President Muhammadu Buhari announced earlier this evening that his administration’s palliative measures will be extended to one million Nigerian households in the coming weeks.
The social investment programme, which entails food distribution, cash transfers, and loans repayment waivers, would now see an increase from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households.
The President made this known during his nationwide broadcast, during which he announcing the extension of the current lockdown order by 14 more days. This is aimed at tackling the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria. The President said:
“In the past two weeks, we announced palliative measures such as food distribution, cash transfers and loans repayment waivers to ease the pains of our restrictive policies during this difficult time. These palliatives will be sustained.
“I have also directed that the current social register be expanded from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households in the next two weeks. This means we will support an additional one million homes with our social investment programs. A technical committee is working on this and will submit a report to me by the end of this week.”
Speaking further on the lockdown, Buhari said that the previously issued guidelines on exempted services shall remain. He also noted that while the extension was a difficult decision to take, it is evident that this is the right decision to be made.
President Buhari also directed the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment, Communication and Digital Economy, Science and Technology, Transportation, Aviation, Interior, Health, Works and Housing, Labour and Employment and Education to develop a new economy policy framework.
He said that the Ministers will be supported by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council and the Economic Sustainability Committee.
“I am also directing the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Security Adviser, the Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council and the Chairman, Presidential Fertiliser Initiative to work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to ensure the impact of this pandemic on our 2020 farming season is minimized”. He added.