Atiku Calls for Economic Reforms, Cites Argentina’s Example in Address to Tinubu


Atiku and Tinubu

The 2023 Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has urged President Bola Tinubu to learn from the approach to economic reform taken by Argentina’s President, Javier Milei, for Nigeria’s economic reforms.

The reforms led by President Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government have resulted in economic hardship, making it difficult for many Nigerians to afford basic necessities.

In a statement titled “Argentina’s Javier Milei approach to reforms should serve as a lesson for Tinubu,” Atiku emphasized on Sunday that Tinubu and Milei inherited a disoriented economy, but each applied different measures for recovery.

The ex-vice president clarified that during the final quarter of 2023, both Argentina and Nigeria encountered economic declines. Furthermore, he noted that while Nigeria saw a new government take office around mid-2023, Argentina’s new government assumed power in December.

He said, “Both leaders inherited a disoriented economy, but both applied different measures to recovery. President Javier Milei of Argentina was sworn into office on 10 December 2023. He inherited a worse condition than Nigeria’s. But what he did to return his country to a place where investors are ‘starting to believe’ should serve as a lesson to Nigeria’s Bola Tinubu.”

Atiku, who attributed the hardship in Nigeria to President Tinubu, pointed out that, unlike his Argentine counterpart, the Nigerian President has refused to roll up his sleeves and do the work he signed up for.

The former vice president stated “Nigeria is where we are today simply because of what Tinubu has done or did not do. His shifting the blame on the opposition and, even ridiculously, his predecessor is needless and myopic. Market forces don’t play politics. They respond to your actions and inactions.

“President Milei’s major campaign promise was to reposition the Argentine economy after years of slow growth, high debt levels, triple-digit inflation (160 per cent when he took over the Presidency in December 2023), and a 40 per cent poverty rate. His first task was to begin implementing measures to achieve greater macroeconomic stability and promote higher global competitiveness.”

The statement read in part, “Argentina’s Milei did not build the largest government like Tinubu did at a time when our economy was and still on its knees. The examples set by President Milei are the requirement of leadership in a time when the economy has begun to fail the expectations of the people.

“The reforms so far implemented by the Tinubu administration are ad hoc and hurriedly put together without proper review. Ours is unlike Argentina’s Milei, who is sequencing his reforms. President Milei anticipates the after-reform shocks and admits that things will be tough for the people. But he is fully prepared for the aftershocks and has in place mitigating pills. He walks the talk. He sacrifices himself by giving up the perks of office.”

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