COVID-19 lockdown: ADP tells Buhari to include Nigerian private sector in palliatives

The Action Democratic Party (ADP), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to include the private sector in palliatives, saying that they have the larger number of employees.

This was contained in the reaction of the party to the live broadcast by President Buhari, on the need to extend the lockdown for another 14 days.

According to the statement issued on Wednesday morning by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Adelaja Adeoye, he noted that it is commendable that the President has highlighted the efforts of the government so far, however, the critical sector of the economy must not be forgotten in the provision of palliatives.

“We must prepare not only to contain the Coronavirus, but also consider the effect of the lockdown on the employers of Labour and their employees, who carry the largest workforce.

“Some of them might resort to downsizing after the pandemic is over, because of how bad they may have been affected.

“To avoid massive job cut, the government at both Federal and State levels should work out some relief for these employers, in form of supports,” Adelaja noted.

He stressed further that, these employers have their tax records with the government, arguing that this is the time they need government’s supports, as there is a projection that the economy might plunder, which will affect many of them, especially the entrepreneurs and small scale businesses.

ADP also noted that, while it is appreciated that President Buhari has increased the social benefits from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million, which shows an addition of 1 million households, there must be transparency and accountability in the process of making these funds available to the beneficiaries, so that the real vulnerable Nigerians will benefit and their palliatives will not be shared amongst politicians and their followers only.

The party, however called the attention of President Buhari, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Prince Dapo Abiodun to another worrisome development across Nigeria, especially in Lagos and Ogun States, where citizens now find it very hard to sleep at night, due to the increasing rates of armed robberies, attacks and all forms of criminalities under the guise of the lockdown.

“We noticed that Mr. President did not mention the rising cases of attacks against Nigerians during this lockdown, specifically in Lagos and Ogun States, while making his nationwide broadcast on Monday evening. It is a very serious matter, as many residents have been calling for help on social media, while many of the videos online are very disturbing when these assailants invade their neighbourhoods.

“We are of the opinion that security forces should not only enforce the stay at home order, but must respond swiftly to any security threat experienced by all Nigerians.”

The party called on Nigerians to remain hopeful, and cooperate with all the government agencies and departments in charge of Coronavirus, such as the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).