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FG To Exclude Nigerians With Bank Balance Above N5,000 From Its Palliatives To Cushion COVID-19 Lockdown Impact

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Sadiya Umar Farouk
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The federal government has said it will exclude Nigerians with more than N5,000 bank balance and those with mobile phone top-up credit above N100 on recharge cards from its palliatives provided to ease the impact of coronavirus in the country.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, commenting on plans to expand the social register to accommodate more Nigerians as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his nationwide broadcast, said the ministry would focus more on the urban poor.

Farouk said the ministry will focus on people who depend on the informal sector to earn their livelihood. ‘They are daily wage earners and these are the people that we are really going to focus on more as well as people living with disabilities,’ she added.

The minister stated: “You are aware that the president in his broadcast of Monday, April 13, directed that we expand the beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer by one million and in this regard, we are going to focus more now on the urban poor.

“These are people who depend on the informal sector to earn their livelihood; they are daily wage earners and these are the people that we are really going to focus on more as well as people living with disabilities.

“Well, we have three options. One, we are going to use the national social register that we already have. Two, we are also going to focus on the urban poor as I mentioned by using their verified BVN accounts to get them, that is, people that have an account balance of N5, 000 and below.

“We are also using the mobile networks, to know people that top up the credit units for their phones with maybe N100 or less. These are people that we consider to be poor and vulnerable. So, these are the three options that we are exploring and I am sure that by the time we get this data, we will be able to give this intervention.

“Let me also say that we have a standard. Twenty five percent of the total population is what we will take out. It cannot go round everywhere, but we are starting from somewhere. Twenty five percent of let’s say the location of Lagos State, for example, is what is going to benefit from this intervention that we are doing. Going forward, we might expand it but this is what is obtainable for now.”

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