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COVID-19: Why steps must be taken to stimulate Nigeria’s economy – Tinubu tells Buhari

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, charged the Federal Government to take additional steps towards stimulating the country’s economy amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Tinubu warned that if additional steps were not taken towards stimulating the economy, Nigeria risks economic contraction that will prove difficult to cure.

He made the remark while lamenting that the COVID-19 crisis has affected small businesses and service sectors more.

In a statement pointing out ideas on how to revamping Nigeria’s economy during this challenging period, Tinubu lamented that small businesses would close when things return to normal.

He said: “Most businesses are small, service-sector oriented ones that have been roughly battered by the crisis. Without relief, many of these small businesses will permanently close even when things begin their return to normal.

“The financial sector too has suffered. Foreign investment has shrunk as has domestic borrowing. Large businesses also struggle because aggregate demand for their products and services has fallen. Yet, help to banks and large businesses is relatively simple.”

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He advocated that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, provide aids to businesses in form of non-interest loans.

Tinubu said: “Such aid can be rapidly provided by the CBN. The CBN can lend large amounts of virtually non-interest loans to these firms with the proviso that the companies maintain their existing payrolls.

“If we must hold to the restrictive public health measures, the people will need economic relief. Activating Trader-moni and other programs will help many small-scale traders but not the average wage earner who just lost his job. Resort to the strategic grain reserves will blunt hunger but the finite reserve cannot cover all who are in danger.

“If we do not take additional steps to stimulate the economy and answer the demand for food, we risk a deep economic contraction that will prove difficult to cure. The worst of this dark potential can be avoided if the government is prepared to act in ways that not only feeds people but protects the basic contours of our private-sector economy so that it can more quickly revive once normal conditions return.”

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