By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA — THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday called on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to immediately open an arrangement with commercial banks to suspend charges for use of Automated Teller Machines, ATM cards and low amount mobile fund transfers as part of the panacea to ease the burden of poor Nigerians during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The party also noted that the lockdown has subjected majority of Nigerians to extensive use of ATM and mobile transfers for survival, making the suspension of charges on minimal transactions within this period of restriction highly imperative.
The party equally stated that the lifting of the charges within the period of the pandemic will ease the burden on cash withdrawals by vulnerable citizens as well as encourage more Nigerians to support one another at this critical time.
A statement signed by spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan read: “The PDP demands the CBN to immediately liaise with commercial banks and stimulate a special social sustenance modality to defray the cost of such charges, particularly to cover minimal transactions in favour of vulnerable Nigerians.
“In the same vein, our party urges the federal government to activate similar social sustenance scheme to immediately defray electricity tariff, particularly in areas populated by low income and vulnerable Nigerians across the country within the period of the lockdown.
“The PDP calls on the federal government to show compassion on suffering Nigerians whose means of subsistence has been crippled by the lockdown, and immediately provide funds to electricity distribution companies to actuate the tariff suspension within this period.
“Furthermore the PDP counsels the federal government to immediately commence the collation of data from trade unions and corporative societies covering low income groups such as market women, okada riders, artisans, cab drivers, labourers among others, for possible economic recovery funds and loans to buoy their businesses at the end of the lockdown.
“Our citizens are passing through very difficult and harrowing experiences and our party is worried that the Federal Government has so far failed to reach most vulnerable Nigerians, whose survival directly depends on daily income in the markets, shops and streets, have been crippled by the COVID-19 lockdown.”