NIGERIA COVID-19: Lock-Down Order, Hunger Virus and Its Vaccine.

Coronavirus to many Nigerians by now is no more a breaking news. Hunger is now the virus which the poor masses in Nigeria are now battling with and crying out to the government for intervention. Hunger as a result of the lock-down orders across the country has been ravaging just like the coronavirus and the poor masses are the major victims. Although, no vaccines have certified or approved to serve as cure to coronavirus, neither has Nigeria developed any homegrown vaccines which can cure the novel virus. Global the vaccine and the presumed cure is still work progress. But vaccine for the hunger virus exits. It is called ‘food’. Many Nigerians have been finding it very difficult to earn their livings due to the movement restriction order given by the government. Many people who cannot but go out of their homes every day before they could have something to eat or to provide for their family are now in living in serious hunger. Due to the inability of many people to go out of their houses as usual in search of livelihood mostly experienced by the poor masses in Nigeria, there have been outcries from every angle of the nation for intervention from the government into the ravaging hunger which have been battling the poor citizens as a result of the partial, and the total lock-down orders given by the governments at both Federal and state levels across the country. However, governments at various levels and arms have been seen to be making efforts toward providing palliatives for the citizens and most especially the vulnerable ones but the approach employed could not deliver the desired results. This is due to the fact that the same categories of people who had benefited from the palliatives provisions which were directly provided and supplied by some non-governmental organizations, religious bodies, corporate organizations and the individuals would also be included in the palliative packages which is to be provided by the government when there are so many people who have not in one way or the other benefited from any form of alleviative measures. The plan of the federal government to make use of BVN and telecommunication lines as parameters for the identification and selection of the beneficiaries would not only reduce the chances of many qualified citizens but also reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. Some poor Nigerians have neither functional bank accounts nor valid telecommunication lines. Some who have mobile phones are using SIM cards which were either given them by their relatives or bought and registered on their behalf. It was also said that two or more members of the same family cannot benefits from the provisions, but government does not look at a situation whereby the members of a particular family might not be living together since time past, would government be able to do justice to that? However, for this palliative measure to be highly effective and reasonably reached a wider–coverage of the right people there is a need for joint effort and collaboration among various donors; the federal government, the state governments, international bodies, corporate organizations and private individuals who are concerned and ready to ensure that the poor masses are catered for in situations like this. Donors and government at all levels are to come together forming a single body to carry out this duty. It will be easier when the groups come together and form a strong workforce towards this providing for the need of the poor citizens than for every individual group to do it separately. The donations received so far, the ones that will come in later and the relief fund to be provided by the governments to provide palliatives (funds or foods) could be centrally collected and distributed evenly among the 36 states of the federation including the FCT which would be subsequently transferred to the beneficiaries of their respective states or zones either at once or as may deem important by the government so that there won’t be inadequacies due to imbalance in the distribution process. Some people wouldn’t be enjoying palliative measures from different sources while many poor masses have nothing to eat. I am of the opinion that states-based co-ordinations should be constituted to work together with the federal and state governments and with concerned ministries and agencies of the government to this effect. This will facilitate deliveries, reduce wastage and many vulnerable and needy people with be reached with this stimuli packages. The lock-down, either partial or complete is not enough is the last and final measure the governments could make, because for the people who have nothing to eat to obey the such directives from the government, the government is expected to have put in place sustainable and adequate palliative measures. Nigeria people are law abiding, there is nothing majoring of these poor masses are looking for outside their homes in as much as adequate provisions for the wellbeing and welfare of the citizens have been made. Government should expedite actions toward the provisions and distribution of stimuli packages adopting the aforesaid joint effort so that every needy if not all the citizens could be reached out to and benefit from these palliative provisions. Hence, there won’t be any reasons whatsoever for any individual to break the lock-down order and the government will be able to carry out any other duties towards containment of the widespread coronavirus pandemic as governments’ action against hunger is also a form of response to the pandemic.

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