Covid-19: Shutting down small businesses without bailouts for operators is wicked, reckless, heartless — HURIWA tells FG

Posted by News Express | 23 December 2020 | 352 times

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•SGF Boss Mustapha

The decision of the Federal government to order the immediate closure of restaurants and other small and medium scale businesses for fear of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria as announced by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, has been described as absolutely wicked, irrational, heartless and mean-hearted.

This is more so as the Nigerian government did not transparently re-distribute financial bailouts and palliatives to the millions of restaurant operators and owners of other businesses ordered to shut down their operations for fear of the second wave of the health emergency.

Making these observations is civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) which also carpeted the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for failing to publicly render accounts of what was done with the multi-billion dollars donations in cash and kind made by corporate Nigeria in aid of distressed citizens to cushion the consequences and the crushing economic effects of the prolonged Covid-19 lockdown.

Signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA in the media statement accused the Federal Government of “recklessness and massive neglect” of their statutory obligations enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and the binding obligations contained in the plethora of human rights provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.

The group said the failure of the Nigerian Government to clearly implement the distribution of financial palliatives to these small scale businesses ordered to shut down operations without priority notice amounts to an attempt to send millions of Nigerians to their early graves.

HURIWA recalled that the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Mustapha, issued a statement ordering the shutdown of certain businesses for fear of another wave of Covid-19 in the country but failed to address the critical component of what government has done to ameliorate the consequences of this “senseless and reckless” directives of government on businesses.

HURIWA therefore asked President Buhari not to send millions of poor Nigerians to shut down their only sources of living and expect them to go home and die.

The rights group stated that the President must provide immediate and far-reaching palliatives and financial bailouts to these businesses before expecting total compliance.




Source: News Express

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