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Atiku offers six-point strategy to revamp Nigeria’s ailing economy

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday, offered a comprehensive six-point plan to President Bola Tinubu to revitalize Nigeria’s struggling economy.

Atiku’s advice comes as the country grapples with soaring commodity prices, widespread poverty, and a looming food crisis.

Firstly, Atiku in a statement, emphasized the need for a pause and reflection to understand the necessary reforms and their sequence. He stressed the importance of a framework with clear objectives and strategies.

Secondly, he recommended a thorough review of the 2024 budget to address the structural defects in the economy and the cost-of-living crisis. Atiku suggested prioritizing fiscal measures to tackle the unprecedented rise in commodity prices, which has pushed millions below the poverty line.

He advocated for easing restrictions on selected food imports to alleviate the suffering of the poor.

Thirdly, Atiku called for a comprehensive review of the Social Investment Programme (SIP) to mitigate the impact of policies on vulnerable households. He proposed expanding SIP beyond Conditional Cash Transfers to support micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSEs) across all economic sectors, promoting inclusive growth.

Fourthly, Atiku cautioned against introducing new taxes or increasing tax rates, which would further pauperize the poor. He emphasized the need for expenditure rationalization, efficiency in revenue utilization, and trimming the size of government to reduce the cost of governance.

Read Also: Tinubu not addressing National Assembly on Wednesday – Presidency

Fifthly, Atiku demanded clarity on the fuel subsidy regime, including fiscal commitments, benefits, and its impact on the Federation Accounts. He questioned the lack of transparency in fuel imports, distribution, and subsidies, leading to fuel queues and a thriving black market.

Sixthly, Atiku urged President Tinubu to prioritize tackling security challenges, which have severely impacted agricultural production and the economy, particularly in northern Nigeria. He emphasized the need to revamp the nation’s security architecture to address terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling, which have forced farmers and pastoralists to abandon their lands and flee to neighboring countries.

Atiku, a self-proclaimed reform advocate, acknowledged that he was prepared for reform fallouts but expressed concern that President Tinubu seemed unprepared. He urged Tinubu to change course and implement the necessary reforms for the good of the people and the nation.

”I have always been a reform advocate. The Nigerian economy certainly requires a large dose of reform measures to accelerate its transformation after many years of lacklustre growth.

“I was prepared for reform fallouts. Tinubu wasn’t. However, it is not too late for him to change course and do what is right for the good of our people and our nation,” he added.

Atiku’s six-point plan offers a comprehensive roadmap for addressing Nigeria’s economic woes. Will President Tinubu heed this advice and take the necessary steps to revitalize the economy and alleviate the suffering of millions of Nigerians? Only time will tell.

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