Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has prescribed measures the federal government can apply to mitigate the economic impact of the conoravirus outbreak on citizens.
Tinubu, also asked the Federal Government to print more naira notes in order to save the economy from collapse even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite harder.
He said the United States Federal Reserve had printed more dollars in order to boost the economy.
“Nigeria could also do the same.”
Tinubu added, “Already, the price of oil has fallen to less than 30 dollars a barrel. This will bring a dollar shortfall. This does not, however, necessitate a corresponding shortfall in public sector naira expenditures.
“The US controls dollar issuance. We control naira issuance as is our sovereign right. Just as America has used its sovereign right to issue its currency to stave economic disaster, so too may Nigeria issue naira for the same purpose.”
In a message on his 68th birthday entitled, ‘a message on the coronavirus’, Tinubu said the government may have to take tougher measures to curb the spread of the disease such as imposing lockdowns in the country — an approach used by most countries battling the scourge abroad.
But he also said the government must be ready to provide economic buffers such as the suspension of value added tax (VAT) for four months and the reduction of tax.
He added that this would help lower import costs and protect against shortages.
He also said the government should consider providing stipends for vulnerable Nigerians who will be most impacted by the health crisis.
He said these measures should be applied when the economy takes a hit from the pandemic.