Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has said he will seek debt forgiveness or cancellation to ease Nigeria’s foreign debts.
The former Vice President, while speaking on his economic recovery plan at the Lagos Business School 2022 Alumni Day, also said his privatization plan was not to make Nigerians jobless.
Speaking on the many economic issues Nigeria is currently grappling with, Atiku gave a brief background on PDP’s economic gains between 1999 and 2007, including debt cancellation, privatisation, banking reforms as well as effective partnership with the private sector. .
Economic issues, fuel subsidies, foreign exchange policy, debt crisis and power, as well as issues related to the oil and gas sector, were attended by business leaders at the event.
He also used the platform to pay tribute to the private sector for the success of the PDP in 1999-2007.
On the rise in the cost of governance, the former president said he would review Orosanye’s report and ensure that the white paper report is in line with the principle behind the formation of the commission.
Speaking on fuel subsidy, Atiku noted how the PDP government removed the subsidy in batches, saying, “I was the chairman of the fuel subsidy committee and I remember how we removed phase 1 and phase 2 of fuel subsidy. Stop it. I’m going to continue where we were, I’m going to remove the fuel subsidy completely and channel the subsidy funds into the economy. In other words, it’s just a scam.”
He described Nigeria’s debt situation as a mess, saying he would fix it if elected president.
He said: “If you are talking about the foreign debt, we have done it before, I will contract with our creditors and ask for debt forgiveness or cancellation as we did before. By addressing the local debt, if we stabilize the economy, we will take less debt, propose a flexible payment plan.
“Again, I want you to compare our records with the current government and you can see who has done well financially.”
The former Vice President stated that he would reform the oil and gas sector by ensuring that the right investors were recruited, increasing Nigeria’s crude production by ensuring the privatization of the country’s three refineries.
According to him, these policies would ultimately make Nigeria an oil producing hub.
He also vowed to ensure adequate funding of public education, emphasizing that children of the poor should enjoy free education.
He also promised to reinstate Universal Basic Education, which was established in 1999 with the main objective of reducing out-of-school children in the country.
When asked to comment on the autonomy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the PDP standard-bearer said the current management of the apex bank has left the current administration “lacking direction”, according to him, “lacking authority”.