Atiku Abubakar, one-time vice president, has advised the federal government to reduce the pump price of petrol to protect the economic well being of Nigerians.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Atiku who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the coronavirus outbreak is affecting economies in addition to human health.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“As such, I recommend 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.
“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.”
Checks by TheCable showed that the landing cost of petrol was N64.32 per litre as of Monday, March 16.
According to the businessman, these policy measures will ensure that Nigeria does slip into another recession after the 2016 economic crisis.
Atiku also urged the government to liaise with 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.
Atiku described the current situation of the world economy as extraordinary and as such, extraordinary measures must be taken to protect the country.
The price of refined petroleum products has dropped because of a drop in crude oil prices as a result of reduced demand and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.