With 24-hour notice given by the government, citizenswith, households struggling without income during the lockdown given their dependence on small, informal businesses, the need for food and cash relief has grown critical.
Since the pandemic of Covid-19, Nigerian government has only provided cash relief to 3.6 million poor households during the lockdown—a tiny figure in a country where 95.9 million people live in extreme poverty. Having surpassed India as the country with the most extreme poor people in the world in 2018, Nigeria now also ranks among the 16 countries globally where extreme poverty rates are still rising.
Also the government’s inability to cater for its poor reflects a long-running lack of a functioning, nationwide social welfare system. While president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has attempted to set up more social intervention programs, from feeding school children to cash transfers, the stark realities of the ongoing lockdown show those efforts are nowhere near enough.