President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria to offer economic palliatives to 11m people

* Prepares social register of the vulnerable in 35 states of Federation

* IDPs in North-East receive relief materials for 2 months
* Alleges violations of restrictions by citizens
Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
In its efforts at minimising and easing off the socio-economic impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the lives of the citizenry, the Federal Government says 11 million Nigerians are to benefit from its palliative care package to help them in mitigating the adverse effects of the measures imposed to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

Mrs. Sadiya Umar Farouk, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, a member of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and disclosed this at the daily press briefing of the task force in Abuja, Tuesday, March 31.

ConsumerConnect gathered that Mrs. Farouk said the government’s desire is to ensure that the beneficiaries suffer minimal pains during the lockdown.

The Minister stated that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East had already received two months’ rations of relief materials.

According to her, the Federal Government already had a social register with details of those considered as the vulnerable in society in 35 states of the Nigerian Federation.

According to the minister, these people belong to around 2.6million households across the country.

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pleaded with the citizenry to comply with the restrictions imposed to curtail the spread of the fatal virus in the country.

It further revealed that it is working with Security Chiefs to fine-tune the protocols for implementing the lockdown ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of PTF, restated that the restrictions are in the best interest of the Nigerian people.

Mustapha said: “The presidential task force has met with the Security Chiefs to smoothen rough edges of implementation within the first day of implementation, and we are working on issuing an appropriate restriction protocol and exemption guidelines, which will guide the subsequent days of restrictions.

“Initial feedback is that there is substantial compliance. However, there are violations of those restrictions by citizens that we desire to protect.

“Let me emphasise that the decision to lock down is to prevent community spread which might be dangerous to manage.

“It can only be done by Nigerians and for Nigerians. So, we use this medium to implore our people and plead with them to please respect and honour restrictions that have been imposed for the good of our people and nation.”

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health, said additional strategies are being developed to identify contact tracing to support case dictation, isolation and treatment in other to reduce infection.

Ehanire stated that closure of the nation’s borders would reduce the incidence of new cases in the country, but noted that the country will be dealing largely with those that are being infected and are being transmitted from person to person.

He announced that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had engaged hundreds of ad-hoc staff to support call centres, contact tracing and laboratory work.

Many retired staff of NCDC and those of Ministry of Health have reported for duty while training is ongoing for medical personnel to support all preparedness and treatment, the Minister disclosed.

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