APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu addressed a coalition of Arewa Groups in Kaduna on Monday 17 October. The candidate, accompanied by no fewer than seven APC governors outlined his programme for the region.
Today, the race to Aso Rock gains new momentum as the All Progressives Congress launches a manifesto that seeks to rejig the economy by unleashing the energy of the youths, the farmers, and the workers.
The 80-page document titled ” Hope Renewed” consolidates the achievements of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in agriculture, infrastructure and security and plans new ways of running the economy by adopting fiscal and monetary policies to boost the production of goods and services to tame inflation.
This shift in economic and financial strategy is no surprise to policy watchers who know the wizardry of the presidential flag bearer, Bola Tinubu in public finance.
Tackling the need to tackle inflation and the resultant reduction in the purchasing value of the Naira, a major complaint of Nigerians, the manifesto says it should not be managed by raising interest rates and tight monetary measures used for inflation caused by the rise in demand.
Instead, it diagnoses the current inflation as the outcome of an inadequate supply of goods and services and thus devotes over 70 pages to the robust mobilization of human and material resources to fill this supply deficit.
The manifesto equally deals with other dimensions of the depleting value of the naira including the exchange rate mechanism, debt payments, and interest rate regime.
“Our fiscal strategy is to spend public money only in a way that maximizes employment of people and resources, especially those previously idle…Monetary policy must focus on the exchange rate, interest rate, and price levels. The trio must serve the objective of fiscal policy, which is broadly shared prosperity.”
In tune with the clamour of Nigerians for a stable exchange rate and strong Naira, the manifesto laments that the country is tied to ” an ineffective somewhat arbitrary exchange rates, ” concluding that the “situation gives rise to financial dislocation, currency speculation, and arbitrage.”
On debt payments, another sore controversy among Nigerians, the manifesto pledges to liquidate them by tying debts in foreign currency to revenue-generating projects, limiting such debts to essential infrastructures, and limit future debts to the naira.
Increasing the purchasing power of Nigerians is one of the targets of the manifesto. Although many Nigerians are yet to get into the tax net, those in formal employment in the public and private sectors pay as they earn. A Tinubu administration will lower taxes but spread the tax dragnet to cover more, improve collection and demonstrate value to encourage more Nigerians to pay.
Analysts believe the emphasis on the financial system as a key component of the manifesto reflects the background of the candidates: Tinubu, the auditor and finance logistician, and Kassim Shettima, banker and agricultural economist.
Nevertheless, both recognise the financial system as the system of exchange whose foundation is the production of goods and services.
For instance, recognising agriculture as the mainstay of the economy and employer of half of the over 200 million population, the manifesto seeks to increase land for cultivation, from the current 35% capacity to 75% in four years.
To achieve the goal, it plans to increase the amount of land for cultivation in river basins with irrigation, work with states to expand rural infrastructure, farmers’ cooperatives and storage facilities for fresh crops, set up commodity boards, and promote commodity exchange markets. It plans to reform the Bank of Agriculture.
A key area for youth entrepreneurship in the party’s new covenant with the people is the plan to boost agro-processing by adding value to raw crops for domestic and export markets.
Determined to build a great African economy, the APC manifesto will incentivize the corporate sector based on how many unemployed urban youths a company employs and encourage youths to innovate with state credit to information technology start-ups.
To domesticate industrial production, a Tinubu administration will encourage international manufacturing companies to produce what we import domestically, in the conviction that laws such as the Local Content Law will oblige backward integration and transfer of knowledge to Nigerians.
With agriculture and industry driving a new phase of the Nigerian economy, the additional impetus from the new measures to be introduced in energy, transportation, technology, health and education will generate the surplus needed to tame inflation, strengthen the Naira and put the economy in faster track.
By Kehinde Bamigbetan
Mr Presidential candidate: Lincoln did not contest US Presidency five or six times, Takeaways from Atiku Abubakar bungled interview on ARISE Television.
We have watched Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s interview on ARISE Television and were extremely shocked by the many lies and ignorance displayed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.
In the interview, Alhaji Atiku exposed himself as a man who is not prepared for the job he is applying for and a man who can not be entrusted with our commonwealth. He was flippant in his response to important questions about his record of service and how he made money while serving in Customs. He muddled up facts and exhibited befudling absence of mind.
Here are our Takeaways from the bungled interview:
1. PDP Candidate is a law breaker: It was most shocking Atiku admitted that he cheated the system for decades and engaged in gross misconduct as a government worker. As a customs officer at the Idi-Iroko border, Atiku revealed that he ran a commercial taxi service, claiming ‘there is no law stopping public officers from doing business in Nigeria”. He punched harder, claiming there is no conflict of interest in doing so.
We found this to be untrue. Every officer in the civil service is expected to comply with a code of conduct and service rules which bar civil and public servants from engaging in private business while in government employment to the detriment of the service he/she is employed to render to the public. The 1999 constitution further codifies this in Part I, Fifth Schedule, Section of 2 (b).
It says a public officer shall not, except where he is not employed on full-time basis engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession or trade. The rules however allow a public officer to engage in farming.
We wonder which rule or which law Atiku was relying upon for his gross misconduct as a public officer. It is our considered view that Atiku gamed the system all through his career in public service, culminating in his founding of the Intel Logistics along with Late Shehu Yar’Adua and some Italians, even while he was still in the employment of the Nigerian Customs Service.
2. Poor Knowledge of key sectors of the economy: We also found it surprising that the PDP presidential candidate does not know the contribution of oil and gas industry to Nigeria’s GDP. He claimed the sector represents 20% of our national GDP whereas it is below 10 percent and it is still falling owing to the growth of non-oil sector under the current All Progressives Congress led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
3. False Data from Egypt: Atiku Abubakar wanted to impress his audience with his supposed knowledge of international and he ended up embarrassing himself with false data he cited about Egypt. We found his claim that Egypt has 2 million police officers on the streets to be untrue. Various sources put the number at about 500,000 for a population of 104 million.
4. Rotational Presidency: Asked to justify why the PDP jettisoned Section 3C of its own constitution which enshrines power rotation between the North and South, Atiku tried to fudge his answer by focussing on Governor Nyesom Wike and his effort to reconcile with him after he, a northerner snatched the presidential ticket that ought to have been taken by a southerner. While Atiku was playing to the gallery on APC’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket he didn’t see seeking to be President after 8years of a President from his part of Nigeria as politics of exclusion.
Probed further, Atiku provided several contradictory answers. In one breath, he said power rotation is not in the constitution. In another breath, he said the PDP has never “micro zoned any position’. Then he admitted that the party has always rotated power between the North and the South. Atiku’s justification as to why he became PDP’s presidential candidate, instead of a southerner is a perfect example in ellipsis: “In politics”, he said, “we negotiate power through negotiations(Sic)”. Whatever that means.
Atiku ever an expert in not telling the truth did also not come clean over his once-upon a time preference for same-faith ticket. In 1993, after Atiku and Kingibe lost to MKO Abiola in the SDP presidential primary in Jos, Atiku was the choice of the Yar’Adua camp to become Abiola’s running mate. Abiola overlooked him and picked the more cerebral diplomat and bureaucrat, Babagana Kingibe. In all the tonnes of biographies written about him, there was no where he said he opposed Shehu Yar’Adua’s support for his candidacy as Abiola’s VP. He was not against it, since it favoured him. Now, it is politically convenient and opportunistic for him to oppose Tinubu-Shettima ticket.
5. Political Credentials: Most reprehensible was Atiku’s lies about how many times he ran to become the governor of Adamawa or old Gongola state.
Mr. Presidential candidate, in case you don’t know due to your limited education, you run for an office, only, when you are on the ballot in an election. Your signifying interest in an office does not mean the same as running for the office. From available records, the first time you contested the governorship election in your state was in 1999. Your name entered the ballot for the first time and you won.
6. Poor grasp of history: Atiku Abubakar also exhibited poor Knowledge of history when he claimed that Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s famous leaders contested the presidency five to six times before he eventually won.
This is a beer parlour tale that has been recycled over time. Lincoln contested U.S. presidency twice. He ran in 1860 and 1864 and won both, before he was assassinated 15 April 1865.
The false story about Lincoln’s failed presidential bids sprang from his previous failed state and national elections, from his state of Illinois. They were not the same as America’s presidential election.
According to historians, Lincoln lost his first election in 1832 for Illinois state legislature. In 1834, he ran again and won.
In 1843 he ran for Congress. He lost. Three years after in 1846, Lincoln ran for Congress again – this time he won and went to Washington. From established history, in 1848, Lincoln ran for re-election to Congress and lost. In 1854, he ran for Senate of the United States. He lost. Lincoln also made another failed bid for U.S. Senate from Illinois in 1858. He lost to Democrat Steven Douglas.
Our conclusion is that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is ill-prepared to be President of Nigeria if he could bungle a Television interview that was planned well ahead of the day and time the duo of Dr. Reuben Abati and Ms.Tundun Abiola conducted it.
We expected the PDP presidential candidate to be well informed on any issue before coming on national television to expose himself to avoidable ridicule.
Director, Media & Communication
July 23, 2022
All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, extends his personal congratulations to Rev. Daniel Okoh, on being the newly-elected president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).