Atiku Nigeria

The Presidency has lashed out at the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, over his comments on the economic hardship in the country.

Atiku had said President Bola Tinubu’s economic policies have dashed the hope of Nigerians by creating pain and causing despair.

The former Vice President added that Tinubu, with the economic hardship, has shown he has no capacity to tackle the various challenges facing the country.

Reacting, the Presidency, in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, on Sunday, February 4, 2024, said Atiku should tell Nigerians what he would have done better if he had been elected president instead of blaming Tinubu for the state of the economy in a bid to earn cheap political mileage.

Onanuga urged Atiku to admit that President Tinubu inherited a weak economy which needs a complete overhaul to ensure the survival of the country.

He added that the PDP standard bearer has been increasingly carving for himself the role of opposition-in-chief to Tinubu and his government following his failure to become Nigeria’s President.

The presidential spokesman further stated that Atiku, who has been doing “a poor job” of opposition, didn’t offer any better policy options in his run for the Presidency different from the economic reform agenda by President Tinubu.

Onanuga said: “All the major candidates agreed that the fuel subsidy regime, which had become an albatross on the economy, must end. They all agreed that the multiple exchange rates must be fixed. Where President Tinubu and Atiku differed was in selling NNPC Limited and other national assets. Atiku went for this so he could sell these important national assets to his friends and cronies.

Atiku to Tinubu: Your policies causing pain, revive dead economy

“President Tinubu removed the subsidy from Day One and announced moves to harmonise the exchange rates. Since then, he and his economic team have been working vigorously to harmonise the rates and also end the rampant and criminal arbitrage that the multiple windows allowed.

“President Tinubu acknowledged, on different occasions, that the reforms his government is implementing will cause immediate pains, but will usher in an era of prosperity in the medium and long terms.

“Minus Atiku, reputable local and international agencies who understand the situation the Tinubu administration found itself have commended the administration, having seen a policy trajectory that is clearly positive, realistic, and sustainable.

“Instead of mouthing platitudes every time in a bid to earn cheap political mileage, Alhaji Atiku who presumes himself as the leader of opposition should tell Nigerians what he would have done better if he had been elected President.

“Atiku should be honest enough to admit that President Tinubu inherited a weak economy, which to all intents and purposes and to ensure the survival of our country needs a complete overhaul.

“The economy was plagued by decades of significant fiscal deficits, a low revenue base, high external and domestic debts, and huge debt service burden.

“The national budget Tinubu met in 2023 showed that 97 percent of revenue was to be spent on debt servicing, with little reserved for capital, thereby foreclosing growth and jobs.”

Onanuga stressed that Tinubu is focused on solving the country’s economic and security challenges, saying the fiscal and monetary policies his administration is pursuing are delivering unprecedented value to investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

He added: “Nigerian Stock Exchange is outperforming others in the world and is now the best, not based on bubble, but record profits by many listed companies.

“The administration has also embarked on comprehensive fiscal and tax policy reform that will drive speedy recovery and spur economic growth.

“Nigerians and the global investment communities trust the ability and competence of President Tinubu to deliver progress and shared prosperity.”

The Star



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