The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has called on the Federal Government to immediately suspend Value Added Tax, VAT, with a view to cushioning the economic impact of the coronavirus, COVID-19, on Nigerians.
Mr Tinubu, who made the call in a message on his 68th birthday, said the government needed to take tougher measures to curb COVID-19 spread by imposing lockdowns on Nigerians, as done by most countries battling the scourge.
According to him, the immediate suspension of VAT will help lower import costs and protect against shortages.
The APC leader also asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to be prepared to enact extraordinary measures, should the financial sector exhibit any form of stress.
“The CBN should be prepared to give banks liberal access to its loan discount window to ensure adequate liquidity within the banking sector,” he said.
Mr Tinubu also called for unity and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians, saying that this was the only way to win the fight against coronavirus pandemic in the country.
He said: “We have entered a sobering period. We face a challenge we cannot see but one that can find us all too easily. As individuals, this puts every one of us at a startling disadvantage. Each is rendered vulnerable by the reckless act of his neighbour.
“Each is made safer by the enlightened conduct of a stranger. The very nature of this assailant calls us toward greater unity and kindness. In the normal push of our daily affairs, we tend to focus on what divides us. We are either APC, PDP or another political affiliation.”
“One person is rich. Another is poor. There is the labourer then there is the boss. One person is of the North, another of the South, with both often acting as if the boundary between the two cannot be traversed.
“We are of different ethnic groups; these identities mean so much to us that we behave as if the affiliations are the very source of our humanity. In this, we tend to forget God.
“I, therefore, tender these humble comments in the hope they contribute to halting the spread and ill consequences of this dreadful sickness,” Mr Tinubu added.