The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks to work together and suspend charges for use of ATM cards for low amount mobile fund transfers as part of the panacea to ease the burden of poor Nigerians during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The party, in a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that the lockdown had subjected the majority of Nigerians to extensive use of ATM and mobile transfers for survival, making the suspension of charges on minimal transactions within the period of restriction highly imperative.
“The party notes that the lifting of the charges within the period of this pandemic will ease the burden on cash withdrawals by our vulnerable citizens as well as encourage more Nigerians to support one another at this critical time.
“The PDP demands the CBN to immediately liaise with commercial banks and stimulate a special social sustenance modality to defray the cost of such charges, particularly to cover minimal transactions in favour of vulnerable Nigerians,” according to the statement.
In the same vein, the party urged the Federal Government to activate similar social sustenance scheme to immediately defray electricity tariff, particularly in areas populated by low income and vulnerable Nigerians across the country within the period of the lockdown.
“The PDP calls on the Federal Government to show compassion on suffering Nigerians whose means of subsistence has been crippled by the lockdown, and immediately provide funds to electricity distribution companies to actuate the tariff suspension within this period.
“Furthermore the PDP counsels the Federal Government to immediately commence the collation of data from trade unions and corporative societies covering low income groups such as market women, okada riders, artisans, cab drivers, labourers among others, for possible economic recovery funds and loans to buoy their businesses at the end of the lockdown,” the party said.
Consequently, the PDP restated its call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately extend similar financial intervention that was released to Lagos state to all other states of the federation.
The Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), on 8 April, said it had aligned with the federal government to provide a two-month rebate of free electricity to their customers nationwide.
However, more than two weeks after, Nigerians are still waiting for the free electricity they were promised.
In a new twist, the government, on 16 April, said its free electricity will not be for all Nigerians.
It, therefore, constituted a body to draw the modalities for picking beneficiaries.