Following the LNC Proposition to the Federal Government of Nigeria about using the 40million BVN-linked accounts as Basis for transmitting the Social Intervention Money Transfers to Nigerians under Convid-19 Lockdown, concerns were raised by some commentators about the rural poor who may not have any bank accounts, Tony Nnadi on behalf of the LNC responded as follows:
“Of the 200m estimated Population of Nigeria, children and very young persons who do not operate bank accounts may account for almost 30%.
Yes, there are people in the rural areas who do not operate bank accounts and there must be creative ways of reaching them with the help they need at this time of Lockdown.
Going from the BVN Basis, you could define a threshold of intervention which will begin with accounts with balances below a certain figure.
This way, you are likely to cover at the least 80% of the real needs, Countrywide.
(Bishop Oscar Ossai of the City of Refuge Ministries in Lagos was the first to point in this BVN direction but was ignored by the Authorities).
The purpose is to reach the Distressed segment of the Populace with help in a most objective manner and not the whimsical, partisan and very narrow approach represented by the so-called “Conditional Cash Transfer”, which began with the search for votes in limited areas of Nigeria during the heat of the 2019 Electoral Cycle but which is now being bandied about by the Federal Government of Nigeria as an authentic Database for reaching the Most Vulnerable of the Nigerian Populace. Moreover, the biting effects of the Lockdown transcends by far, the limited boundaries of the segments of the Nigerian Society that the Federal Government had classified as the Most Vulnerable (mostly beggars and invalids) at the time it began its infamous and corruption-ridden “Conditional Cash Transfers”.
The consequences of the Lockdown are even more severe on the more economically viable segments of the Populace who are now suddenly restricted from going out to their daily pursuits, many with children. How do they feed and meet the most basic needs in the Lockdown, including electricity and water that many cannot access in Nigeria?
The LNC warns that If urgent answers are not found by the Federal and State Governments, the hungry and angry Populace might defy the Sit-At-Home which currently seems to them like a condemnation to death by starvation. The system and its Security can easily be overwhelmed and that will be a most disastrous occurrence at a time the Convid-19 Pandemic already threatens all”.
- Tony Nnadi, ESQ, is the Secretary General of the Movement for New Nigeria (MNN), as well as the Lower Niger Congress (LNC).