The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the expansion of the social register by President Muhammadu Buhari as encouraging corruption.
Mr Buhari on Monday ordered the addition of 1million households to the social register which had 2.6million households. His administration uses the register to disburse palliatives to Nigerians as the nation continues it against the Coronavirus disease.
In a national broadcast, the president also extended the lockdown he imposed in Lagos and Ogun states as well as Abuja, the nation’s capital.
But in its reaction, the opposition party described the broadcast as disappointing, saying the president was encouraging corruption with the expansion of the social register without addressing the failure of the scheme.
“It is more painful that President Buhari could not address the immediate needs of the people or provide a trajectory that will take care of their future,” the PDP said in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
“Instead, Mr. President bored our nation with a rehash of global data already known to Nigerians in addition to promises that are far-flung departures from the harsh realities on the ground.
“Nigerians expected Mr. President to directly address the established failures of his palliatives distribution, particularly the provision of funds to the poorest of the poor, which has been marred by allegations of corruption and diversion of funds. This is in addition to allegations of diversion of rice and other food items meant for the poor masses.
“Can Mr. President claim not to be aware that not a handful of Nigerians have received any palliatives and that huge majority of our citizens are complaining that they have not been reached with any panacea despite his administration’s claim of having reached 2.6 million household?
“Announcing the expansion of the palliative scope to 3.6 million households without addressing the failure of the scheme and with no parameter to showcase the declared expansion is an encouragement of the corrupt system that has been depriving Nigerians.
“The PDP challenges Mr. President to disprove Nigerians by publishing documents showing the beneficiaries of the claimed 2.6 million household social intervention, the benefiting communities as well as the parameters that will be deployed for the additional one million household,” the party added.