Coronavirus: We need to protect the economy ― Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, warned that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic raging across the world, Nigeria must take decisive economic action to protect her people from the ravages of coronavirus, adding that since the virus does not only affect human beings but also affects economies, there is a need for the nation to ease the cost of doing business and reduce the cost of living.

Atiku in a statement, reiterated the need for everyone to work together to ensure that the country does not return to an economic recession, adding that, “all hands must be on deck in a multi-partisan manner to ensure that Nigeria does not return to an economic recession. This is possible with decisive leadership and disciplined management.

“The coronavirus is raging in the world and not just ravaging human beings, it is also affecting economies. Nigeria is not an island onto itself, and we must take measures to protect the economic well being of our nation and people,” Atiku stated.

According to him, every action that can be taken to ease the cost of doing business in Nigeria and reduce the cost of living while promoting consumer confidence must be implemented.

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He recommended that policies like the stamp duty on all types of accounts be temporarily suspended until such time as the nation’s economy has turned the tide in the fight against this virulent scourge, adding that the landing cost of premium motor spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, has reduced significantly.

“It is strongly recommended that the government should not absorb the savings, but should pass it on to the Nigerian people by way of reducing the pump price of PMS to reflect the current prevailing market costs.

“In addition to these measures, the government is urged to request large scale industrialists and employers of labour not to disengage workers.

“Definitely, this scourge will affect their production and profitability. However, if they know that the government is behind them and will do all to support them, they are less likely to disengage workers,” he said.

The former vice president concluded that these are extraordinary times, and as a nation, the government must take extraordinary measures to protect the entire nation, adding that “Nigeria is our collective home. As such, we must suppress every partisan disagreement and think and work patriotically to ensure our national survival in the midst of global uncertainty.”

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