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Coronavirus: Atiku Asks Buhari Govt To Assist Nigerians Financially, Pledges N50m

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Former Nigerian vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to put in place palliative measures to help Nigerians survive the economic crisis that would be super-imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Atiku made the plea on Wednesday when he pledged N50 million to a coronavirus relief fund for Nigerians.

He said the donation is being made on his behalf by Priam Group to form part of the stimulus package the federal government should create for Nigerians.

The former vice president also urged the National Assembly to reconvene in an emergency session, perhaps by teleconference (in line with the demands of social distancing), to legislate a Stimulus Package Act that will cater for all Nigerian citizens.

According to him, the government should distribute at least N10,000 to each Nigerian household to help them acquire food, while telecommunication companies should hand free airtime to subscribers.

He said: “I commend all all individuals and corporate organisations who have one way or the other provided some form of relief for the Nigerian people. I further call on more more corporations and individuals with capacity, to assist the public in these trying times.

“To this end, Priam Group pledges N50 million on my behalf as my humble contribution to a relief Fund that will form part of the stimulus package.”

“A large percentage of our people do not have the financial capacity to withstand long periods of self isolation and even 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 food stuff to each household, among other palliative measures, with no one left behind.

“It is thus time for the National Assembly to reconvene in an emergency session, perhaps by teleconference (in line with the demands of social distancing), to legislate a Stimulus Package Act that will cater for all Nigerian citizens.

“I also call on all Mobile Telephony Companies in Nigeria to urgently develop mobile money platforms so that government can reach the unbanked with financial assistance.

“I also urge these telecommunications firms to offer each of the 100 million mobile phone lines in Nigeria free credit of at least ₦1500 per mobile line, so that Nigerians who show symptoms, or those who just want information, can call the nearest available health facility, or even an ambulance service, as the case may be.”

One of Atiku’s sons had tested positive for coronavirus.

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