NIGERIA, CORONAVIRUS AND THE LOOMING HUNGER-VIRUS:
#Coronavirus and the extent of its lethal reality are no longer new. What is news is the measures people and people in power, all over the world, are taking to curb its spread. #Nigeria just like many other nations has enforced a lockdown and warned her citizens to stay at home. But unlike other nations, the most populous black nation even with over 70% of its sixty-nine million employed citizens (NBS, 2018), reportedly self-employed, has simply refused to provide relief packages for her citizens.
Many of her mega markets in cities like Ibadan, #Lagos, Onitsha, Aba, Kano etc., which generates millions of naira daily and is home to millions of these self-employed traders have been shut down without any means of supplementary relief for these citizens who contribute painstakingly through multiple (sometimes illegal) taxes to the revenue of their states and the nation at large.
The country's president, Muhammadu Buhari in an address to the nation, three days ago, promised to cater for the poorest of the poor. The committee in charge has identified approximately ten million #Nigerians in this category and are mapping out plans to disburse to these people, but the process used to arrive at the figures has been heavily criticized by citizens as unclear and inaccurate, given that there are over one hundred million Nigerians classified as extremely poor, who cannot afford to spend $1 daily (World Bank, 2019).
In the past three months, the country has budgeted $12.8m on exotic cars for her lawmakers, it has received $500m from repatriated loots by Abacha- a long deceased ex-ruler and over 10 billion naira from individuals and corporate organizations in generous donations towards the fight against the spread of #COVID-19. These are a few of the many avenues which it can generate funds to kickstart a necessary and sufficient relief package. Unless Nigeria has vowed to be irresponsible and is prepared for a deadlier pandemic – hunger.