#COVID19: How Did The Govt Select The Vulnerable Nigerians Who Received The Alleged N20K Palliative Packages?
The Federal Government announced to have distributed N20,000 to over 2.6million Nigerians, but eyebrows have been raised as there is no clear statement on how the vulnerable Nigerians who received the alleged N20,000 Covid-19 Palliative packages were selected.
One of our sources has revealed some findings after taking a long drive around five remote villages in different places in Abuja, FCT and interacting with a good number of persons. The villages visited were in Dutse Alhaji, Lugbe, Kuje, Gwagwalada and Gudu.
See below the findings.
- Some poor Nigerians especially in the Northern Zones have been receiving N5,000 monthly Stipends from FG since 2017.
- Every beneficiary of the N5,000 has an issued ID card and all personal details captured in a book. As they disburse 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 beneficiary 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. See attached pictures.
- Usually, at the beginning of the year, they do skip January disbursement and pay N10,000 by February. But this year 2020 they have not showed up.
- They came beginning of April 2020 and started disbursement of the money. January to April money was dispensed at once (N5,000 X 4 = N20,000). This was NEVER termed Covid-19 Palliative package before them.
- Many of them were shocked when they heard in the News and watched in the television that Federal Govt provided N20,000 Covid-19palliative package to them. To them, such News is false, as what they received and as ticked in their Cards was the usual N5,000 monthly stipends.
DEDUCTION FROM THE VARIOUS ENQUIRIES
- Some Nigerians, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria has been receiving N5,000 Stipends from FG since 2017.
- 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 programme get squeezed themselves in. ‘Nigeria thing’ many of us will term this one.
- The N20,000 payment in all the places we visited is NEVER a Covid-19 Palliative package but the long established N5,000 Monthly Stipends to poorest of the poor Nigerians.
- The alleged N20,000 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.
- Some agents of Federal Govt (e.g BPE) shared food items to some residents of Abuja, FCT as Covid-19 Palliative packages. No money was shared by them, just some few food items; Yam, Rice, Beans, Superghetti, Tomatoes, etc.
- The N5,000 monthly stipend to poorest of the poor Nigerians seems to be effective only in the Northern part of Nigerians. On this too, I stand to be corrected with tangible facts.
For avoidance of doubt, the Federal Government should come up with clear statement on how the Vulnerable Nigerians who received the alleged N20,000 Covid-19 Palliative packages were selected and possibly gazette their information for public notice. Afterall, the money was meant for the members of the public and they demand to know how it was spent.