In the face of the disruptions caused in the business environment, caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organised private sector (OPS) in Nigeria has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria, to consider a tax holiday and other favourable measures, to assist the sector, in relieving the pains that, has accompanied the pandemic, not only in Nigeria, but throughout, the entire world.
A further persistence of the outbreak, implies dire implications, to the private sector, as its severity, could lead to mass closure and unprecedented job loss.
Beyond the implications of COVID-19 outbreak on private firms and the public sector, the government would lose significant revenue, via tax remittance.
The resulting crisis, would lead to a surge, in social vices and increased level of insecurity, unless the government sets in.
While acknowledging the Central Bank’s interventions, targeted at business continuity, the organised private sector (OPS) reiterated that, the government needs to provide palliatives, for private firms, hence, the lockdown could cause a big setback, on the sector.
According to OPS, “The Real sector is facing the risk of total shut down, as there are no imports and exports, sales are down and production at almost zero levels. At the same time workers are expected to be paid and other commitments honoured by businesses.”
The organised private sector has demanded for a scheme that can compensate companies, who may, eventually, consider laying off their staff. According to them, this move, will ensure that, private firms, keep their operations running and do not fall into the. eventuality, of laying off their staff.
The organised private sector, also, requires that, the government should cover the salaries of workers, who might have got fired at this period, up to 60% of their salaries per month, while the firms will bear 40%.
The pandemic has affected a significant number of businesses, therefore, the group wants the government to reschedule and negotiate bank loans, most especially, the ones obtained in the previous three months and also, the suspension of levies and taxes.
The organised private sector (OPS), have, thus, requested a package to assist in the payment of salaries, deferral of tax remittance for businesses having less than ₦50 million as turnover.
The body, also, added that, employees undergoing self-isolation and those that have contracted the virus, should receive aid from the government.
Across the world, various governments are taking active measures, to support the demands of the private sector, so, as to cushion the ravaging effects, of COVID-19, on the economic outlook.
For Nigeria to be sustainable, it has to tow the path, of those countries, rendering help to their private firms
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