Huriwa To President Buhari:- Nigeria Needs A Unified Response To The Covid-19 Ailment So The Nation's Economy Does Not Collapse:
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has advocated what it calls a national unified response to the rampaging Covid-19 disease in Nigeria with a view to finding local and indigenous panacea to the health emergency and begin to open up the Country to some forms of limited economic activities to stave off IMMINENT national economic collapse should the total shutdown continues unabated.
Besides, the Rights group said it was unjust, inhumane, wicked, outrageous and Illegal for the President to supervise the ongoing lopsided re-distribution of the palliatives and reliefs made available by the Nigerian state for the benefit of all poor income families in Nigeria which ought to have been re-distributed equitably and equally just as the Rights group said the disclosure by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs that the North West alone cornered more of the components of the National conditional cash transfer approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to ameliorate the hardships faced by millions of poor households than the South East and South South of Nigeria is another form of apartheid policy and discriminatory.
The Rights group said the minister of Humanitarian Affairs must be called to order to stop the use of highly suspicious and unscientific indices to determine the rightful beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer from the coffers of the Nigerian government to the Nigerian people. HURIWA also called for the forensic fibsncial crimes INVESTIGATIONS of the disbursement of the conditional cash transfer by the National office coordinating the Social investment programme which is under the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and SOCIAL Development.
HURIWA dismissed the model adopted by the Humanitarian Affairs minister as follows: "It is superficial and UNSCIENTIFIC for the Humanitarian Affairs minister to say that only those citizens with only N5,000 in their bank accounts or those who load just N100 call cards that will be paid. This is highly outrageous because there are very many poor people that have recently received assistance from kind-hearted Nigerians and may have even received recharge cards of above one thousand Naira as donations from some good spirited individuals who are aware of their precarious financial predicament.. So how do you judge or assess that poor family as comfortable only because such a bread winner of the family received some gifts that may not even last them more than two days if it is the case of families with over 5 children in a given household or even more children?"
HURIWA submitted that government at the center must be told that the best approach is to adopt the measures used by either the Independent National Electoral commission or the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria in doing registration of voters or dropping and collecting payments for services rendered to Nigerians.
"The Federal government needs to liaise with the states and the local councils and reach out to the wards and even the traditional institutions of autonomous communities and to be assisted by community based, Religious leaders and important stakeholders who would jointly compile the credible lists of poor Nigerians and distribute the cash through their confirmed BVN and account numbers or the Central Bank of Nigeria can work out a modality for those with no bank accounts to open their accounts using their mobile telephone numbers. The process of generating the data of poor families can well be derived directly from the ward level all across the nation Nigeria and the payments must be made through their accounts and then publicised for vetting by Nigerians. This is how to promote transparency and accountability ".
HURIWA said thus: " We believe just like most reputable scholars have affirmed to the effect that averagely, it is estimated that 62.6 percent of Nigerians live below the international poverty line (PPP US$1.25 per day). This translates to about 100 million Nigerians. In view of this sad reality the President Muhsmmadu Buhari administration it would be recalled decidedly inaugurated what it called the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in 2016 to tackle the country’s high rate of poverty and vulnerability. The programme comprises: the N-Power designed to assist young graduates to acquire and develop life-long skills; the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) for the support of those within the lowest poverty brackets; the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which is a micro–lending intervention for traders, farmers, women, etc., and the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSF) which aims to deliver school meals to young children.:
HURIWA recalled that at the inception of the CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IN NIGERIA, the government decided to integrate the provisions of palliatives to the poor as part of the larger programme of the Social investment programme. However this component and even the modality for arriving at the lists of the beneficiaries is hobbled by accusations of corruption with a ranking Senator Ali Ndume categorically accusing the officials of the Presidency responsible for the disbursement of the conditional cash transfer of manufacturing fake lists of beneficiaries.
HURIWA added thus: "Also there are empirical evidence to show that the North West where the President comes from cornered substantial percentage of the re-distributed cash from the coffers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is unconstitutional going by section 42(1) of the Nigerian constitution which Provides thus: "A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:- (a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or (b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.”
HURIWA alleged that from a publication made available online by the Presidency the North West (Nigeria) dominated in the conditional cash transfer as follows:
Jigawa. ; Has 168,542 Households and 656,757 individuals;Kaduna. ; 90,794 Households and 358,486 Individuals ;Kano. ; 151,315 Households and 763,919 Individuals ;Katsina. ; 176,724 Households and 807,200;Kebbi. 219,102 Households and 932,460;Sokoto. ; 3,347 Households and 18,435 Individuals :Zamfara. 291,629 Households and 1,341,153 Individuals whereas SOUTH EAST NIGERIA got the least of the transfers as follows:Abia.; Has 41,246 Households and 152,605 Individuals ;Anambra.; 43,146 Households and 121,539 Individuals ;Enugu.; 6,886 Households and 27,013 Individuals ;Imo .; 24,426 Households and 82,216 Individuals even as Ebonyi state is left out.
HURIWA has also asked the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control to mobilize and harness the local talents and resources of indigenous Scientists in Nigeria with a view to evolving a local solution to COVID-19 AILMENT so Nigeria can progressively open up her economic activities to avoid imminent collapse. The Rights group said most advanced societies in the West are already opening up their economies bit by bit because such Countries meticulously follow through their home made national response mechanism to COVID-19 AILMENT but lamented that the Nigerian Government engages in copying other nation's models which are not working ehich is why the cases are growing exponentially.