Tinubu: I’ll run private sector-driven economy


Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday unfolded his comprehensive economic plan before the organised private sector under the aegis of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

He promised to channel the path to economic recovery if elected in next month’s election.


Tinubu told the gathering made up of economic experts and businessmen in Abuja that the current security challenge must be resolved first to set the economic agenda in motion.

“First, to achieve the economy we seek, we must resolve the pressing security issues. No nation can flourish with terrorists and kidnappers in their midst,” he said on a day a Federal High Court, Abuja dismissed a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s suit seeking his disqualification and that of his running mate, Senator Kassim Shettima, from the February 25 election.


Justice Inyang Ekwo declared that the PDP lacked the locus standi to institute the suit, labeling the case as an abuse of court process.

Tinubu during his interface with the NESG described the private sector as very important to his economic plan, stressing: “My core belief is that the private sector must be the prime driver of economic progress.”

Continuing, he said: “However, the government establishes the framework within which the private sector must operate. If that framework is sound, the private sector will flourish. If the framework is frail or incomplete, then the private sector will struggle.”

His administration, he pointed out, would urgently address fiscal, monetary and trade reforms to effectively increase domestic production, thus serving to curb imported inflation and ensure better macro-economic stability by accelerating inclusive growth and job creation across Nigeria.


Principles expected to guide his plans and policies, he said, would tackle inflation, petrol subsidy and monetary policy.

His words: “I do not hold to the mainstream view that all forms of inflation are best tackled by interest rate hikes and shrinking the economy. Supply induced inflation does not lend itself to this harsh medicine, just as one does not cure a headache by plucking out one’s eye.

“I do not embrace the conventional wisdom that fiscal deficits by the national government are inherently bad. All governments, especially in this era of fiat currency, run secular budget deficits. This is an inherent part of modern governance.

“The most powerful and wealthiest governments run deficits, as do the poorest nations. A budget deficit is not necessarily bad.”

Citing Japan with its high borrowing and low inflation as an example, he said: “The real issue is whether deficit spending is productive or not. Unproductive deficit spending is a compound negative, especially if backed by excessive borrowing of foreign currency.

“This is not classroom economics but it is the lesson of the real economic history of nations. It is based on this idea that I believe we must remove the PMS subsidy immediately. It has outlived its shelf life as a public good.

“We will neither subsidise neighbouring countries’ fuel consumption nor allow a select few to reap windfall profits and hoard products.

“And the subsidy money will not be ‘saved’ because that means elimination from the economy. Instead, we will redirect the funds into public infrastructure, transportation, affordable housing, education and health, and strengthen the social safety net for the poorest of the poor, thus averting increased security challenges.

“Fiscal policy will be the main driver. Monetary policy is weaker and a less effective instrument. Bad monetary policy is, of course, destructive. But even good monetary policy cannot carry the load the fiscal arm can.

“Thus, we must steadily remove ourselves from the fiction of tying our budgets to dollar denominated oil revenues. This is effectively pegging our budget to a dollar standard.  It is as outdated as the fuel subsidy itself. It is also restrictive and ties the economy to slow growth.

“Just as the common man must mentally sever the cord to the subsidy, the elite must sever the cord to this artificial fiscal restraint.”

On budgeting, Tinubu said it would be based on the projected spending levels needed to push real annual growth rate above 10 per cent while reducing the unemployment rate so that the economy can be doubled in seven years.

Accordingly, he plans to expand the manufacturing base to provide jobs and also create affordable goods and products for the population.

“For our industries to thrive, they need inputs, many of which are agriculture based.

“The present administration has invested heavily in agriculture, providing loans and expanding the country’s total area of cultivated land for crops, livestock and fisheries. We will also promote vibrant commodity exchanges that will guarantee minimal pricing for produce,” he said.





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