- Nigeria has officially entered another recession as the country faces challenges of COVID-19 and crash in oil price
- Reacting, Atiku blamed the recession on the federal government, saying it could have been avoided if the Buhari administration listened to his advice
- Nevertheless, the PDP chieftain, still proceeded to offer some advice on how the country can exit the recession
Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria's former vice president, has said the current recession could have been avoided if President Muhammadu Buhari had heeded the advice given by him and other Nigerians.
Legit.ng reports that Nigeria has entered its second recession in five years, according to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Saturday, November 21.
According to NBS, the GDP recorded a contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
In his reaction, Atiku said the recession could have been avoided if the President Buhari-led government had taken three key steps he advised.
The steps FG failed to take which led to recession according to Atiku
1. Cutting the cost of governance
2. Saving for a rainy day
3. Avoiding profligate borrowing/prudent management of our economy
Atiku, however, admitted that the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the country's slide into the recession.
The former vice president proceeded to highlight some steps the Nigerian government should take to exit the recession.
The proposed solutions include:
1. Removal of non-essential line item in the proposed 2021 budget
Atiku said the proposed 2021 budget presented to the National Assembly is no longer tenable, adding that Nigeria neither has the resources nor the need to implement such a luxury heavy budget.
2. Investment in human development to stimulate the economy
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections further advised the government to stimulate the economy by investing in human development and increasing the purchasing power of the most vulnerable of our population.
He said special attention should be given to the poorest of the poor to ensure that they do not slip further into extreme poverty.
Atiku recommended a stimulus package in the form of monthly cash transfers of ₦5000 to be made to every bank account holder whose combined total deposit in the year 2019 was lower than the annual minimum wage.
3. Funding the stimulus package with luxury tax
To fund the stimulus package he proposed, the PDP chieftain said the government should not resort to borrowing. He instead proposed a luxury tax on goods and services that are exclusively accessible only to the super-wealthy.
He said proceeds from the tax should be exclusively dedicated to a Poverty Eradication Fund, which must be managed in the same manner as the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, or the Ecological Fund.
4. One percent poverty alleviation tax
Atiku also proposed that a one percent poverty alleviation tax should be legislated by the National Assembly on the profits of international oil companies operating in Nigeria and international airlines doing business in the country.
The proceeds, according to Atiku, should also go to the proposed Poverty Eradication Fund.
4. Reduction of the cost of goods and services that affect the poor
The PDP leader also advised the Buhari-led government to work on reducing the cost of goods and services that affect the poor.
5. Suspension of borrowing
Lastly, Atiku advised the Nigerian government to stop borrowing for anything other than essential needs.
The statement by the former vice has gone viral on social media and has elicited heated reactions from Nigerians.
Isah Abdulahi Ahmed said:
"What have you saved for Nigeria during your wasteful administration,all what befalls us today is rooted and planted during your administration, it's not time to politicise our predicament, it's time to join hand to salvage Nigeria from this global setback."
Jude Okwudili said:
"Thanks for offering advice necessary for our economic recovery unlike those claiming they knew the solution but only when elected as president will they bring it out. I appreciate your patriotic effort and pray with God on your side the sky will be your limit"
Samson Benjamin Onyilokwu commented:
"Your suggestions are good. But that was how President Buhari and Tinubu sweet tongued us. See where we are today."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday, November 5, gave details of how the ambition of his former deputy, Atiku, to become the country's number one citizen in 2003 failed.
The ex-president noted that Atiku's alliance with the late Alex Ekwueme during the 2003 presidential primary election of the PDP collapsed after Ekwueme was defeated at the poll.
2019 Election: Atiku heads to court to contest election result, can he win? | - on Legit TV