A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, said Sunday the Federal Government would require about N2 trillion to provide financial assistance to poor families during COVID-19 pandemic.
He said in a statement in Awka that many low-income households might lose their sources of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the N50 billion fund established by the CBN for families and small businesses would not be adequate to address the COVID-19 crisis if it escalated.
“This imperative of poverty is the greatest immediate threat to curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“Therefore, the fiscal authorities must plan and make provision for the subsistence funding of all extremely poor Nigerian families numbering approximately 100 million for 30 days in this scenario.
“If a sum of N20,000 were to be made available for every impoverished family to stock up food and supplies for a month in a Covid-19 total shutdown scenario, this would require an intervention of N2 trillion.
“Even the N10 trillion federal government budget for 2020 may not be able to carry this burden, since it is based on projections.
“This will be possible however, if the burden were to be split with state governments. Additionally, members of the National Assembly should donate 50 per cent of their emoluments to this effort.”
Moghalu called for an immediate and complete re-programming of the budgets of the federal and state governments to focus on COVID-19 this year.
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