Friday, February 15, 2019 03.00PM /
Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV / Image Credit: africanarguments
With barely 24 hours to the Presidential elections, the charged socio-political atmosphere in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, has been heightened as analysts, voters and observers eagerly await the outcome of the poll.
It seems to be a straight contest between President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress party (ruling party) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the major opposition candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
There have been views pushed by political analysts and social commentators, that there is no difference between the PDP that led the nation for 16 years between 1999 and 2015 and the APC that has been saddled with leadership since 2015.
Increasingly, however, some differences appear to be emerging as economist Nonso Obiliki at a recent economic forum in Lagos, noted that, “There is a clear difference this time between the PDP and APC in their plans and ideologies. The former is taking the direction of a pro-market party and the latter is tending towards a pro-social intervention mandate”.
The APC and PDP, the two leading political parties in the country, have outlined their plans and economic strategies in separate policy documents.
For the APC whose Presidential Candidate is incumbent Nigeria leader, President Muhammadu Buhari , the policy framework is tagged the “Next Level” which seeks to leverage on its past four years of seeming progress, in moving the nation forward.
On the other hand the PDP has an equally robust plan termed “Get Nigeria Working Again” seeking to go through a pro-market strategy to return Nigeria to sustainable economic growth.
With the understanding that the 2019 elections has already been described as a ‘too-close-to-call’ poll, we highlight the key points in the “Next Level” and “Get Nigeria Working Again” growth strategies.
The “Get Nigeria Working Again” and “Next Level” campaigns is reminiscent of American style politicking which for over a century has been alternate battle cries for the Republicans and Democrats , the major political parties in the U.S. The former is pro-market while the latter is pro-social intervention and big government.
Here are the highlights and differences in the Ideological persuasions of the “Next Level” and “Get Nigeria Working Again” political economic plans.
Key Focus Areas
Next Level (APC)
Get Nigeria Working Again (PDP)
Providing Jobs through Government interventions like N-power, Anchor Borrowers Scheme,
A firm commitment to a private sector driven open and competitive economy.
Focus on Infrastructure covering Rail, Roads and Bridges across the country.
Promoting economic diversiﬁcation and linkages between agriculture, industry and micro and small enterprises all three of which have great prospects for employment generation and poverty reduction
Address Business Issues and Entrepreneurship Development through the Ease of Doing Business, MSME clinics,
Improving productivity of MSMEs and achieving signiﬁcant transformation of primary produce into processed and manufactured goods for exports.
Human Capital Enhancement Services, with President Buhari vowing to remodel and equip 10,000 schools per year, if re-elected.
Reduction in infrastructure deﬁcit to support the full mobilization of the economic sectors.
To drive political inclusion, President Buhari will give 35% of his federal appointments to women.
Promoting social development by investing in human capital development to improve access to qualitative basic public services, notably education and health.
Reforming public institutions to engender efﬁciency in service delivery as well as deepen transparency, accountability and rule of law.
Comparative Analysis of the Policies of the APC and PDP
Approach of APC
Approach of PDP
Oil & Gas Sector
Not Clear on PIB Implementation
To Implement PIB
To Still run NNPC as a State-owned entity
Partially Privatize NNPC to Drive Transparency
Build Modular Refineries in Niger-Delta
Build Modular Refineries in Northern Nigeria
Privatize all the four refineries in Nigeria.
Expand the “Anchor Borrowers Scheme to boost production
To carry out Land Reforms and Review the Land Use Act working with the States.
To continue the Self-sufficiency agro-production strategy and reduce the nation’s import bill.
To privatize the Nigeria Commodities Exchange
To develop Agro-processing Clusters.
Expand N-Power Programme
Set up an Informal Sector Pathway that will recruit 100,000 people to train 1 million apprentices in various trades
Create 109 Special Production and Processing Centres
Set up the “Entrepreneurship Pathway” that will see 100,000 budding entrepreneurs trained and funded annually.
Expand Skills Acquisition programme
Set up the “Schools to Jobs Pathway”, which will provide the avenue for funding and equipping of technical colleges and vocational/skills acquisition centres to facilitate self-employment.
Upscale Anchor Borrowers programme
Set up the “MSME/ICT Special Entrepreneurship Pathway”that will see about $250m private sector funding of small businesses in Nigeria.
Create Regional Industrial Parks and Strategic Special Economic Zones.
Approach by APC
Approach by PDP
Set up Technology Parks across the country, that will drive innovation and the digital economy.
Set up the “Technology Support Programme” to be funded by Diaspora Bond.
Drive the 2018-2022 Broadband Policy
Develop a more efficient “Intellectual Property Framework”
Push the transformation of entities like NIPOST,that will serve as Payment Service Banks, that will boost Fintech and Financial Inclusion.
Produce a Comprehensive Policy on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
To continue with infrastructure projects from the Rail, Roads and Bridges that are either being constructed or rehabilitated.
To incentivize the private sector to establish the Infrastructure Debt Fund (IDF). This will help to finance critical infrastructure projects in the country.
To continue with key power infrastructure projects like Mambilla (Taraba State) .
Review of entire industry legal and regulatory framework to ensure market viability.
Ensure the power value chain (Distribution, Generation and Transmissio) are working seamlessly and strengthen the Off grid solutions framework.
Carry out the privatization of the Transmission segment of the Power Sector.
Improve Ease of Doing Business with the CAMA 2018 amended bill.
To reduce Corporate Tax
Push for the passage and signing of the “Omnibus bill”
Provide an Enabling environment for businesses in all ramifications.
Drive the Executive Order that enables Private Sector to Participate in the Rehabilitation of Federal Roads
At the moment the election is a neck-to-neck tie between incumbent and his closest rival. From analysis it is clear that Nigerians are going make a significant decision to either vote for a pro-social interventionist administration or a pro-business, pro-market approach to economic growth and development.