• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Atiku condemns Tinubu’s economic, FX policies, offers alternative solutions

Policy statement 013 issued by the Independent Media and Policy Initiative (IMPI)

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), expressed discontent with President Bola Tinubu’s administration, particularly in its handling of the foreign exchange crisis and economic downturn.

The former vice president expressed his discontent in a statement posted on his X account on Sunday morning.

The criticism stemmed from Thursday’s meeting between Tinubu and governors to address pressing issues, where Atiku alleged a lack of concrete policy steps to tackle the challenges of currency fluctuation and poverty in the country.

Read also: 2027 presidency? Atiku is politically naïve, and lacks self-awareness!

Atiku contended that the wrong policies of the Tinubu administration were causing significant distress to the economy. He emphasised the need for a more informed and strategic approach to navigate the crisis.

“The wrong policies of the Tinubu administration continue to cause untold pain and distress on the economy and the rest of us cannot keep quiet when, clearly, the government has demonstrated sufficient poverty of ideas to redeem the situation,” he said.

Drawing on his prior assessment of the economy during the last administration, the former vice president highlighted several policy prescriptions encapsulated in his document titled “My Covenant With Nigerians.”

One of the major recommendations was a commitment to reform the operation of the foreign exchange market by eliminating multiple exchange rate windows, which he argued only served to benefit opportunists and middlemen.

Also, the PDP presidential candidate advocated against a fixed exchange rate system, citing its inconsistency with Nigeria’s philosophy of running an open, private sector-friendly economy.

He argued that a successful fixed-exchange rate system required sufficient foreign exchange reserves, a challenge faced by Nigeria due to persistent FX illiquidity. Instead, he proposed a managed-floating system where the naira could fluctuate daily, but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would intervene judiciously to stabilise its value, especially in the face of speculative activities.

“But as is well known, Nigeria’s major challenge is the persistent FX illiquidity occasioned by limited foreign exchange inflows to the country. Without sufficient FX reserves, confidence in the Nigerian economy will remain low, and Naira will remain under pressure. The economy will have no firepower to support its currency. Besides, a fixed-exchange rate system is akin to running a subsidy regime!,” Atiku said.

Read also: Again, Atiku hits Tinubu

He criticised Tinubu’s new FX management policy, claiming it was hastily implemented without proper planning and consultation with stakeholders.

Atiku argued that the government’s failure to anticipate the negative consequences of its actions, coupled with the lack of CBN independence, contributed to the prevailing economic challenges.

He reiterated his belief that, with an openness to sound counsel and effective control of internal issues, the Nigerian economy could find a footing once again.

“I firmly believe that if and when the Government is ready to open itself to sound counsels, as well as control internal bleedings occasioned by corruption and poorly negotiated foreign loans, the Nigerian economy would begin to find a footing again,” he concluded.