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Business News

Coronavirus: Atiku expects more from FG, calls for proactive measures

Atiku Abubakar has urged the Federal Government to take extraordinary measures to protect the economic well-being of the people and the country.

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SARS, ENDSARS, police harassment,Coronavirus: Atiku calls for petrol pump price reduction, stamp duty suspension

Former Presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar has urged the Federal Government to take extraordinary measures to protect the economic well-being of the people and the country.

Atiku, who took to Twitter to air his views, emphasized that at a time like this when the coronavirus outbreak is affecting the production and profitability of businesses, the government needs to ease the cost of doing business in Nigeria and reduce the cost of living.

Intels denies NPA statement, Nigerian Ports Authority and Intels, Atiku Abubakar, Atiku claims he has big plans for private sector investment in infrastructure, Coronavirus: Atiku calls for petrol pump price reduction, stamp duty suspension

“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 wellbeing of our nation and people.

 “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.”

[READ MORE: BREAKING: FG issues travel ban on 13 countries over COVID-19)

Atiku urged the Federal Government to reduce the price of petrol in line with the reduction in the landing cost of the product. He also said stamp duty on all types of accounts should be temporarily suspended until the nation’s economy would have stabilised.

Why this matters: As Atiku pointed out, if the environment is not suitable for businesses, they would have no choice but to disengage workers and fold up. He therefore also requested large scale industrialists and employers of labour not to disengage workers.

Atiku’s words: “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.

“In addition to these measures, the government is urged to request large scale industrialists and employers of labour not to disengage workers. If they know that the government is behind them and will do all to support them, they are less likely to disengage workers.

READ MORE: PEBEC commences fourth 60-Day NAP 4.0 on Ease of Doing Business

“These are extraordinary times, and we, as a nation, must take extraordinary measures to protect the entire nation.”

Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Real Estate

FG to unveil dedicated portal for sale of houses to Nigerians

The Federal Government has announced plans to launch a dedicated web portal for the sale of buildings to Nigerians in the next few weeks.

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Nigeria needs N1.5 trillion within the next 3 years to fix roads - Fashola

The Federal Government has announced plans to launch a dedicated web portal for the sale of buildings to Nigerians in the next few weeks.

The platform is expected to help contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) access mortgage loans on a first-come, first-serve basis.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola while speaking at the ninth meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Jos, Plateau State.

Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu, pointed out that the ministry is currently at the completion stages of the first phase of the national housing programme in 34 states of the federation, which provided land for it.

He said, “We urge the state governments to alert their residents to this opportunity for interested persons to apply.”

Fashola commended the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for being at the forefront of the cooperative housing initiative at the federal level, adding that it has the advantage of allowing cooperative members to choose what they design and build to fit their budgets.

They can leverage their members to get group discount for the purchase of building materials as well as the engagement of contractors.

Fashola disclosed that FMBN as the driver of the housing initiative has engaged 86 co-operatives in projects; approved N35, 784 billion cumulatively; disbursed N10.95 billion; and processed as at January, 57 co-operative housing development loans.

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Fashola emphasized that what the Federal Government can do directly in housing is limited compared to what states can do, just as state governments are also limited, compared to what the private sector and individuals can do.

He said, “The majority of houses available for sale or rent belong to individuals and private companies compared to what states or Federal Government has available. Therefore, many of the tenants who owe rent, who face eviction or who seek to rent or buy property are dealing with private citizens or companies and less so with government agencies.’

My recommendation for improving access and affordability to housing in the Covid-19 era is for private companies and individuals to give back some of what they control to citizens in the way the Federal Government has given back to citizens some of what it controls.’’

He explained, “for example in cases where the rent of businesses or individuals are due for renewal, the private landlords can give back, by accepting monthly, quarterly or half-yearly rent instead of one year, two or three years rent in advance.”

Bottom line

Nigeria has been bedevilled by a housing crisis that has left Africa’s most populous nation ill-equipped to properly provide accommodation for its citizens and inhabitants.

Some of the housing problems in the country include unresolved rent tenure arrangements, high cost of building materials, access to infrastructure, deficiency of housing finance arrangements, stringent loan conditions from mortgage banks, time to process legal documents and inadequate government housing policies.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Nigeria committed to procuring 29 million J&J vaccines

The Nigerian Government is still committed to acquiring 29.59 million doses of Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccines through the Afrixem Bank AVAT initiative. 

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AstraZeneca suspends COVID-19 vaccine final stage trial over safety concerns, COVID-19: J&J starts vaccine trials on humans after success on monkeys

The Nigerian Government says it is still committed to acquiring 29.59 million doses of Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccines through the Afrixem Bank AVAT initiative.

This was disclosed Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance at the recent ‘Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) General Assembly webinar.

What the Minister said

“Therefore, the supplementary budget for COVID-19 vaccines will cover the cost of additional vaccines over and above those provided by COVAX, as well as the full cost of operations and logistics for delivering the vaccines around the country.

Already, the sum of N29.1 billion has been released from the Routine Immunization budgetary provision (Service Wide Vote) to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines. The N29.1 billion represents about 52 percent of the amount required over 2021-22,” she said.

She added that FG plans to vaccinate 70 percent of eligible (18 years and above) Nigerians over the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years, with the COVAX agreement willing to cover 43.1 million of the eligible population.

In case you missed it

The World Health Organization (WHO)  announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination. The vaccine is reported to have 79% efficacy against covid.

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