Former Vice President of Nigeria, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has asked the federal government to reduce the cost of petrol as well as the suspension of stamp duty charges collected on electronic money transfers to help Nigerians cope with the impact of the Coronavirus on the economy.
Mr Abubakar in a statement made available to iBrandTV stated that, “As the landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit, 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.
He noted that, Petrol currently sells across Nigeria at an official price of about N145 per litre. Nigeria, despite being an oil-producing country, imports almost all of its refined petroleum products.
The significant reduction in international crude oil price, from about $60 a barrel two months ago to about $30 a barrel means the landing cost of petrol to Nigeria has also reduced.
The statement reads:
Nigeria Must Take Decisive Economic Action to Protect Our People from the Ravages of the Corona Virus
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 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.
Furthermore, as the landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit, 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.
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 in the midst of global uncertainty.