office of the minister for humanitarian affairs. This government has frustrated many Nigerians apart from me.
Johnbull Okuku: This shows us exactly what our government takes us for. Other countries have palliatives for all their citizens, but in Nigeria, they will only look for short corners. It’s only revolution that will end this mess.
Kenneth Godson Shaja: When we have a primary school certificate holder as president what do you expect. A disaster in a country where thugs and the illiterate choose the president.
Kc Iheanyi: What a clueless and incompetent. So you really want people to have only N5,000 bank balance?
LeninPark1: What nonsense criteria is this. I hope you APC fans are happy and smiling because if i hear pim na thunder go fire fire una.
alvanityiam: I suggest we look for EU Twitter handle and submit our account numbers to them directly.
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