• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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One year after, Nigeria not working under Tinubu – Atiku

…lists 6 areas to address

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has hit the administration of President Bola Tinubu, for failing to address several economic challenges in the country.

He noted that rather than tackle the challenges, the government has introduced policies that exacerbated Nigeria’s microeconomic instability.

Abubakar, who was the presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2023 election, berated the Tinubu administration for not “laying out plans for the ‘remodeling’ of the economy”, before embarking on his “cocktail of policies”

Atiku listed Tinubu’s policy misadventures including the elimination of petrol subsidies, the implementation of a new foreign exchange policy that unified the multiple official FX windows into a single official market, adding that the government also went ahead to tighten monetary policy to reduce naira liquidity, hiked the monetary policy rates, introduced cost-reflective electricity tariff, as well as cybersecurity tax.

Read also: Atiku lists 6 things Tinubu must do to save Nigeria economy

In his assessment of Tinubu’s policies, the former vice president noted that “12 months on, Tinubu’s pledge of growing the economy and ending misery remains unfulfilled. His actions or inactions have significantly worsened Nigeria’s macroeconomic stability.

“Nigeria remains a struggling economy and is more fragile today than it was a year ago. Indeed, all the economic ills – joblessness, poverty, and misery – which defined the Buhari-led administration have only exacerbated.

“Africa’s leading economy has slipped to the 4th position lagging behind Algeria, Egypt, and South Africa. Citizens’ hopes have been dashed (and not renewed contrary to the propaganda of the administration) as Nigeria’s economic woes have multiplied”

Atiku said “President Tinubu’s policies do not create prosperity. Instead, they pauperize the poor and bankrupt the rich. They spare no one”

He also noted that the majority of Nigerians, especially those who are poor, are going through the worst cost-of-living crisis since the infamous structural adjustment programme of the 1980s.

“The annual inflation rate at 33.69 percent is the highest in nearly 3 decades. Food prices are unbearably higher than what ordinary citizens can afford as food inflation soared to 40.53 percent in April, the highest in more than 15 years.

He also noted that Nigerians now pay 114 percent more for a bag of rice, 107 percent more for a bag of flour, and 150 percent more in transport fares relative to May 2023, adding that “ Today, in some locations, motorists are paying 305 percent more for a litre of fuel. Yet, on a minimum wage of the equivalent of US$23 per month, Nigerian workers are among the lowest wage earners in the world”

He stated that “President Tinubu’s policies create a hostile environment for businesses with the manufacturing sector, which holds the key to higher incomes, jobs, and economic growth, now bogged down by rising input prices, higher energy and borrowing costs, and exchange rate complexities.

Read also: Kano: Atiku alleges breach of peace, constitution against FG

“For example, since 2023, the average price of diesel has doubled to N1,600 per litre. Electricity tariff has recently been increased by 250% from N68/Kwh to N206/Kwh. As reported by the Guardian (13 May 2024), in Q1 of 2024, energy prices were up by 70 percent, costing manufacturers N290 billion.

“Since May 2023, corporate Nigeria has lost more than a dozen enterprises to other countries. Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Procter & Gamble (P&G), Sanofi-Aventi Nigeria, Bolt Food, Equinor, among others had exited Nigeria citing reasons including foreign exchange complexities, security concerns, and high operational costs.

“According to the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), nearly 20,000 jobs may have been lost due to the departure of 15 multinational companies from Nigeria, Abubakar said.

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