COVID-19: Atiku pledges N50m, says Nigerians deserve palliative measures


Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, said Nigerians deserve palliative measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Abubakar, in a statement, also pledged to provide N50m to a relief fund for Nigerians.

The former VP’s statement read in part, “Nigerians deserve palliative measures (amid the coronavirus pandemic). To this end, Priam Group pledges N50m on my behalf as my humble contribution to a relief fund that will form part of the stimulus package.”

Abubakar, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 poll, applauded state governments for taking proactive measures, such as issuing stay-at-home orders and shutting down non-essential markets and other places of mass gatherings, while also giving guidelines for social distancing.

He, however, urged the federal and state governments to provide palliatives for Nigerians to cushion the effects of painful measures being taken to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Atiku said, “However, we must accept the fact that much of the Nigerian public have a subsistence existence.

“A large percentage of our people do not have the financial capacity to withstand long periods of self-isolation and even a lockdown. It is, therefore, incumbent on the federal and state governments to provide palliatives to the Nigerian people to enable them survive, even as they abide by these necessary measures put in place for their own safety.

“At an approximate 30 million households, or thereabouts, government should devise modalities to distribute N10,000 as supplement for foodstuff to each household, among other palliative measures, with no one left behind.”

Atiku also called on the National Assembly to reconvene in an emergency session and suggest teleconferencing to legislate a Stimulus Package Act for Nigerians.

He also urged mobile telephony companies to urgently develop mobile money platforms to enable the government to reach the unbanked with financial stimulus.

The former Vice President also pleaded with the telephone companies to offer each subscriber at least N1,500 free credit, so that Nigerians who showed symptoms or wanted information could reach out to health institutions for medical assistance.

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