A former chairman of the All Progressives Congress(APC) 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.
Mr Babarinde, in a statement on Sunday, said the use of technology in distributing palliatives would curb corruption and ensure transparency and accountability.
The APC chieftain said the government should encourage all unbanked Nigerians to have a bank account, ensuring easy disbursement of palliatives to the recipients to discourage corruption.
Mr Babarinde, who is the general secretary of the APC Committee of Diaspora Chairmen, said the use of Bank Verification Number (BVN) and the National Identification Number (NIN) could also be used to identify targeted beneficiaries of the palliatives and social grants.
“Driver’s licence and voter’s cards are also available for data harmonisation, which can be useful to have a unified ID system.
“National ID is enough to open a bank account. However, citizens need to show interest and register in their respective wards with a national ID without issuing separate voter’s cards.
“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 database for the citizen,” he said.
The former diaspora leader also suggested that senior citizens aged 65 and above be placed on a monthly allowance of N20,000, with free medical and transport to move within their states.
He also said 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,” Mr Babarinde said.
Mr Babarinde also said the subsidised food programme should be accessible at designated shops with Nigeria social benefits cards by individuals within the benefits categories should be introduced by the federal government.
The APC chieftain also suggested the establishment of National Cooperative Banks to inject more capital to assist Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).