Coronavirus: Slash Pump Price, Suspend Bank Charges, Atiku Tells Buhari

For the third time, former vice president, Atiku Ababakar, has offered what he called “patriotic counsel” to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration on how to manage Coronavirus in the country.

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Atiku, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, called on the Buhari-led federal government to suspend bank charges on all bank account types and slash the pump price of premium motor spirit as part of measures to “protect the economic well-being of our nation and people” from the ravages of Coronavirus.

The former vice and Buhari’s major challenger in the 2019 presidential election also said the government must reduce cost of living and promoting consumer confidence in order to prevent the country’s economy from sliding into another recession.

“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.

“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.

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Atiku added that the Buhari administration should take steps to ensure  large scale industrialists and employers of labour  do not disengage workers in the country.

“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.

THE WHISTLER had reported that after Nigeria recorded its first index case of COVID-19 on February 27, Atiku had called on President Buhari to suspend flights from countries with high cases of the virus.

The former vice president had subsequently warned that, “The economic impact of a widespread infestation of the virus in Nigeria will be catastrophic, and will affect our national security, and status as Africa’s leading economy. The ravages of this scourge, which has officially been classified as a global pandemic, must not be allowed to test our already fragile economy.

“I urge that every political and any other differences be put aside. On my part, on this issue, I am first a Nigerian, and I am willing and ready to work with anybody, at any time, at whatever cost, to ensure the safety of this country, which is the only country we have to call our home, and her peoples,” Atiku had said.

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