Why Nigeria’s COVID-19 stopgap is a waste of scarce resources – Danfulani
The President of the Centrum Initiative for the Development and Defense of Fundamental Rights, CEDRA, Dr John Danfulani, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately stop most of the activities of the palliative care department of the Presidential Working Group, PTF, on COVID-19, claiming that they are wasting limited resources and widening the mistrust gap between the government and the governed.
He added that they de-market the doctrine that democratic governments are sensible and better managers of economies and nations.
In a press release issued in Kaduna on Friday and made available to the DAILY POST, Dr Danfulani observed that the country is set to be one of the success stories of the 20th century, stressing that bad decisions by leaders and rulers have shaken governments. boats with the same leaders starting the 21st century journey on quicksand.
He observed that the incorporation of national economic institutions, ministries and agencies responsible for welfare issues into COVID-19 management teams has a global model, noting that in the United States, Capitol has earmarked more than $ 2 billion to support businesses and people who have been made redundant. because of the pandemic. He insisted that in the Western world, social protection institutions receive additional financial support from their governments and donors.
Dr Danfulani noted that in April 2020, the Ministry of Disaster Management, MDM, funded its first COVID-19 economic palliative program when MDM claimed that 2.6 million vulnerable households received N 20,000 in cash. or transfers to their bank accounts.
He noted that MDM was stung and that they used a database of the poorest Nigerians from the National Social Register which they compiled and published on March 30, 2020 and the SIP data that has existed since 2016.
He added that the MDM launched another home child feeding program on Thursday, May 14, 2020, adding that Hajiya Sadiya Farooq, the MDM minister, announced that the diet would swallow up N13 billion per month. “A rough breakdown of the figure shows that they will spend 679 million naira per day,” he said. The program covers 31 federation states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
He said MDM’s palliatives generated negative reactions from pressure groups, unions, social commentators, opposition behemoths and their parties, and elected officials, stressing that these groups and individuals raised fundamental questions about the philosophy behind MDM decisions and their executions.
He explained: “The most damning criticism of the first stopgap came from Senator Ali Ndume (APC Borno), a member of the ruling party. He called the project a monumental fraud in its entirety. The senator inflicted higher punches on MDM’s core statements and recipient statistics. Distinguished Ndume disembarked begging President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately curb MDM intervention plans.
“In addition, social media was saturated with protests and investigations into proof of payments and recipients. They refused to be deceived or bamboozled by photo ops of wealthy suburban women collecting money in different places from the minister or her teams. Many have asked their subscribers to research and report a single poor person who has really benefited from the program. No one has heard back from a Nigerian who received money or an alert from his bankers.
“The criticisms that have accompanied the decisions and actions of MDM are essential and deserve reflection. Poignant questions such as: a) are palliatives necessary in the face of the challenge on our economic base ?; b) are the hours good considering that most of the country was / is locked out? ; c) How do their exercises go in tandem with NCDC guidelines on social distancing and addressing large gatherings? ; and (How credible and reliable is the data on poor households in Nigeria? A walk through these posers will leave no one in doubt that the philosophy was poorly designed and catastrophically executed. “
He explained that 2019 statistics from UNDP, World Bank and others showed that more than 91 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty, pointing out that COVID-19 has undoubtedly increased the percentage significantly.
With that, he asked what difference the controversial poor households of N20,000-2.6 million have made. “What is the fate of the more than 100 million miserable Nigerians that the palliatives have not covered?” Was the money a support to their businesses or a gesture to replenish the food banks of the so-called beneficiaries?
He noted concerns are being raised over the home feeding program they launched on May 14, 2020, as many states are in total lockdown with schools closed, asking how the food will get to children. scattered in towns and most remote areas of Nigeria. He asked how he will oversee the health and nutritional aspect of the meals served, and how this will be carried out without violating NCDC’s basic principles of social distancing.