Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State-based youth group Anioma Youth Forum Worldwide (AYFW) has faulted plans by the Federal Government to release special intervention funds to selected states with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The group described the plan as a wrong step in the right direction in the fight against the dreaded pandemic, saying that such disbursement will lead to false alarm by other states where there are hitherto no cases.
It suggested that such largesse should be shared equally on a pro-rata basis among the 36 states and the FCT regardless of the COVID-19 status of the states.
National President of AYFW Nnamdi Ofonye, who made this known in a statement, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the noble objective behind the intervention funds.
Ofonye insisted that the struggle by governors to raise funds for their states will encourage a very negative bandwagon that will cause Nigeria to be one of the countries with the highest number of cases.
“I strongly disagree with this move by the government. Before now, we have only had cases reported in few states but following this pronouncement by the Federal Government, we are sure to witness mass announcements across the country, all in an understandable fight to partake in the disbursement,” he stated.
The AYFW president maintained that while he is not deliberately indicting the governors or accusing them of corruption, such a scenario is expected from them as they will be concerned about governance in their respective states after the pandemic, and would want to acquire as much funds as possible.
On the series of stimulus packages announced by the Federal Government, Ofonye commended President Buhari especially on the approval for the engagement of 774,000 youths across the country as part of palliative measures in response to the pandemic. He urged the various state governments to also think in the same direction as people have been forced out of their jobs.