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Atiku’s Economic Plan is SAP Pocketbook: VON DG

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Mr Osita Okechukwu, the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), says former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, is planning another calamity for Nigeria with his Economic Plan, a replica of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).

Okechukwu, a foundation member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, saying that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate has nothing for the country.

“I watched with rapt attention, but in deep regrets that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s Economic Plan delivered at the Lagos Chamber of Comerce and Industry (LCCI) last Monday is more or less like the nebulous economic policy of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP)’s Pocketbook of 1986.

“The former Vice-President harped profoundly on privatisation of State-Owned Enterprises as the fulcrum of his economic revitalization programme, akin to SAP proponents of yore.

“Whereas one is not against private sector partnership; however, what we have in surplus are rent seekers, and scanty industrialists.

“Therefore, I am not surprised that a man who breached PDP’s constitution and by extension failed to unite his party did not bother to do the needful assessment which posits that 80 per cent of State-Owned Enterprises privatised under his chairmanship of National Council of Privatisation and indeed the 16 years of PDP leadership went into comatose,” he said.

Okechukwu added: “Recall that when they came to power in 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with Atiku as Chairman of National Council on Privatisation (NCP) dusted up the SAP Pocketbook and stripped our national assets including profitable companies like NICON Insurance, NICON Hilton Hotel, Niger Dock and unprofitable companies like Distribution Electricity Distribution Companies.

“For instance, Niger Dock a profitable pre-privatisation company has 6,000 staff under Nnamdi Ozobia, today it has gone under with less than 600 staff and the N1.72 billion proceeds allegedly missing.

“Secondly, NICON one of Africa’s leading Insurers originally owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria was privatised in December 2005. With an asset base of N46.9billion gathered over a 52-year period of operation, 30 branches and six regional offices, it is therefore modest to classify NICON as a colossus in the insurance industry but has regrettably gone under AMCON life support management.

“I challenge His Excellency to take a glance at the unintended consequences of the privatisation program before taken us back to SAP Pocketbook. Especially when Federal Government has wasted over N2 trillion life support to Electricity Distribution Companies privatised to improve our power supply. Today the outcome is crisis which defeated the core objective of privatisation.”

Okechukwu urged Atiku to focus on solving the internal crisis facing his party, before thinking about winning the 2023 presidential election.

“I make bold to say that what Atiku is proposing is by no means different from SAP policy thrust neither is his proposal on NNPC Ltd better than the giant steps that President Muhammadu Buhari has taken towards commercialism of NNPC.

“If you ask me, His Excellency Atiku Abubukar should first unite his party, and drop Sen. Iyorchia Ayu who incidentally has crowned him Nigeria’s Odinga.

“Only thereafter could he return to the drawing board and recalibrate his Economic Plan in line with what the new frontiers that Nigerians are yearning for,” he said.

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Emmanuel Mogbede

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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