Pay Emergency Relief Funds to Households Through BVN-Tinubu Tells FG
National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Bola Tinubu, has urged Federal Government to make cash payments to households through Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, gave the advice in a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said payments could be made quickly by using the BVN of prospective recipients to make direct deposits into individual bank accounts.
The APC leader said the use of BVN would also be safer and not lead to the types of violence and crime that might follow physical cash transfers.
Tinubu said this would even encourage those without bank accounts to establish such accounts and this process would further bring millions of people into formal banking.
“The money-less family still needs food, water, shelter and, to a lesser degree, utilities. In a compassionate society, they should not be made to do without.
“Most families need relief. If relief is not forthcoming, these families risk hunger and its attendant suffering and woes,” Tinubu said.
He said the palliative measures would blunt hunger, maintain aggregate demand in the domestic economy and help sustain private-sector markets to the extent possible.
Tinubu explained that such payments could be done in either one or in a combination of three ways.
He said: “First, we can designate a stipend for every household. The amount should be enough to pay for the monthly needs of an “average” household for food and other basics.
“While this may somewhat penalise larger families, perfection cannot be had at this time.
“Second, the stipends could be given as a form of emergency unemployment insurance to those who can prove they were relieved of employment due to the crisis.
“This will be more targeted at the actual victims of the crisis but harder to administer. This stipend will also have to be extended to owners of small and medium-sized businesses.
“Third, the government can render some form of payroll support to companies and businesses that seek to retain workers albeit they may not be fully employed.
“The stipend can help companies stay in operation while maintaining workers on their payroll. By maintaining workers, the company can more swiftly return to full operation when normalcy returns.”
Tinubu said payment of these stipends would require hiring additional government workers to augment the existing bureaucracies to implement that programme.
According to him, this administrative requirement will help boost employment and aggregate consumer demand.
He said that activating Trader-moni and other programmes would help many small-scale traders but not the average wage earner who just lost his job.
On agriculture, the APC national leader called for the re-establishment of commodity boards for strategically important crops to maintain adequate supply of food and ensure price stability.
He said that these boards would specify a guaranteed minimum-maximum price range for these crops in order to maintain and stabilize farm incomes as well as consumer prices.
According to Tinubu, the country faces a “trade-off between certain pandemic and possible widespread depravation.
“This situation presents a historic chance to establish more beneficial social contract between government and the governed,” he said.
He also urged government to expand the school feeding programme to many states consistent with applicable public health measures.
“By expanding this programme, we help feed our most vulnerable children while creating extra jobs and bolstering food production and farm incomes,” he said.
On debt relief, Tinubu called on African finance ministers to join a coordinated effort for debt forgiveness, while urging the World Bank and other DFIs to agree to a wholesale debt rollover by reducing the interest rate burden of African nations by at least one half.
He also urged the CBN to lower interest rates to single digits to spur some private sector and lower the charge on government deficit spending.
COVID-19 Quarantine: 18% in-bound passengers not traceable — Sanwo-Olu
By Gistflash News
July 12, 2021
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says 18 per cent of passengers that arrived Lagos through Murtala Mohammed Airport cannot be traced for COVID-19 quarantine.
Sanwo-Olu made this known on Sunday in the update of the coronavirus pandemic situation in Lagos State.
He said that between May 8, 2021 and July 7, 2021, a total of 50,322 passengers of interest arrived in Lagos via the Murtala Mohammed Airport.
”Of the 50,322 passengers, 18 per cent could not be reached by EKOTELEMED because of the provision of either wrong numbers or wrong Nigerian contact details to be reached on,” the Chief Incident Commander said.
He said that it was the responsibility of passengers to ensure they provided the right details for them to be reached for proper monitoring.
”Going forward, passengers that do not provide the right details, including a phone number they can be reached for monitoring and an address for isolation, will face serious sanctions, including fines and imprisonment according to our Lagos State Coronavirus Law of 2021.
”As dictated by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), passengers from red-listed countries (India, South Africa, Brazil and Turkey) are required to observe mandatory isolation.
”So far, we have successfully isolated 2,386 passengers in Lagos State. Of this number, 15 per cent have absconded,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that sanctions were being recommended and had already been meted out to defaulters.
The governor said that the sanctions for foreigners were revocation of their Permanent Residency and deportation; while for Nigerians were prosecution to the full extent of the Lagos State COVID-19 Law.
He also said that greater vigilance was required at this time in the churches and mosques and other places of religious worship.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state was pleased that religious houses were now open for worship, after the lengthy closures of 2020, however, worshippers must not be carried away by the illusion that all was now back to normal.
”This is especially critical, as Sallah approaches, in a little over a week from now.
”The festivities will no doubt bring people together in large numbers and create conditions that can sadly cause the spread of the coronavirus. We must not allow this to happen.
”For this reason, we are mandating full compliance with all protective protocols.
”There must be compulsory use of masks in all public places, social distancing, temperature checks, provisions for hand-washing and sanitisers, and a maximum of 50 per cent occupancy in enclosed spaces,” he said.
COVID-19 taskforce uncovers Delta variant in Oyo State
By Gistflash News
July 12, 2021
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on July 8 confirmed the index case of the deadly Delta variant in Nigeria.
NCDC confirms deadly Delta variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria
By Gistflash News
July 9, 2021
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has detected a confirmed case of the SARS-CoV-2, known as the Delta variant in Nigeria.
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Abuja.
NAN reports that the deadly Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a variant of concern.
The WHO said that the Delta variant was ‘dangerous’ and continued to evolve and mutate, and thus requiring constant evaluation and careful adjustment of the public health response.
Ihekweazu said the variant was detected in a traveller to Nigeria, following the routine travel test required of all international travelers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.
“As part of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response, NCDC has been working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) and other laboratories within the national network to carry out genomic sequencing.
”This is to enable the detection of variants of concern and initiate response activities.
“All data on variants from Nigeria have been published on GISAID, a global mechanism for sharing sequencing data.
”Given the global risk of spread of the Delta variant, positive samples from international travelers to Nigeria are sequenced regularly.
“The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has initiated several measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.
”This includes the introduction of travel restrictions for countries where there is a surge in cases associated with widespread prevalence of variants of concern.
“The national travel protocol which includes compulsory seven-day self-isolation and repeat test on the seventh day after arrival, are in place to reduce the risk of spread of the virus.
”It is very important that this is strictly adhered to, to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria,” he explained.
Given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, the NCDC boss urged all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place.
“Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing and proper use of face masks prevent infections and save lives.
”The COVID- 19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease,” he advised.
Additionally, he urged states to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 was accessible to Nigerians.
“Public settings such as schools with accommodation facilities, workplaces and camps should utilise the approved Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for rapid testing of their population,” he added.
He said although Nigeria had seen a low number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria in the last eight weeks, it is incredibly important that we do not forget to be careful.
“Please protect yourselves and the people you love by adhering to the known public health and social measures, getting vaccinated if you are eligible and getting tested if you have symptoms.”
The NCDC boss said the recommended control measures to limit the spread of the new variant was continued testing, following the existing public health guidance and abiding by the current travel and public restrictions.
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