Presidential candidate People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has spoken about his plan to revive the country’s economy.
He spoke on Wednesday at the 26th Lagos Business School Alumni Conference.
The event was attended by his counterpart, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labor Party and many business executives, including Muda Yusuf, the former CEO. Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Atiku disclosed his position on fuel subsidy, exchange rate, power, debt crisis and others.
The former Vice President gave a brief background on the PDP’s economic gains from 1999-2007 during his tenure as Vice President, including debt cancellation, privatization, banking reforms and effective partnership with the private sector.
On fuel subsidies, he said the PDP government planned to withdraw the subsidies in batches and would revive the process if elected.
“I was the chairman of the fuel subsidy removal committee and I remember how we removed the first phase and the second phase of the fuel subsidy,” he said.
“I will continue where we left off, I will remove the fuel subsidy completely and direct the subsidy funds to the economy. In other words, it’s just a fraud.”
He also said that his privatization plan is not to make people unemployed, but to ensure efficient government.
He described Nigeria’s debt situation as a mess, adding that he would call for its cancellation.
“If you are talking about foreign debt, we have done it before, I will engage our creditors and ask for debt forgiveness or cancellation like we did before,” Atiku said.
“Once the local debt is reached, if we stabilize the economy, we will take on less debt and we will 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.”
Speaking on the rising cost of governance, Atiku said he would review the Orosanye report and ensure that the white paper report is in line with the principle of setting up the commission.
The former Vice President stated that he will reform the oil and gas sector by ensuring that the right investors are committed to increase Nigeria’s gross output.
He said he would privatize the country’s three refineries.
According to him, with the implementation of these policies, Nigeria will eventually become an oil producing hub.
When asked to comment on the autonomy of the CBN, the presidential aspirant said that the current managers of the apex bank are taking over the current administration “which has no direction”.
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