Nigeria elections 2023: Bola Tinubu targets blockchain, taxation and oil

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Bola Tinubu outlined his vision before the Nigeria elections 2023 in an 80-page policy paper released by President Muhammadu Buhari at a lavish ceremony on October 21, 2022.

  • Tinubu has promised to boost oil output to 2.6 and 4 million barrels per day (BPD) by 2027 and 2030, respectively.
  • In encouraging investments in blockchain technology in Nigeria, Tinubu has noted that the digital economy can help create help more jobs in Africa’s most populous nation.
  • The APC candidate in Nigeria’s presidential elections in 2023 has proposed a review of the corporate tax system.

On February 25, 2023, Nigeria will hold presidential elections. The 2023 Nigeria presidential election will be the most challenging to conduct. Rampant insecurity, the electoral body’s preparedness and the conduct of presidential hopefuls all impact Nigeria’s election outcome.

The All-Progressives Congress’ (APC) Bola Tinubu, the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, the Labour Party’s (LP) Peter Obi, and the New Nigeria Peoples Party’s (NNPP) Rabiu Kwankwaso will be the primary contenders in the 2023 general election (NNPP).

Nigerian presidential contenders must confront persistent insecurity, chronic unemployment, and a deteriorating economic situation. Bola Tinubu outlined his vision before the Nigeria elections in 2023 in an 80-page policy paper released by President Muhammadu Buhari at a lavish ceremony on October 21, 2022.

READ MORE: A surprise candidate leads the race in Nigeria’s presidential elections

Addressing oil and gas challenges in Nigeria elections 2023

Bola Tinubu has decried Nigeria’s decline in oil revenue due to catastrophic oil theft. This has made meeting Nigeria’s OPEC quota difficult since the current production is less than one million barrels daily. Consequently, a nation that for decades held the undisputed title of Africa’s top oil producer has dropped behind Angola and Lybia,

As a result, Tinubu has promised to boost oil output to 2.6 and 4 million barrels per day (BPD) by 2027 and 2030, respectively. The APC presidential candidate intends to create a special oil monitoring and enforcement unit. This will secure the nation’s pipelines through technical interventions such as aerial surveillance platforms and drones.

Tinubu’s strategy differs from the present method used by the Buhari government, which has handed million-dollar pipeline contracts to ex-militants and other private persons.

The APC candidate pledges to complete midstream deregulation within six months, boost gas output by 20 per cent and finish essential gas infrastructure by 2027.

Tinubu also guarantees to oversee the full implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). This includes, among other things, the elimination of the opaque fuel subsidies, which costs Nigeria over $40 million per day.

The former Lagos State Governor hopes for local and international public-private partnerships to help finance oil and gas infrastructure.

This will be accomplished by pursuing greater relationships with essential oil producers to modernise Nigeria’s oil infrastructure. Tinubu, for example, has stated that Saudi Aramco’s Tera Powers Reservoir modelling platform could assist Africa’s most endowed oil reservoir in discovering additional oil and gas deposits. Tinubu has also said that Saudi Aramco’s master gas system has successfully developed low-cost and clean fuel gas.

Focus on the ICT sector and blockchain

In what will be music to crypto enthusiasts, Tinubu has stated that his government would target to create one million jobs in Nigeria’s ICT sector. In encouraging investments in blockchain technology in Nigeria, Tinubu has noted that the digital economy can help create help more jobs in Africa’s most populous nation. This could represent a significant shift in the government’s stance on digital assets. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered banks to close accounts of individuals or entities involved in cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems in 2021.

According to Bola Tinubu, Nigeria should take advantage of emerging technological innovations in its quest for economic resurgence. He reiterates the need to oversee a review of the existing regulations and propose changes towards an efficient and business-friendly regulatory structure. This move would encourage the prudent use of cryptocurrencies.

READ MORE: Geregu Power is the first Energy Company to list on Nigerian Exchange Limited

Tax administration improvement and GDP rise proposals

The APC candidate in Nigeria elections in 2023 has proposed a review of the corporate tax system. He promises a deployment of technology and effective policy administration to rationalise Nigeria’s revenue collection.

The former Lagos West senator has stated he aims to create a progressive tax regime. This will plug destructive loopholes and enhance tax collection efficiency. Consequently, people will have a sense of accountability regarding their taxes.

Higher taxes, he argues, undermine an already weaker private sector, encouraging economic decline and higher unemployment. Tinubu also proposes a constitutional amendment to give state governments more authority over tax collection.

Regarding import policy, Tinubu has stated that he will discourage the importation of non-essential products. This policy will remain possible through strategic measures, including higher tariffs, processing fees and luxury taxes. However, Tinubu has promised tax incentives to international firms setting up local production in Nigeria. Additionally, organisations that employ a certain number of youths will receive tax exemptions. This initiative aims to minimise youth unemployment, which now surpasses 40 per cent.

Bola Tinubu pledges to oversee a yearly increase in Nigeria’s GDP by 10 per cent. This will ensure a GDP of $780.9 billion by 2027. Tinubu raised Lagos state internal revenue by 700 per cent as governor in the early 2000s through stricter tax enforcement. Thus, he hopes to emulate this at the federal level by widening the tax base without raising current taxes.

Exchange rate and foreign debt management in Nigeria elections 2023

Nigeria’s debt stock has surpassed $100 billion under Buhari’s leadership, with the local currency depreciating significantly in the last year. Hence, the country’s debt service currently exceeds its income. The government is seeking a repayment time extension and a potential bond buyback.

Therefore, Nigeria’s presidential hopeful commits to preserving the exchange rate, guarding against inflation, and preserving foreign currency reserves by reducing exposure to significant foreign-currency debt commitments.

Furthermore, Bola Tinubu claims that his government will exercise great caution in incurring foreign currency debt under his presidency. For ease of repayment, new foreign currency loan obligations would be linked to cash flow-producing initiatives.

According to Tinubu, the long-term strategy would be to limit foreign currency-denominated loans to essential expenditures that naira-denominated debt obligations cannot satisfactorily handle.

READ MORE: Nigeria: the transformative effects of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) on the oil and gas industry

I am a writer based in Kenya with vast knowledge in Business, Economics, Blockchain, Law and Environmental Conservation.

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