The national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has urged President Buhari to suspend VAT payments in the country. The former governor of Lagos State, said this in a statement to mark his 68th birthday.
Mr Tinubu, says there should be suspension of the Value -Added Tax for 2 – 4 months. He said the government should announce a “tax credit or partial tax reduction” for companies and firms. This, he believed, “will help lower import costs and protect against shortages”
Tinubu, advised the government to maintain its expenditures and not reduce spending. Such reduction, he said, may be wise for individuals and households, but such move will amplify economic hardship.
“At minimum, the federal government must stick to its naira budget expenditures, he said. The government should infact, increase naira expenditures by atleast 10 – 15 per cent during an emergency”.
Tinubu, urged the federal government to print more naira notes to save the economy from collapsing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He advised that if the virus spread is successfully contained, government should increase spending on infrastructural projects and transportation. This, he believes will lower cost and boost the economy by generating employment and business activity.
If the virus does become a serious public health challenge, more funds should be allocated to the health sector.
The APC leader, said the CBN should lower interest rates to encourage borrowing and private sector activities. On Exchange rate, Tinubu said the Coronavirus crisis will shrink the inflow of dollars and hopefully, it will be temporary. He suggests that CBN should allow some downward pressure on the naira without energetically intervening to defend the exchange rate. (Link – dollar rate now 380, internal link.)
Only if and when the rate seems that it might fall drastically, should the CBN intervene.
Tinubu, added that if economic trouble does come, government must be willing to suspend payment of certain consumer-related private debts. Evictions, foreclosures, light and water cut off must be suspended. Partial reduction or suspension of School fees payment for the poor/needy families must be considered. The government must also offer temporary support to the schools.
He further advised that “Stipends to the poor” be increased. Also, there should be food security. Citizens should be protected from food shortages and high prices. As such, farm- to -farm market delivery of agricultural produce must be improved quickly.
Government should also help decrease decrease spoilage of agricultural produce by constructing storage facilities in local market places throughout the country.