One of the enduring measures put in place by the Federal Government for Nigerians to stay at home is the promise to receive the so-called palliatives. This was done to persuade, particularly the Nigerian Civil Servants who survive on lean purse or borrowed loans from numerous financial Institutions to stay at home.
But four weeks into the lockdown, some privileged Institutions and Service providers are capitalising on the situation to feast on Nigerians. “I owe my bank some money and to my surprise despite government intervention, they still deduct my money”, said a fellow who prefer anonymity.
Another fellow whose DSTV expired also expressed shock that instead of the mouthed “temporal relief” as a result of the sudden covid-19 pandemic which has disrupted private and commercial life, he was cut off. “I don’t understand what’s going on”, he complained. “Our government lacks the will to enforce policies”, he stated.
That’s not all; these days Nigerians consume double of what they used to in electricity consumption. “My meter runs faster than before; last week, I had my light cut off because I did not renew my credit” lamented Mr Eddy. “I thought we had been exempted from payments during these difficult times”, he stressed.
Truly, a discreet investigation show that members of the public are actually on their own. The corona scourge has not weakened the hands of “oppressors”, instead it has strengthened the rise of online mobile banking and POS sales. “Everything is now electronic except physical foodstuff purchase”, said Mr Eddy. “I buy everything online, something I hardly did in the past”, he told us. “This is something new to us, we stopped church, office, social meetings, and we are really helpless.”
He regrets that powerful institutions have taken advantage of their plight to add misery to their lives. “Unfortunately, government is only effective on radio, television and comments and lacked the will to rein in these merchants” he said, wishing that the scourge ends abruptly.