This week opened with the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar revealing his plans for Nigeria as contained in a document called ‘Atiku Plan’
According to Atiku, the last three and a half years have been the most daunting for Nigeria as a people.
“Almost all indices on socio economic and political development have plummeted throwing over 70% of Nigerians into unprecedented poverty, the like never seen before since our corporate existence as a nation. Indeed, the last three and a half years have especially witnessed a deterioration of all aspects of basic human capital development as reﬂected in the growing rates of poverty, unemployment, economic instability, increasing debt burden and increased insecurity.”
Despite Nigeria’s abundant resources and its growing GDP, poverty continues to be a lingering problem.
“For Nigeria, it has been a classic case of growth without a human face. We must unravel this paradox and endeavour to end it!” Atiku says.
If Atiku Abubakar becomes Nigeria’s next president, how then is he going to end this paradox?
The main propositions of the economic development strategy embedded in the 186-page document is summarized as follows:
a. A ﬁrm commitment to the promotion of a private sector-driven, competitive and open economy supported by efﬁciently run public institutions.
b. Promoting economic diversiﬁcation and linkages between agriculture, industry and micro and small enterprises.
c. Improving productivity of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)
d. Reduction in infrastructure deﬁcit
e. Promoting social development by investing in human capital development
f. Reforming public institutions to engender efﬁciency in service delivery as well as deepen transparency, accountability and rule of law
To achieve the above, Atiku examines the economy of his dreams, with the main features below:
1. Increasing the ﬂow of FDI into non-oil sector (diversification of the economy)
a. Attract and increase the stock of Nigeria’s investment from 15% to 35% of GDP within 5 years with FDI as a key component
b. Increase the inﬂow of FDI to a minimum of 2.5% of the GDP by 2025 through a series of initiatives including incentives for foreign investors, strengthening the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), lowering corporate income tax rate and transactions costs.
2. Promoting diversiﬁcation and linkages between agriculture, industry and micro and small enterprises
3. Promoting the Agricultural sector
i. Increasing agricultural output from the current level of N23.85 trillion to about N40 trillion by 2025 leading to an annual growth in agricultural sector from 4.11% to 10% between 2019 and 2025
ii. Strengthening the Presidential Committee on Land Reform and relaunching of the Systematic Land Titling Registration Programme across the country
iii. Establishing private sector-led commodities exchanges around the major crop production regions of Nigeria
iv. Using Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to de-risk lending to the sector by commercial and development banks
v. Supporting women involved in Agriculture
4. Promoting the Manufacturing Sector
i. Expanding the manufacturing sector’s output from 9% to 30% of GDP by 2025
ii. Reducing dependence on imported raw materials
iii. Operating major ‘high proﬁle’ investment incentives.
iv. Reducing the cost of borrowing and, tackling incidences of multiple taxation
5. Promoting the MSMEs
i. Extending the mandate of NIRSAL to include de-risking for MSME lending
ii. Increasing the MSME funding window from, N200 billion to N500
iii. Giving special ﬁscal advantages including tax breaks and rebates to accelerate business formalization
6. Promoting the oil and gas sector
i. 5 million barrels per day production by 2025
ii. Increasing the contribution of the downstream sector to GDP from <0.5% to at least 2% by 2025
7. Promoting the New Economy
i. Establishment of a ‘Technology Support Programme’ (TSP) to be funded by a Diaspora Bond
ii. Development of a more effective and efﬁcient Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) framework
iii. Production of a comprehensive policy on block chain technology and crypto- currencies
8. Expanding Nigeria’s export base
i. Reﬁning capacity of 2 million barrels of crude daily while exporting 50% of that capacity to ECOWAS member states
ii. Aspiring to export 50% of that capacity to ECOWAS member states
9. Promoting Public-Private Sector Partnership
i. Privatization of State-Owned Enterprises including all three government-owned reﬁneries and the concession of Nigeria’s sea and airports.
ii. Liberalization of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry
iii. Accelerating the privatization and decentralization of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)