- Pay Us Via BVN, Tacha Tells FG as Nigeria Extends Lockdown
Anita Natacha Akide, popularly known as Tacha, has taken to her Twitter page to call out the Federal Government on the relief package meant for the most vulnerable after President Muhammadu Buhari extended lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and FCT by another 14 days.
The Big Brother Naija star said the federal government should use Bank Verification Number (BVN) to pay Nigerians not phone numbers.
She said: “Use our BVN not our PHONE NUMBERs, no hungry person will practice personal hygiene!!,” Tacha stated on her official Twitter page @Simply_Tacha.
She proceeds to list Nigerians’ basic demands during this period as:
-CREDIT NIGERIANS (BVN)
#TachaSaidIt #payusviaBVN #LagosUnrest, she concluded.
Prior to Tacha outburst, Celebrities like Burnaboy have said despite billions donated by top private sector operators and billions announced by the government to take care of the most vulnerable during this trying time, the government is yet to reach the most affected.
According to the World Bank, 87 percent of Nigerian workers relied on daily income to survive while 74 million people are said to be living under the poverty line as 4 out of 10 adults live below $1.9 per day. Suggesting that the lockdown would have the most effect on this group of people.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, as of 29 December 2019, puts the total number of active bank accounts linked with BVN at a little over 40 million while the total number of active bank accounts was 70 million.
Therefore, Nigerians are saying since the nation’s verifiable active bank accounts is 40 million, the Federal Government should disburse relief package via the only verifiable medium.
The government has been accused of distributing relief package, N20,000, by hand with zero documentation for few people in the FCT. Meaning, more than 90 percent of the people have not been reached yet the lockdown was extended by another 14 days.
A man that goes by the name Dr. Penking said “You think Buhari’s government does not know that paying via bvn is the easiest and most transparent way they can pay us? They know. Their only problem is that with this method, adequate accounts can be kept about their expenses and they won’t be able to steal much. #payusviaBVN,” he tweeted @drpenking.
Toyin Abraham, a Nollywood actress, also tweeted “I can’t even sleep🤦♀️🤦♀️ I Keep calling and checking on everyone, robbery everywhere 😡😡😡”
“I keep receiving messages from ncdc on how to prevent the virus, if you can send millions of Nigeria that text morning afternoon and night, you can also pay us via bvn, stop wasting money on sms, take care of your citizens, hunger is deadlier than corona #payusviabvn.”
Joshua Ubeku, who tweeted @Joshua_Ubeku, said: I think we can make #payusviaBVN trend. Don’t think because you still have half bag of rice, 2 paint rubber of beans, palm oil and 8 maggis, you’ve made it in this lockdown. Join us on this hashtag. Money sent through BVN is safer than queuing up in masse to collect cash!”
Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS
Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.
“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.
“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.
“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”
Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.
Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.
The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.
He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”
Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.
“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.
“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”
Scarcity of Day-Old-Chicks Cripple Poultry Farmers in Akwa Ibom
Despite billions of Naira spent on Akwa Prime Hatchery and Poultry Limited by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, poultry farmers in the state said they had to order day-old-chicks from outside the state as the 200,000 capacity poultry farm developed specifically to make day-old-chicks and other poultry products available at affordable prices is almost empty at the moment.
The farmers expressed frustration over many challenges they face in the course of bringing day-old-chicks from outside the state. Usually, Ibadan, Enugu and sometimes as far as Kaduna, while the hatchery built and inaugurated in 2016 remains idle.
Mr Ekot Akpan, one of the poultry farmers who spoke with the pressmen said the state had not had it this bad.
Akpan said: “For the 12 years that I have been in poultry farming, this is the first time that poultry farmers have been so harshly affected by both economic and non-economic factors. And, quite unfortunately, nobody is available to offer any explanation.
“Farmers have been left at the whims and caprice of owners of the means of production.
“There seems to be no government regulation of the poultry industry. How, do you explain a situation where you wake up suddenly and the price of a day old chick is selling for N600, a bag of feed goes as high as N6,000.
“And, in a state that government claims to be pursuing agriculture as one of his cardinal programmes.
“For instance, in 2016, the state government said it has constructed an hatchery, and the intention according the government was to ensure availability of day old chicks at affordable price to farmers, but, quite, unfortunately, that effort has not yielded any tangible result.
“Farmers are still getting their day old chicks from Ibadan, Kaduna, and Enugu. So, the question now is where is the hatchery?
“One would have expected that farmers would be buying old chicks at humane prices, but, from all indications they acclaimed hatchery is a ruse. So, which one is the Akwa Prime Hatchery producing,” he said.
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