Economy, Electricity crisis, National grid collapse, PDP members, 2023 presidential election, Petroleum net exporter, Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged President Bola Tinubu to adopt the similar reforms of Argentina’s President, Javier Milei, to revive Nigeria’s economy.

Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, said the reforms of Milei, who was sworn into office in December 2023, should serve as a lesson to Tinubu.

He said this in a statement on Sunday, February 25, 2024.

The former Vice President stated that both Milei and Tinubu inherited a disoriented economy, noting that the Argentine president has returned the country to a place where investors are “starting to believe”.

Atiku said: “I read a recent report in Reuters titled: Argentina’s market double down on Milei as investors ‘start to believe’.

“I took a keen interest in reading the report because I know quite well that Argentina and Nigeria closed the last quarter of the year 2023 on a similar path of economic downturn.

“In the case of Nigeria, a new government was installed at or about the middle of 2023, for Argentina, the new government came on board in December.

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“Both leaders inherited a disoriented economy, but both applied different measures to recovery.

“President Javier Milei of Argentina was sworn into office on 10 December 2023. He inherited a worse condition than Nigeria’s.

“But what he did to return his country to a place where investors are ‘starting to believe’ should serve as a lesson to Nigeria’s Bola Tinubu.

“Nigeria is where we are today simply because of what Tinubu has done or did not do.

“His shifting the blame on the opposition and, even ridiculously, his predecessor is needless and myopic. Market forces don’t play politics. They respond to your actions and inactions.”

Atiku noted that Milei’s major campaign promise was to reposition the Argentine economy after years of slow growth, high debt levels, inflation, and 40 per cent poverty rate, saying the president’s first task was to begin implementing measures to achieve greater macroeconomic stability and promote higher global competitiveness.

He added: He came into the office with a comprehensive stabilization plan, which seeks to implement far-reaching measures within the context of a market-oriented economy.

“He started off cutting government expenditure by cutting the size of government and wastages; blocked stealing of government funds, and attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through concessions, tax holidays, and improved ease of doing business.

“President Milei flies regular business class for all his travels and does not offer the presidential fleet of Argentina for his son’s birthday.

“Likewise, there is no settlement for his hangers-on and political allies through unwieldy and burdensome appointments to public offices.

“Argentina’s Milei did not build the largest government like Tinubu did at a time when our economy was and still on its knees.

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“The examples set by President Milei are the requirement of leadership in a time when the economy has begun to fail the expectations of the people.”

Atiku, however, described the reforms implemented by Tinubu’s administration since inauguration as “ad hoc and hurriedly put together without proper review”.

“Ours is unlike Argentina’s Milei, who is sequencing his reforms.

“Argentina runs a lean government by reducing the number of ministries, privatizing nearly 40 state-owned enterprises, and reducing wasteful spending.

“Conversely, Tinubu in Nigeria increased the number of ministers and ministries and is spending enormous resources renovating houses for himself, his deputy, and the first lady,” the former Vice President added.

Atiku further noted that he is attracted to the reforms in Argentina because Javier Milei’s stabilisation plan bears “a similar emblem with my Recover Nigeria Plan”, adding: “Unless, and until there are clear-cut policies and pathway to economic rejuvenation predicated on a leadership led sacrifice, there will be discontentment, especially among the youths, which may find expression in protests and for which it will be silly to continue to blame the opposition for.”

The Star



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