Buhari vs Atiku: Economic policies

As Nigeria’s head to the polls on Saturday the 16th of February, 2019 to cast their votes for the next President, I examine the economic policy differences between the two top contenders, the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (APC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

In this article for Stears Business, I argue that contrary to popular opinions, these candidates are not the same and have very distinct views on how the Nigerian economy should run – each position with its unique set of consequences. While Atiku favours a more private sector-led approach, Buhari’s record shows his predisposition towards government intervention in the economy. I further posit that both policy positions are not new and that at various points in Nigeria’s economic history, we have pursued each of them.

Find an excerpt below, you can read the full article here


”For the incumbent President, his record so far provides a clear indication of his economic policy orientation. … While the administration has signed many executive orders to improve the ease of doing business; the foreign exchange crises during the height of the economic recession, led to the closure of many businesses, big and small”.

”Atiku also plans to sell most of the government’s stake in NNPC and privatise all four refineries, moves reminiscent of his time as Vice President when he oversaw private sector reforms. Finally, in another marked departure from the incumbent President who has consistently said he ‘cannot kill the Naira’, he plans to fire the current Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele and float the Naira. It doesn’t get more market-friendly that than in Nigeria”.

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