New Telegraph

Atiku To Tinubu: Stop Blaming Opposition For Economic Woes

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has advised President Bola Tinubu to adopt the economic model of the Argentine President, Javier Milei, as a pathway to the nation’s economic rejuvenation.

Atiku also said Nigeria is where she is presently because of what the president has done or failed to 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,” he said.

Atiku noted that President Milei of Argentina was sworn into office on 10 December 2023, some seven months after Tinubu became Nigeria’s president and was able to turn the economy around within a short period in office.

“He inherited a worse condition than Nigeria’s,” he said, adding that “President Milei’s major campaign promise was to reposition the Argentine economy after years of slow growth, high debt levels, triple-digit inflation (160% when he took over the presidency in December 2023) and 40% poverty rate.”

According to Atiku, Milei’s first task was to begin the implementation of measures to achieve greater macroeconomic stability and promote higher global competitiveness.

“He came into the office with a comprehensive stabilisation 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,” he said.

Atiku who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last presidential election, regretted that the reforms so far implemented by the Tinubu’s administration were ad hoc and hurriedly put together without proper review.

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

He noted that while Argentina runs a lean government by reducing the number of ministries, privatising nearly 40 state-owned enterprises, and reducing wasteful spending, Tinubu increased the number of ministers and ministries and is spending enormous resources renovating houses for himself, his deputy, and the first lady.

“Worse still, Tinubu has refused to roll up his sleeves and do the work that he signed up for.

“Instead, he and his team are preoccupied with behaving like Napoleon and Squealer, characters in the satire book Animal Farm, who made it a state policy scapegoating Snowball (the opposition) for their own failures arising from their ill-advised policies,” he added.

Atiku warned that until “there are clear-cut policies and pathways 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.”

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