13th April, 2020
A former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, has pleaded with affluent people and salary earners in the country to contribute part of their earnings to help indigent citizens as the coronavirus lockdown bites harder on citizens.
Speaking in Sokoto on Monday, Bafarawa said that wealthy Nigerians needed to pull resources together to assist indigent people in their communities to assist their compatriots in their moment of need.
The lockdown occasioned by coronavirus has started taking its toll on many Nigerians, especially those on the low end of the income ladder.
Bafarawa advised that the Presidential Taskforce Committee, led by the Secretary to Federal Government, Mr Boss Mustapha, should expand its revenue generation sources to raise more funds.
He argued that measures put in place to contain the spread of the novel disease had affected the economic and social well-being of many citizens.
“Border closures that restricted interstate movements, lockdown of airports and other industries along with the shutdown of activities have biting effects.”
The former governor advised State Governments to look for additional revenue sources to make the difference for their citizens.
“Directing people to stay at home without providing incentives for their livelihoods might lead to other security and social challenges.
“We have about four million people in Sokoto State. About 40,000 of them earn salaries and the State Government depends heavily on Federal Government allocations which have been dwindling.
“Most of the meagre allocation is being expended on salary, leaving the huge population without much-needed attention.
“In addition to other measures of containing the pandemic, salary earners needed to part with some percentages of their salaries to support other people not on the payroll.”
Bafarawa, however, pleaded with the populace to adhere to the World Health Organisation preventive specifications of physical distancing, using face masks, hand wishing and other procedures.
He warned Nigerians against neglecting directives issued by medical experts on the coronavirus, adding that religious leaders should refrain from meddling in scientific conclusions they do not have knowledge in.
The former governor also called on security agencies to live up to expectations in enforcing regulations and directives issued by the government.