Stop blaming Opposition, Emulate Argentina’s President to build our economy, Atiku lectures Tinubu

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By Ayinde Muhammed

The former Vice President of Nigeria and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election in Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has advised president Bola Ahmed Tinubu to adopt the strategies used by his compatriots in Argentina, Milei, in building the Nigerian economy.

Atiku noted that Nigeria and Argentina have a similar economic problem as they both closed the last quarter of the year 2023 on a similar path of economic downturn.

According to him, President Milei’s campaign promises was to re-position the Argentine economy after years of slow growth, high debt levels, triple-digit inflation (260% when he took over the presidency in December 2023) and 40% poverty rate.

“His first task was to begin implementing measures to achieve greater macroeconomic stability and promote higher global competitiveness.”

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

Alhaji Abubakar noted that president Milei started 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.

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

Atiku criticised Tinubu’s decision to build the largest government (Cabinets) at a time when Nigeria economy was and still on its knees.

He said Milei’s 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.” He said

The former president noted that he is attracted to the reforms in Argentina because Javier Milei’s stabilization plan bears a similar emblem with his Recover Nigeria’s Plan.

According to him, he had outlined plans to relax the fiscal constraints facing Nigeria to include; improving spending efficiency and blocking leakages, saving money through review of fiscal support for non-performing government enterprises and privatization of those that can not sustain themselves.

” Others include Steps to improve spending efficiency through gradual reduction in government recurrent expenditures, ensuring that those expenditures reflect higher levels of service delivery.”

Also, “a review of government procurement processes to ensure high levels of transparency, competitiveness, and value for money and eliminate all leakages.

Atiku said that 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 youth which may find expression in protests and for which it will be silly to continue to blame the opposition for.

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