With Abuja and Lagos on lockdown, two major cities once booming with both economic and administrative activities, indigent persons in these towns would be facing an unprecedented kind of suffering, hitting hard as the two cities halt economic activities, where these indigent persons had usually made a few bucks off day to day informal transactions.
The government, as it is only expected to do, has stepped in to ameliorate this suffering, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadia Umar Farouq, announced 6 things her Ministry will be doing through the Departments and Agencies under it to provide succor to the poorest Nigerians during the lockdown:
1. The Ministry would be expanding its safety net programmes to accommodate more poor people:
“To this end, we would be expanding our safety net programmes to include more vulnerable people whose conditions may be exacerbated as a result of the unintended consequences of the lockdown.”
2. Food rations will be distributed to poor households in Lagos, FCT and Ogun:
“We will distribute food rations to Households, with particular emphasis to vulnerable households in the front line states including Lagos, FCT, and Ogun.”
3. More households will be added to the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, while payments continue:
“We will continue with the Cash transfers to households, using data mined from the National Social Register, while we rapidly expand the National Social Register to immediately capture more households to benefit from the cash transfer programme.”
4. Immediate payment of stipends to N-Power Beneficiaries:
“We will embark on the immediate payment of monthly stipends to our N Power graduates.”
5. Food vouchers and food rations will be provided to families of children who are current beneficiaries of the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme:
“We will provide vouchers and rations to families of children enrolled in the Home-Grown School Feeding Program to access nutrient-rich food provision.”
6. A 3 Months moratorium on TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans:
“We will place a 3 months repayment moratorium for all Trader moni, Market moni, and farmer moni loans.”