Growing The Economy: The APC Blueprint

Economy-spectaclesTHE All Progressives Congress (APC) government will set about the task of getting the country’s public finances in order, by tackling massive waste, duplication and corruption in the system, diversifying the economy and expanding the nation’s tax base to increase non-oil revenues, as well as, reprioritising public spending, away from bureaucracy, towards investment in infrastructure and improved frontline services.

The party also will reduce the overall number of bloated and “unnecessary” parastatals, through amalgamation and abolition. It, however, recognises that in some instances, we will need to create new
agencies to push forward our economic agenda. Specifically:
• Gradually increase public spending to 30 percent of GDP over the first term in office.
• Redirect public spending priorities to increase the proportion of public spending invested in capital infrastructure to 50 percent from 32 per cent by 2025.
• Use the increased capital spending to fund a massive programme of public works to rebuild and extend infrastructure – with some projects jointly funded and managed by the private sector through PPPs.
• Introduce a Comprehensive Economic Development Plan for Northeastern Nigeria to tackle the long-term economic causes of unrest.
• Establish a N300bn growth fund administered by new regional development agencies focused on providing investment for local value-added production.
• Gradually increase spending on social welfare programmes such as health and education to around 35 percent of spending from their current level of 15 per cent.
• Modernise the poorly-equipped and paid security forces by a phased doubling of security spending to 15 percent including an increased in their wages.
• Ring-fence funding for the anti-corruption agency and electoral commission that will help keep our public life clean.
• Improve efficiency by shifting spending within public agencies from back room administration to frontline services – guaranteeing that at least 50 per cent will be spent directly on the public.
• Phase out the practice of government officials obtaining medical treatment abroad at government expense.

Towards a lean and effective government
• Establish a Presidential Task Force to reform public services – a key role will be to review the number and functions of bloated and unnecessary parastatals to reduce duplication and ensure they are fit for purpose.
• Co-ordinate most or all of work of the eight federal health parastatals through a single body – Healthcare Nigeria.
• Set up two new Federal agencies to drive infrastructural development programme – Skills Nigeria and Build Nigeria.
• Create six regional development agencies focused on providing investment for value-added manufacturing and agribusiness.
• Reform the management and funding of the water sector to create State Water & Sanitation Authorities.
• Expand the role of Council of State to become a forum for agreeing joint initiatives between the Federal and State levels of government.

Ending Reliance On Oil & Gas
The government will diversify the economy by developing long neglected sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture. In addition, the government will also reform the oil & gas and mining sectors by creating a new, independent and transparent system of auctions for allocating drilling rights. This will significantly reduce and check the massive corruption in the sector.
While the government will retain strong local content rules, it will break-up the NNPC and instead require exploration companies to sell equity on the local stock exchange and contribute directly to the country’s independently managed investment funds. Government revenues will in future be derived through taxation, operating charges and limited profit sharing schemes.

The Commonsense solutions
• Ensure the passing of a workable Petroleum Industry Bill
• Restructure the NNPC into more efficient, commercially driven units, strip it of its regulatory powers and enable it tap into the international capital market.
• Strictly implement the gas master plan and legislation to end flaring by gathering, processing and transmitting all of associated and non-associated gas for domestic use such as power generation, production of fertilizers and petrochemical products.
• Fully develop the petroleum sector’s capacity to absorb more of the nation’s new graduates in the labour market. The sector will produce more home-grown world class engineers and scientists.
• Establish an independent Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority.
• Review structure of Joint Venture Companies & ensure transparent tendering process managed at arms-length from Federal Ministers
• Establish modern oil refineries to increase the flow of oil and gas products to domestic consumers
• Use market mechanisms to shift the gas supply towards domestic production to end power shortages & reduce dependency on imports
• Introduce strong local content legislation & create domestic supply chain.
• Create favourable policy guidelines to encourage massive private sector participation in the establishment of petrochemical industries.

Solid Minerals
• Revise Nigeria’s mining legislation to end its ambiguity, providing for a transparent tendering process for mining rights.
• Provide a fixed percentage of revenues in guaranteed benefits schemes to local communities.
• Proactively promote international and domestic investment in the mining sector through: Policy consistency; Elimination of Corruption; Investment Incentive framework; Guarantees of property rights;
Amendment of the Land Use Act.

Agriculture and Land
Land Reform

• Introduce major land reforms
• Empower farmers and others to unlock the enormous wealth in land through marketable title deeds through a new system of freehold and leasehold leases ending the requirement to seek the government’s
permission to use your land to raise credit.
• Provide incentives, including matching grants to encourage states to achieve this national objective.
• Amend the constitution and Land Use Act to create freehold/leasehold interests in land along with establishing a system of matching grants for states to create a nationwide electronic land title register on a state by state basis.

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1 Comment
  • tayo adefemi

    Having read through the party’s economic blueprint for the nation enthusiastically, I would say the party is absolutely on the right track to transforming all sectors of the economy as long as all those policies, which were comprehensively well documented and properly analysed in this article can be ambitiously pursued by the new government of president Muhammadu Buhari and his economic team.

    What an average Nigerian desperately yearns for is simply the resultant effects of all these economic terms. How it will better and improve massively their standards of living and not necessarily perturb about those big terminologies .

    Such an economic framework is not new to us though, but we as concerned citizens are only taking solace from the fact that indeed aftermath the long 16 years of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in power a somewhat fresh entropy of air has finally begun to blow around the wheels of governance in our political atmosphere.

    This, without impugn has been one of the principle driving forces that have to continue ratchet up our hopes of getting to the promise land. Although, the challenges before the new administration are hugely tasking, but i think the sincerity of purpose among other enduring qualities of a good leader is what will single out president Buhari’s administration from its predecessors, and to a large extent helps to accelerate our economy building capacity among other comity of nations.

    A critical look at the blueprint mirrors both the short term and long term economic policies almost standing neck and neck concurrently. The unfolding of the party’s blueprint was timely and properly well articulated, and I think it has also provided a firsthand information to the Nigerian populace about what the new government plans are for them. Being nourishly provided with these pieces of information, the populace can now call the government for questioning whenever it fails to deliver its pledges for the nation.

    This can kind of democratic practice should also be replicated at the state and local government levels respectively so that the citizenry can always hold their various representatives accountable should anything went amiss.

    The All Progressives Congress, APC must compel all its elected representatives across every nook and cranny of the country to make public in their respective constituencies this blueprint in a bid to sufficiently intimate and empower their citizens.