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Nigerians blast Tinubu as Atiku berates president over fluctuation of Naira, poverty

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Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the recently held general election, has berated President Bola Tinubu over the “currency fluctuation and poverty” facing the country. 

Atiku, in a statement posted on his X page on Sunday, berated Tinubu for “cluelessness” in solving the “foreign exchange crisis and the problem of economic downturn, among others,”  stating that the president has failed to “showcase any concrete policy steps that his administration is taking to contain the crises.”

Atiku further stated that “the wrong policies of the Tinubu administration continue to cause untold pain and distress to the economy.”

His statement reads, “At a meeting called at his instance on Thursday to address the foreign exchange crisis and the problem of economic downturn, among others, Bola Tinubu failed, yet again, to showcase any concrete policy steps that his administration is taking to contain the crises of currency fluctuation and poverty that face the country.

“Rather, he told the country and experts who have been offering ideas on how to resolve the crisis that he and his team should not be distracted and allowed time to continue cooking their cocktail that has brought untold hardship to the people of Nigeria.

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“I don’t agree with that. The wrong policies of the Tinubu administration continue to cause untold pain and distress to the economy, and the rest of us cannot keep quiet when the government has demonstrated sufficient poverty of ideas to redeem the situation.

“If the government will not hold on to their usual hubris, there are ways that the country can walk out of the current crisis.

“After a careful assessment of the state of our economy during the twilights of the last administration, I knew full well that the economy of the country was heading for the ditch and came up with several policy prescriptions that would rescue the country from getting into the mess that we are currently in.

“Those ideas, encapsulated in my policy document titled My Covenant with Nigerians, made the following prescriptions:

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“I had signed on to a commitment to reform the operation of the foreign exchange market. Specifically, there was a commitment to eliminate multiple exchange rate windows. The system only served to enrich opportunists, rent-seekers, middlemen, arbitrageurs, and fraudsters.

“A fixed exchange rate system would be out of the question. First, it would not be in line with our philosophy of running an open, private sector-friendly economy.

“Secondly, operating a successful fixed-exchange rate system would require sufficient FX reserves to defend the domestic currency at all times. But as is well known, Nigeria’s major challenge is the persistent FX illiquidity occasioned by limited foreign exchange inflows to the country.

“Without sufficient FX reserves, confidence in the Nigerian economy will remain low, and the naira will remain under pressure.

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“The economy will have no firepower to support its currency. Besides, a fixed exchange rate system is akin to running a subsidy regime!

“On the other hand, given Nigeria’s underlying economic conditions, adopting a floating exchange rate system would be an overkill.

“We would have encouraged the Central Bank of Nigeria to adopt a gradualist approach to FX management.

“A managed floating system would have been a preferred option. In simple terms, in such a system, the naira may fluctuate daily, but the CBN will step in to control and stabilize its value.

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“Such control will be exercised judiciously and responsibly, especially to curtail speculative activities.”

Atiku, who gave reasons for the control, noted that “Nigeria has insufficient, unstable, and precarious foreign reserves to support a free-floating rate regime. Nigeria’s reserves did not have enough foreign exchange that could be sold freely at fair market prices during crises.

“Nigeria is not earning enough US dollars from its sales of crude oil because its production of oil has been declining. And,

“Nigeria is not attracting foreign investment in appreciable quantities.

“These are enough reasons for Nigeria to seek to have greater control of the market, at least in the short to medium term when convergence is expected to be achieved.”

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Furthermore, he slammed the president’s FX policy, noting that the policy was hurriedly put together without proper plans and consultations with stakeholders. The government failed to anticipate or downplay the potential and real negative consequences of its actions.”

Reacting to Atiku’s statement, Nwafresh on X noted that Tinubu was ill-prepared to become Nigeria’s president.

He noted that “everybody knows that Tinubu just wants to answer the title President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’ and that’s all.

“He came with little to nothing in terms of policies or plans. He’ll end up as the worst president in the history of Nigeria.”

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For Queen Bee, she stated that “Tinubu is a punishment upon Nigeria.

“The name Tinubu should be the newest addition to the English Lexicon, meaning agony, pain, and suffering.

“It should also mean corruption, crimes, and criminalities.”

Gathy argued that “Tinubu is just there because of entitlement and personal aggrandizement. He has no plans. I hope you (Atiku) and Peter Obi can come together to alleviate our suffering.”

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Calling Tinubu’s FX policy “a recipe for disaster,”  Shafii Hamidu noted that the Nigerian leader is “cooking up cocktails of hardship and poverty while telling us to trust the process.”

While Sheikh Abdullah opined that “Tinubu has nothing to offer; his administration is a total failure,” Ukula Titus argued that “Tinubu’s regime will not do anything positive that will favor Nigerians, believe me.

“His 4 years are already a waste. For instance, what was his manifesto? Nothing.

“He said it’s his turn. He wasn’t coming to fix any problems but to add more problems to Nigerians.”

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