Nigeria’s main opposition candidate for president said on Wednesday he would seek to privatise the state oil company and other government assets if elected next month, while removing a costly petrol subsidy, to revive the economy.
Atiku Abubakar, a businessman who served as vice president between 1999 and 2007, has promised to double the size of Nigeria’s economy to $900 billion by 2025.
He is the main challenger to President Muhammadu Buhari in the Feb. 16 election. Nigeria’s oil-dependent economy, which vies with South Africa’s to be the largest in Africa, has performed below par since 2016, when it suffered its first recession in 25 years.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation reported monthly group revenues totalling 4.58 trillion naira ($14.9 billion) in the 12 months to September 2018. Oil sales overall account for around two-thirds of government income.
The subsidy has been a drain on government finances. A previous effort to remove the subsidy by Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, raised pump prices in 2012 and caused riots.