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FG: No Palliatives for Nigerians who recharge phones with more than N100 airtime

Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister for Social development, Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has disclosed that Nigerians who recharge their mobile devices with more than N100 and bank customers with over N5,000 in their accounts do not qualify for the palliatives provided to cushion the damning effects of COVID-19 Lockdown.

This is coming after President Buhari extended the lockdown by another 14 days in order to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus which has no cure.

Minister Farouq said the federal government is working with Banks and telecommunications companies to ensure the less-privileged and physically-challenged persons receive the palliatives.

“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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