How I will revive economy, by Atiku

PRESIDENTIAL candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar yesterday spoke about his plan to revive the economy.

Speaking at the 26th Lagos Business School Alumni Conference, the one-time vice president shared his thoughts on fuel subsidy, exchange rate, power, debt crisis and others.

At the event were the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi and many business executives including former Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Dr. Muda Yusuf

Atiku gave a brief background on the economic gains of the PDP between 1999-2007 when he was vice president, including debt cancellation, privatisation, banking reforms as well as effective working partnership with the private sector.

On fuel subsidy, he said the PDP government would revive its plan to end subsidy in phases if elected.

He said: “I was the chairman for the removal of the fuel subsidy committee and I recall how we removed phase one and phase two of the fuel subsidy.

“I will continue from where we stopped, remove fuel subsidy totally and channel the subsidy funds back to the economy. In other words, it’s just a fraud.”

He further said his privatisation plan is not to render people jobless but to ensure effective governance.

Atiku described Nigeria’s debt situation as a mess, adding that he would seek cancellation.

On debt forgiveness: “If you are talking about foreign debt, we have done it before, I will engage our creditors and ask for debt forgiveness or cancellation like we did before.

“Coming to local debt, if we stabilise the economy, we will borrow less and propose a flexible payment plan.

“Again, I want you to compare our records with the current government and you can see who did well economically.”

Speaking on the rising cost of governance, Atiku said he would revisit the Stephen Orosanye Report and ensure the white paper report is in conformity with the principle of setting up the committee.

The former vice president stated that he will reform the oil and gas sector by ensuring the right investors are engaged such that Nigeria’s crude production increases.

He also spoke of plan to privatise refineries, as according to him, with such policies in place, it will ultimately make Nigeria an oil production hub.

When asked to comment on the autonomy of the CBN, the presidential candidate said the current managers of the apex bank are taking a cue from the current administration “which lacks direction.”





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