With the stay at home order by the government to help arrest the COVID-19 pandemic, the rich & the comfortable have joined the hunger cryers while some of them are shedding crocodile tears & forming emergency activists for the poor.
Because the stay at home order has awakened & ‘legitimized’ our entrenched mentality as Nigerians of always seeking to collect from the system we never give any thing to.
No system in the world can survive a citizenship taking all from the system & contributing little or nothing to it. We want everything from the system but forget the resources of the system is not infinite.
How can a system on steady haemorrhage survive without a steady transfusion no matter how little. And for Nigeria, the meagre oil transfusion that keeps the system marginally afloat is all but gone with the world wide COVID-19 induced economic crisis.
Even in America that is the richest country in the world, the total amount of the stimulus check presently given to citizens & residents to cushion the financial effects of the pandemic is based on their adjusted gross income – AGI, from their 2019 federal tax filing or 2018 for those who are yet to file their federal tax for 2019 as the window was extended to July due to COVID-19. And to receive the full amount of $1,200, a single US resident must have a Social Security number and an AGI under $75,000. The sum you recieve decreases as your AGI goes up. If your adjusted gross income reaches $99,000, you won’t be eligible for the stimulus.
But here in Nigeria, those who have over 5million — 10billion Naira in their bank accounts but have not paid any tax in their lives are asking for palliatives for themselves or for the poor simply because the government asked them to stay at home to save their own lives & as such, they must collect from the system.
Same for those who sow an entire one month salary in January to their pastors or church & stay hungry for the rest of the month as well as those who pay N100,000 — N1 million as tithe every month without paying one Naira to government as tax are now crying of hunger because government must pay them to stay at home & save their lives.
Any need to talk about owners of private businesses & schools, who have 100 times over in the bank the amount required to pay the salaries of their workers but are giving them excuses with COVID-19 while they are paying 1million Naira rent & N250,000 monthly up keep allowance to their side chicks. These set have the worst crocodile tears for the plight of the poor & the most vociferous on social media demanding palliatives for the poor among whom are their staff that they wickedly refuse to pay salaries.
Don’t get me wrong! It’s a good thing to aspire to be rich & actually to be rich as long as it is legitimate. It’s a good thing too to enjoy the proceeds of your sweat with your family or side chick as you may choose.
But it is equally a wicked thing to refuse or ignore to share a little of this wealth with the poor & it’s more satanic to form an activist against the government for 100 poor people around you when you have the resources to temporarily or permanently cure their lack.
Therefore, enough of this crocodile tears & empty activism mocking the poor.
As a matter of urgency, the government should deduct #40,000 from every account above N2 million. Pay N30,000 into every account that doesn’t have more than N5,000 in it in the last 6 months after verifying through their BVN that the owners doesn’t have other accounts apart from that one. The balance of N10,000 should be paid into the COVID-19 Trust Fund as donations.
Nigeria is not that poor that we don’t have 5 million people with N2 million in their accounts.
That will automatically translate to 5 million poor people given N30,000 cash palliatives & N50 Billion for the COVID-19 response efforts.
The business of taking care of the poor even in developed societies is the responsibility of all including the poor themselves not that of the government alone.