The Federal Government has come under criticism over its mode of distributing palliatives to vulnerable persons, particularly the conditional cash transfer programme.
The ministry of humanitarian affairs had earlier announced that it had begun the distribution of N20,000 each to the households captured in the National Social Register.
Nigerians have, however, questioned the accountability and transparency in the process of the cash distribution.
The criticism became more intense on Monday night after President Buhari’s nationwide speech where he declared an extension of the 14-day lockdown on Lagos, Ogun, and FCT, to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Many Nigerians took to social media with hashtag, #payusviaBVN, to demand that the government pays every Nigerian via their Bank Verification Numbers, BVN.
Examples were cited of countries such as Namibia and Canada, whose governments adopted the same measure in delivering palliatives to their citizens.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government in February announced it would pay residents above the age of 18, 10,000 Hong Kong dollars, as part of measures aimed at reducing the financial crisis of nationals.
The U.S. Senate also finalised a $2 trillion economic stabilisation plan to help workers and businesses in the country.
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has also unveiled an $82 billion aid package to help Canadians and businesses, including direct income support.
The Nigerian Interbank Settlement Scheme, according to 2019 data, said about 38.5 million bank accounts have been linked to the BVN scheme.
A spokesperson of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Segun Sowunmi, said on Channels TV:
The federal government should mine from these data by accessing persons who cannot sustain themselves during the lockdown.
The president, during his second nationwide broadcast on COVID-19, appealed to Nigerians that his administration is aware of the hardship following the lockdown.
The BVN is a biometric identification system implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria, initiated during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, in 2014 to curb illegal banking transactions in Nigeria.