Over the last couple of years, Nigeria has recorded one of its worst economic falls in a generation. With two economic recessions since 2016 fueled by a combination of the federal government’s economic policies, the Covid-19 global pandemic, skyrocketed diesel prices, etc., Nigerians continue to suffer the damming effects of a crashing economy.
Nigeria, one of Africa’s top exporters of oil, has failed to capitalize on the increased prices of the product due to pipeline theft and several years of under-investing to maximize exports.
Latest statistics show that the country’s inflation rate stood at 18.6% as of June 2022 while the naira on Wednesday crashed to N710/$1 in the parallel market. Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, disclosed that the country spent 118% or N1.94 trillion of its generated revenue servicing its debt of N41.6 trillion or $100.1 billion.
As the 2023 general elections draw closer, there is a need to highlight the solutions proffered by the leading presidential candidates in the forthcoming elections.
Peter Obi – Labour Party
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party and two-term former governor of Anambra State, is known for his prowess on economic issues. In fact, popular billionaire Ned Nwoko claimed that the presidential candidate should be the Minister of Finance.
Mr. Peter Obi and pioneer of the third force movement in one of his televised interviews stated that to better Nigeria’s economic situation, the country must become a manufacturing institution.
He also stated in another interview that “the more educated the people, the better it is for the economy, which in the long run helps our development as a nation. You don’t do physical infrastructure before human infrastructure. Human capital is too low in Nigeria.”
He added, “you need to pull people, people, out of poverty. That’s what the Asian countries did. India pulled 250 million people out of poverty in 5 years,”
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu – All Progressive Congress (APC)
The presidential candidate of the All-Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, released a document disclosing his agenda for the country shortly winning the APC’s primaries.
Highlighting the economic promises of the former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu said he would grow the Gross Development Product by 12% over a four-year period.
He said his administration “would focus on stimulating jobs, which will be my top priority as president. I will get Nigeria to work by launching a major public works program, a significant and heavy investment in infrastructure, and value-adding manufacturing and agriculture.”
He further added that he will “create six new Regional Economic Development Agencies which will establish sub-regional industrial hubs to exploit each zone’s competitive advantage and optimize their potential for industrial growth. And formulate a new national policy on agriculture to boost food production.”
Atiku Abubakar – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party and a former Vice President, released a three point economic agenda after winning the PDP’s presidential primaries.
The principles are that he would firstly, “reaffirm the critical sector of private leadership and greater private sector participation in development: while repositioning the public sector to focus on its core responsibilities of facilitation and enabling appropriate legal framework for rapid economy and social development.
Secondly, “break government monopoly in all infrastructural sectors including the refineries rail transportation and power submission and give private investors a larger role in funding and managing the sectors, thus; emulating the benefits accrued in the oil and gas and telecom sector.”
Thirdly, “allow the market greater leverage in determining the prices, this way we shall eliminate the persistent price distortions occasioned by the current interventionist exchange rate management policy.”