A former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in South Africa, Bola Babarinde, has advised the Federal Government to deploy technology in the disbursement of palliatives to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
Babarinde in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday, said the use of technology in the distribution of palliatives would curb corruption, and ensure transparency and accountability.
The APC chieftain said government should encourage all unbanked Nigerians to have a bank account, which would ensure easy disbursement palliatives to the recipients to discourage corruption.
Babarinde, who is the General Secretary of APC Committee of Diaspora Chairmen, said the use of Bank Verification Number and the National Identification Number could also be used to identify targeted beneficiaries of the palliatives and social grants.
He said, “Driver’s licence and voter’s card are also available for data harmonisation, which can be useful to have a unified ID system.
“National ID is enough to open Bank account, however, citizen need to show interest and register in their respective wards with national ID without issuing separate voter’s card.
“All births and deaths registration with updated data must be taken seriously and captured instantly by integrating data of hospitals both public and private for a reliable data base for the citizen.”
The former diaspora leader also suggested that senior citizens from age 65 and above should be placed on monthly allowance of N20,000, with free medical and transport to move within their states.
“This will improve their welfare and well-being , while reducing burden on their children struggling to survive on their own,” he said.
He also said that students’ loan should be made accessible, with less stringent requirements.
“This loan should be given to those whose parents combined income per annum is less than N1 million.
“The loan should cover books and accommodation at a prevailing rate, with incentives for high performance, like waivers and other benefits,” he said.
Babarinde also said that subsidised food programme, accessible at designated shops with Nigeria social benefits card by individuals within the benefits categories, should be introduced by the Federal Government.
“The same Nigeria social benefits card can also be preloaded with reasonable amount for transportation and medical services, which students, unemployed and senior citizens can be the target beneficiaries for welfare programmes,” he said.
The APC chieftain also suggested the establishment of a National Cooperative Banks to inject more capitals to assist Small and medium-sized enterprises.
He said this should be monitored by highly digitalised monitoring system to ensure strict compliance to best practices.
He said the National Orientation Agency should also be actively involved in public information dissemination of government’s activities to citizens, saying this would discourage or counter negative effects of fake news on social media.
“With these technological innovations and intervention to digitalise processes and systems, crime will be reduced.
“Higher life expectancy would be achieved, less burden on healthcare services because of improved wellness and overall better living standard”, Babarinde added.