First year in office: Atiku highlights six strategies for Tinubu to succeed

‏Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has disclosed that President Bola Tinubu’s economic policies have created a hostile environment for both big and small businesses to thrive.

Atiku added that the private sector is overwhelmed by the president’s economic policies and burdened by his failure to address the policy fallout.

Atiku said this in a statement released on Tuesday,“The manufacturing sector, which holds the key to higher incomes, jobs, and economic growth, has been bogged down by rising input prices, higher energy and borrowing costs, and exchange rate complexities”.

The former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party has recommended six economic rescue strategies for the economy under Tinubu.

He said, “First, pause and reflect. It is important that the government understands what reforms must be undertaken and in what sequence. A framework is needed with clearly stated reform objectives and strategies.

“Second, undertake a comprehensive review of the 2024 budget within the new reform framework. The 2024 FGN Budget, the exact size of which remains a mystery, is not designed to address the structural defects of the Nigerian economy or the cost-of-living crisis. It will neither create prosperity nor promote opportunities for our young people to lead a productive life.

“Third, undertake a comprehensive review of the Social Investment Programme (SIP) to mitigate some of the impacts of these policies on the most vulnerable households. The SIP must go beyond Conditional Cash Transfers to include programmes that prioritise support to MSEs across all economic sectors, as they offer the greatest opportunities for achieving inclusive growth.

“In addition, a holistic programme to support medium and large-scale enterprises to navigate the stormy seas in the aftermath of the withdrawal of subsidy on PMS is also needed.”

Atiku, however, added that Tinubu must be cautioned against any attempt to further pauperise the less privileged by introducing new taxes or increasing tax rates.

He said, “We are aware of the behind-the-scenes attempts to increase the VAT rate from 7.5% to 10%, reintroduce excise on telecommunication, and increase excise rates on a range of goods.

“Fifth, provide clarity on the fuel subsidy regime, including the fiscal commitments and benefits from the fuel subsidy reform and the impact of this on the Federation Accounts. It is curious that since April 2024, fuel queues have mounted at many filling stations across Nigeria, and the infamous ‘black market’ has sprouted in several states. How much PMS is being imported and distributed, and at what cost? What is the implicit subsidy?

“Tackle security headlong. President Tinubu, as a matter of priority, needs to rejig the nation’s security architecture as what is currently in place is not serving the needs of the people. The state of pervasive insecurity continues to adversely impact agricultural production and the value it brings to the economy, especially in the Northern parts of the country.”

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