By Kazeem Ugbodagaa
Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has told the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the policy on stamp duty on all types of accounts temporarily due to the Coronavirus pandemic crippling economy of nations.
Atiku, in a statement on Tuesday said Nigeria must take decisive economic action to protect her people from the ravages of the Coronavirus.
“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.
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.
“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.
“As such, I recommend that policies like the Stamp Duty on all types of accounts be temporarily suspended, until such a time as the nation’s economy has turned the tide in the fight against this virulent scourge,” he said.
Atiku also said the landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, had reduced significantly, saying 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, he urged the government 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.
“These are extraordinary times, and we, as a nation, must take extraordinary measures to protect the entire nation. Nigeria is our collective home, as such, we must suppress every partisan disagreement and think and work patriotically to ensure our national survival amid global uncertainty,” he said.