No COVID-19 palliative package for Nigerians as FG claims

Nigerians living in Abuja, the country’s capital, who are intended beneficiaries of the COVID-19 palliatives, have denied receiving any amount of money or relief materials from government.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Umar Farouq, had said 2.6 million vulnerable persons benefited from the Federal Government’s cash transfer intervention programme.

She said 11 million households have been identified in 35 states, who benefited from the scheme.

Farouq said the FCT had 5,982 households, in Nasarawa, 8,271; Katsina, 6,732; and Anambra State has 1,367 households respectively.

SaharaReporters however, gathered that in communities such as Dutse Alhaji, Lugbe, Kuje, Gwagwalada and Gudu, Nigerians vulnerable to the economic impact of COVID-19 had no idea of any fund that was disbursed for that purpose despite governments claim that millions of Nigeria had received N20,000 each.

Through the Household Upliftment Programme, the government has been paying some vulnerable Nigerians N5,000 since 2017 after basic data is captured and a form of identification was issued.

SaharaReporters however, found out that beneficiaries of the scheme since 2017 do not receive payment every January.

“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 and started disbursement of the money. January to April money was dispensed at once (N5,000 X 4 = N20,000). The communities where not told this is a COVID-19 palliative package,” a source told SaharaReporters.

Many members of the communities visited expressed shock that government said it had provided N20,000 as palliatives to them.