The Presidency has denied reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N30,000 stipends to be given to every Nigerian with a verified Bank Verification Number (BVN) to cushion hardships occasioned by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Naija News reports that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said the federal government is considering giving out stipends to people whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Finance Minister made this revelation while speaking on Politics Today, a programme on Channels TV.
According to her, “We have a number of fiscal incentives that we have thought through and designed but we have to do a couple of engagements before we announce them because of our fragile fiscal situation,” she said.
“We don’t want to rush and make announcements of tax cuts or tax holidays without looking at the full picture of how it affects the federal government, states and how it affects businesses.
“The government is looking at the possibility of giving out stipends, increasing the stipends that it giving out to the category of Nigerians that are classified as poor and vulnerable.
“Also, we are looking at the category of citizens that have been affected by the nature of their jobs by this pandemic. For example, airports are closed so people who run taxi services at the airport will be at home with nothing to do. So we have to carefully identify the groups that will get these interventions. We are also not forgetting businesses.”
Another report emerged on social media claiming that the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, announced the presidential approval of the N30,000 package in a statement.
”The President announced the relief package to be given out N30,000 to every Nigerian who has a verified BVN account to ease pressure posed by the order to lockdown economic activities.
“The N30,000 relief fund will be given to every Nigerian with verified BVN account. I am sure the fund will go a long way to help Nigerians stock up their home during the stay-at-home order by the Government,” the statement had quoted Adesina as saying.
But in a post on his verified twitter handle on Saturday, Adesina described the report as fake news.
He said: “Fake news peddlers have concocted a statement, purportedly issued by me, saying FG will pay N30,000 to each Nigerian with BVN, to help them stock up before an impending national lockdown. Not me.
”The so-called statement is hereby disclaimed.”