CENTRAL RANSOM REPUBLIC (The T.A. Report) ― The Nigerian government is set to launch yet another extraordinary plan to safeguard the lives of citizens from prowling bandits: the National In-Case-Of-Abduction Insurance Scheme (N-AIS).
“Think about it for a moment,” said the country’s defence minister Babachir Magaji during a press briefing on Monday. “We have to be prepared. Getting kidnapped is not a matter of ‘if’ anymore, it is about ‘when’. And it is not something that affects just one social class or ethnic group. Gaskiya, everybody is eating the breakfast.”
Magaji added that the government was tired of paying ransoms to secure the freedom of “cowards” who could not fight to the death to defend themselves from the bandits.
“It is better we spread the risk across the population if we want to save more lives. We should be our brothers’ keepers,” he said, adding almost inaudibly that some repentant bandits have shown interest in serving as insurance providers.
“To make this a success, we will generally be imposing a 5 per cent deduction in earnings and 10 per cent for residents of areas where kidnappings are most rampant.”
After Magaji’s address, Nigeria’s shadowy finance minister Zaynab Hameed, who office is partnering with the defence ministry to develop the scheme, enthused that no other country in the world has come up with such an innovative idea.
“We have started considering applying for loans from the World Bank and Chinese government too to support ransom payments,” she said, “because we understand that any country’s greatest asset is its human population. What is the point in building rail networks and bridges if everyone is held hostage and holed up in the forest areas?”
Mrs Hameed was asked what would happen to the scheme if the rates of abductions were to drop drastically in the future.
“Well,” she replied, “our analysts honestly do not think there’s a chance of that happening anytime soon.”
“But, if it does happen, then we plan to use the fund to service existing loans or we can just borrow from it to take care of our annual capital and recurrent expenses,” she added, a plastic smile forming slowly on her face.
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