Phrank Shaibu, the Special Assistant on Public Communications to Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, has characterized President Bola Tinubu’s intention to distribute N8,000 to 12 million households over six months as a bold endeavor to redirect public funds.
In a statement on Thursday, Shaibu highlighted that Tinubu’s plan to allocate $800 million for palliative measures through an opaque arrangement bore a resemblance to former President Muhammadu Buhari’s conditional cash transfer and COVID-19 intervention initiatives.
These initiatives resulted in politicians hoarding food items and provisions in their homes while the impoverished population suffered from hunger.
Shaibu further emphasized that Buhari’s interventionist programs ultimately exacerbated poverty among Nigerians, as indicated by reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Atiku’s aide stated, “After announcing the removal of petrol subsidy without proper planning, Tinubu has asked for the approval of a $800m loan which he claims will be disbursed to 12 million households for six months at N8,000 for each family per month.
Based on 2019 statistics, the average Nigerian household consisted of approximately 5.06 individuals. Consequently, under Tinubu’s unimpressive proposal, each person within a home would receive a monthly amount of N1,600 or a mere N53 per day. The question arises: What can they realistically accomplish with such a meager sum?
“Use the money to buy a sachet (pure) water or a cup of boiled groundnut on a daily basis? And this is the man they claim transformed the economy of Lagos State? This must be a joke or a more sinister attempt to divert public funds.
Shaibu contended that Tinubu’s economic approach lacked a coherent policy beyond burdening Nigerians with taxes. He asserted that Tinubu, despite his deceptive acquisition of presidential power, has been revealed to possess limited understanding and knowledge in the field of economics.
Atiku’s aide stated, “Tinubu boasted that he would ‘develop Nigeria’s economy’ like that of Lagos, but this was all a scam. Statistics show that over 70% of Lagos’ revenue comes from income tax paid by private companies which had been in Lagos for decades due to its status as Nigeria’s former capital.
“Tinubu promised to turn Nigeria’s economy into a $1 trillion economy, but it is all a scam and can never be achieved.”
Shaibu expressed that if Tinubu genuinely aimed to revive the economy, he should have prioritized investing in the agricultural sector, subsidizing production, and striving to achieve energy security, which is crucial for stimulating desired economic growth among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
He added, “Agriculture makes up about 30% of Nigeria’s GDP. He should have invested funds in the production aspect of agriculture and other issues affecting crop yields. The rural areas, which are primarily agrarian, are in the throes of insecurity. On Tinubu’s watch, over 200 people have so far been killed. However, he seems clueless about how to tackle this menace.
“The so-called palliatives that Tinubu seeks to share with the poor are just another avenue to divert public funds. For years, the Nigerian government has rejected calls to publish the list of the beneficiaries of the so-called palliatives, but this has never been done because it is all a scam.
“Tinubu should stop trying to deceive Nigerians who are still suffering from the effect of his lackluster economic policies.”
“Let no one make any mistakes about it; the planned palliative is Trader Moni 2.0. The scheme is nothing but a means to use public funds to prosecute political campaigns and objectives.
“It is even more telling that the current imposter government is contemplating the initiative when there is a high expectation that the presidential election tribunal is set to give judgment in the controversial election that brought Tinubu into government,” he maintained.