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Coronavirus: Atiku donates N50m, urges telecoms to give Nigerians free credit


Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has donated 50 million naira for the fight against coronavirus pandemic in the country.


Abubakar, whose son tested positive to the infection on Sunday, made this known in a statement issued on Wednesday.


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, also applauded the various Nigerian state governments who have proactively taken measures, such as issuing stay at home orders, and shutting down non-essential markets and other places of mass gatherings, while also giving guidelines for social distancing.


“However, we must accept the fact that much of the Nigerian public have a subsistence existence. A large percentage of our people do not have the financial capacity to withstand long periods of self-isolation and even lockdown.


“It is, therefore, incumbent on the Federal and state governments to provide palliatives to the Nigerian people to enable them to survive, even as they abide by these necessary measures put in place for their safety.


“At an approximate 30 million households or thereabouts, the government should devise modalities to distribute N10,000 as a supplement for foodstuff to each household, among other palliative measures, with no one left behind.”


Atiku also called on all Mobile Telephone Companies in Nigeria to urgently develop mobile money platforms so that the government can reach the unbanked with financial assistance.


“I also urge these telecommunications firms to offer each of the 100 million mobile phone lines in Nigeria free credit of at least ₦1500 per mobile line, so that Nigerians who show symptoms, or those who just want information, can call the nearest available health facility, or even an ambulance service, as the case may be.


“To this end, Priam Group pledges N50 million on my behalf as my humble contribution to a relief Fund that will form part of the stimulus package,” Abubakar stated.


It should be noted that in seven states in Nigeria, 46 Covid-19 cases have been recorded. While a patient has died, two persons have recovered.

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