COVID-19: Atiku donates N50m, advises FG to share N10,000 to Nigerians

A former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has pledged a donation of N50 million to a relief fund that would form part of the stimulus package and support Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

Atiku announced this in a Medium post on Wednesday and also highlighted what he expects the federal government, national assembly, and telecom companies in the country to do to alleviate the harsh economic effect of the present shutdown on Nigerians.

He said this is necessary because "A large percentage of our people do not have the financial capacity to withstand long periods of self-isolation and even lockdown."

Atiku listed what should be done:

1. Federal and state governments should provide palliatives to the Nigerian people to enable them to survive.

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

3. The National Assembly needs 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.

4. Telecommunications companies in Nigeria need to urgently develop mobile money platforms so that the government can reach the unbanked with financial assistance.

5. Telecom firms should 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.

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