The presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday pledged economic policies that will boost Nigeria’s economy into a double-digit economy and address key national challenges.
Daily Trust reports that the two presidential candidates spoke at different occasions in Kaduna on Saturday.
While Atiku Abubakar spoke at the Arewa Joint Committee interactive session with presidential candidates at Arewa House, Tinubu spoke at the 7th edition of Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit (KadInvest 7.0).
Speaking at Arewa House, Atiku said his 5-point development agenda which seeks the political and economic transformation of Nigeria into a united, secure, and prosperous country is capable of making the country one of the top 15 global economies.
“The policy priority of the development agenda is to double the size of the Nigerian economy and achieve a GDP of approximately US$900 billion by 2030,” he said, adding that “This would raise Nigeria’s GDP per capita from the current levels of approximately US$2,000 to US$5,000, with additional significant impact on jobs and poverty.”
He said although current growth projections are significantly lower, “Nigeria has the potential to achieve this and become one of the top 15 global economies”.
The PDP presidential candidate also said if the country is to grow into a strong and resilient economy, there is a need to restructure, diversify and strengthen the productive base of the economy. He said the federal government under his leadership will support subnational units to develop better means of generating revenue.
Atiku also assured that his government will prioritize agricultural development with a special focus on irrigated agriculture. He said Nigeria has immediate potential to irrigate more than three million hectares (Ha) to support agricultural production. “Unfortunately, today less than 100,000 Ha representing less than three percent of the potential are under irrigation.”
He described Nigeria’s MSMEs sector as an important cornerstone of national development adding that with slightly more than 40 million MSMEs and employing 60 million people, the sector holds the key to sustainably resolving the challenges with job creation.
Atiku however said one of the key issues affecting the performance of MSMEs in Nigeria is the shortage of finance, which he said his administration will tackle with the creation of an Economic Stimulus Fund with an initial investment capacity of approximately US$10 billion to prioritize support to MSMEs across all the economic sectors.
To reduce poverty, he said, he would enhance a minimum of two million micro enterprises’ access to credit annually paying special attention to non-farm micro-enterprises in the rural communities, institute microcredit schemes for two million home-based income-generating activities directed to poor women and increase investment in basic skills and vocational training for an estimated one million marginalized and vulnerable populations annually.
He also said his administration intends to provide affordable quality education from primary up to the secondary level as well as affordable and quality healthcare facilities.
I’ll eliminate revenue and expense leakages – Tinubu
Speaking at KADInvest 7.0, the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu said his administration will champion an efficient government that will eliminate revenue and expense leakages across all federal government areas, and leveraging technology into government operations.
“I will marshal a team of the most talented of Nigerians – men, women and youths, no matter their tribe and affiliations, to reset our nation on a path to achieve double-digit economic growth within a couple of years. We will do this through a coordinated set of policies in key sectors,” he said.
In the oil and gas sector, the APC presidential candidate said he will prioritise gas distribution and availability to power the country’s industries.
“In agriculture, we will provide incentives for investments, machinery and equipment, expand and empower commodity boards, enhance our strategic grains reserves, encourage the formation of farm cooperatives and expand the scope and depth of access to finance for our farmers.”
Tinubu also pledged to introduce policies that will make it easier to transfer titles and carry out transactions on landed properties. He stressed that when voted into office, his administration will work with the private sector to significantly expand mortgage financing and provide credits and incentives to encourage real estate developers.
“We will collaborate with key technology partners to develop policies that promote the use and integration of technology across other sectors within the nation. We will work to accelerate the work that is being done with the private sector to train our youth and promote innovation through sponsored incubator hubs and science technology parks,” he said.
“Under my stewardship, the federal government will build on the efforts of the current administration to review, amend and/or enact the relevant laws that will engender the rule of law. My administration would ensure that the judiciary has true financial and administrative autonomy and strong disciplinary and integrity monitoring mechanisms,” Tinubu added.
He said his administration will place great emphasis on the use of a counter-insurgency doctrine and strategy and will prioritise the use of superior aerial technology to deter criminal and terrorist activities, as well as to monitor and protect our critical national infrastructure.
Unbundle, disband NNPC, Sanusi tells FG
The 14th Emir of Kano and the vice chairman of the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA), Khalifa Muhammad Sanusi II, who also spoke at the KadInvest stressed the need to unbundle and disband the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) in order to get the country out of economic crisis.
Daily Trust on Sunday recalls that Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State had recently while speaking on Sunrise Daily a Channels TV program accused the federal government of failure in the oil and gas business where he asked the government to ‘get out’ of the sector.
However, aligning with what the governor Sanusi while delivering his paper on‘Improving Sub-nationals Resilience against Global Economic Stock’ said the NNPC should be unbundled into different companies for effective and efficient management of the country’s oil sector.
“NNPC is a money pit instead of a cash cow; it should be unbundled and disbanded. More can be had from simply levying royalties and CIT on private players following models like that of Petronas and Petrobras,” he said.
He described the oil sector as Nigeria’s purse adding, “Beyond the challenging global context, Nigeria has problems entirely of its own making where oil revenues which were once the lifeblood of the Federal Government, have been in secular decline for over a decade. This has been happening regardless of the oil price environment.”
“He lamented that the Federal Government is set to collect just 2.9 billion US dollars in oil proceeds this year, compared with nearly 60 billion US dollars in 2011 saying, “This is one of the biggest oversights in public financial management anywhere in emerging markets.
According to him, “In some ways Nigeria’s problems are not a failure of the system because it is working as one would expect, but a failure of design and a failure of implementation.
“In the current environment, the first and most obvious problem is the existence of the fuel subsidy and opportunities this creates for fraud, the average daily fuel consumption in Nigeria (by the NNPC’s admission) is 66 million litres per day, and on some days as high as 100 million litres per day.”
He attributed the ‘relentless rise’ in the US dollar as being the bigger problem in most of Africa causing widespread and painful currency adjustment, which is a more important driver of inflation than the underlying moves in commodity prices.
“Since the start of the Ukraine war, crude oil prices are 5% lower, rice prices are 12% higher, and wheat prices are flat, the trade-weighted US dollar however is 17% stronger in this period, the sharpest upward move since the early 1980s, this is what is causing the pain in emerging markets.”
He stated that only 50% of states generated enough recurrent revenue to cover wages, overheads and debt service and recommended that states advocate for changes that do not rely on fixing failures of system design and policy implementation at the Federal level.
He urged states to find ways to free themselves from the effects of leakages and unorthodox policies at the Federal level and instead push for new and independent powers of taxation.
Our correspondent further reports that Governor El-Rufai launched the Ease of Doing Business Charter 2022 and signed the Subsidiary Loan Agreement for the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone with the Federal Ministry of Finance.
The governor commissioned the Galaxy Mall, an 11,000 square meter shopping mall located by Murtala Square with Shoprite as the anchored tenant and also the FaLGates rice mill, a N2.5 billion agric agro-allied company that is expected to process 300 metric tons of rice per day and 100, 000 metric tons per annum.
He also commissioned a neighbourhood centre, performed two groundbreaking ceremony and commissioned some housing units at Millennium city in the state.