I’ll pursue ‘warm handshake policy’ for private sector — Atiku 

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THE presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the coming general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has said that his plan for the economy, if elected, is to pursue a “warm handshake policy for the private sector”, noting that Nigeria is currently being dressed in borrowed robes.

Speaking in Lagos yesterday at the Private Sector Economic Forum for 2023 Presidential Election organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Atiku stated: “Nigeria is being dressed in borrowed robes; Nigeria is broke and has consistently run-on budget deficits since 2015. These budget deficits are often above the 3% threshold permissible under the Fiscal Responsibility Law and more if you add CBN and AMCON debt in ways and means. The country is breaching one of the applicable debt-sustainability thresholds by spending more on debt servicing than the country’s revenue.

No one should downplay the enormity of the tasks ahead. Indeed, I cannot think of a more daunting challenge than restoring confidence in the future of Nigeria as a dynamic economy and stable democracy.

“I will not come unprepared. It is not in my character as a businessman or as a public officer to be caught off guard. My policy document contains the right policies that will be timely delivered.”

In his welcome address, LCCI President, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, noted that the Chamber is non-partisan, but interested in the economic agenda of the candidates and their plans to make a better Nigeria in the next dispensation.

He stated: “The chamber is aware of the overshadowing effect of politics over economics in managing the Nigerian economy and would therefore wish to contribute to the setting of a new economic order that can take our economy from the doldrums.

“Beyond economic management, we understand that countries rise or fall through leadership and governance. Nigerians have another opportunity to decide who leads them in the next four years from 2023-2027.”

Abeeb Atanda

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