- Atiku Abubakar, PDP's presidential candidate, has revealed his economic plans for Nigeria if he wins the coming February 16 poll
- Atiku said that Nigerians have suffered serious unemployment under the present APC-led federal government
- In a chronological order, the PDP's presidential candidate unveiled his 13-point agenda for Nigeria if he is voted into office
Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decried the present administration and detailed his plan for the country if he emerges victorious after the much-awaited February 16 election.
Atiku listed 13 top policies he intends to effect if he is voted into power in the coming presidential poll, Vanguard reports.
The presidential candidate said that Nigerians have suffered serious employment under the current administration.
He said: “Unemployment has unfortunately been our only boom industry with over 13 million people joining the ranks of people without a job, which now totals 21 million. If people do not have a job they struggle to feed their families which is why over 100 million of our people cannot afford one decent meal a day.
"What is also of cause for concern is that the majority of the unemployed are young men and women, who lack not only the means to survive but any hope for the future. On the political front, our unity as a nation has been fatally bruised.
"Social cohesion is being eroded, democratic consolidation being undermined, and national unity and security threatened by ethno-religious tensions, agitations, restiveness and disputes over titles and entitlements.
"Over the years, Nigeria has promoted, tolerated and indeed celebrated a defective political structure. Our states and local governments are too weak to meet their constitutional responsibilities.
"Consequently, the Federal Government has succeeded in emasculating them and taking away those responsibilities and, along with these, the resources which belong to them.
“A modern, dynamic and competitive economy that is capable of taking its rightful place among the top 20 economies of the world. Nigeria has the potential to double its GDP by 2025.
“A strong economy that is capable of providing in the next 5 years, a minimum 3 million job opportunities annually, reducing poverty rates to below 20% and significantly closing the income inequality gaps.
“A Nigeria that guarantees citizens’ access to economic opportunities and makes the basic needs of life, including health, education, electricity, water and housing, readily available and affordable for everyone. A new political structure that guarantees freedoms and ensures accountability at all levels of government.
Tomorrow’s polity shall reinforce the country’s concept of true Federalism by conceding unfettered autonomy to the subordinating units. A Nigeria that promotes the politics of inclusiveness and minimizes citizens’ frustration and alienation and completely eliminates the compulsion to take up arms against the society or fellow countrymen.
“A country that recognizes the central place of the rule of law and ensures the supremacy of law over all persons and authorities. The Nigerian constitution will be the anchor on which the independence of the judiciary, personal liberty and democratic and other fundamental rights rest. Speaking on his vision to get Nigeria working again, Atiku reeled out ten policies he would focus on immediately he is elected.
1. "We will restore investor confidence on the Nigerian economy. We all know that over the last four years, the actions or inactions of the Federal Government, have resulted in a significant drop in investor confidence on the Nigerian economy. As a consequence, there has been significant decline in capital importation since the regime came into power in 2015.
Today, Ghana – a country with just 14% of our population – attracts more FDI than Nigeria. In order to reverse the trend, our economic policies will be more coherent, consistent and therefore, more predictable by the business community. Nothing could be more threatening to investment flows than an environment that is full of policy flip-flops.
2. "We will support the private sector by undertaking reforms to unleash its growth potential and to play a key role in the economy. #TheAtikuPlan recognizes the private sector as the engine of growth of our economy. A strong, productive and pro-growth private sector is needed to create wealth, generate employment opportunities and help fight poverty.
"We pledge to improve government consultations with the private sector in policy design and policy implementation. We will work with the Organized Private Sector to identify ways to reduce the cost of borrowing, tackle incidences of multiple taxation and improve availability of foreign exchange for legitimate production input purchases.
3. "We will liberalise the economic space and privatise all ailing enterprises. In particular, the #TheAtikuPlan will undertake a de-regulation of the downstream sector of the economy, review the PIB and privatise all four State refineries that operate at 10% of their installed capacities. We shall channel the proceeds from the privatisation into a special fund for the development of education and health.
4. "We will assist the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to grow bigger and to be more productive. As we all know, small businesses offer the greatest opportunities for achieving inclusive pro-poor growth, through increased self-employment. Our focus shall be on improving their access to affordable, long term funds, provision of critical infrastructure as well as adequate training for their workforce to improve productive capacity.
5. "We will prioritize Human Capital Development. Our philosophy is that people are the fundamental reason for economic growth. Accordingly, we will increase investments in the human development sub-sectors especially education and health by committing 25% of the budget to education and 15% to health under a collaborative process and within the 3G partnership.
6. "We will create jobs by growing the economy and promoting innovative flagship job creation programmes such as: The National Open Apprenticeship Programme through which we shall enhance the capacity of Master-Craftsmen and women to train 1,000,000 apprentices every year. Our National Innovation Fund and SME Venture Capital Fund initiatives will provide stable and sustainable long-term support to aspiring entrepreneurs.
7. "We will create an Economic Stimulus Fund with an initial investment capacity of approximately US$25 billion to support private sector investments in infrastructure. Power sector reform will be a critical policy priority. Our vision is to accelerate investment to double our infrastructure stock to approximately 50% of GDP by 2025 and 70% by 2030.
Re-building infrastructure and reducing infrastructure deficit will enhance the carrying capacity of the economy and unleash growth and wealth creation.
8. "We will improve liquidity by undertaking fiscal restructuring and improving the management of our fiscal resources by:
9. Improving spending efficiency by reducing the share of recurrent expenditure and increasing the share of capital expenditure in budget. Recurrent expenditure over the medium term should not exceed 45% of budget.
10. Raising additional revenue by blocking leakages from exchange rate adjustment. The official rate on which the 2019 budget is based US$/N305 with a parallel market rate of approximately US$/365. FGN will appropriate the premium in excess of N60/US$.
11. "Reviewing subsidy payments on PMS. The Federal Government has set aside billions of Naira for subsidy payment in the 2019 budget. This will instead go into the funding of education and health.
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12. "We will build strong and efficient service delivery institutions for more effective coordination of government policies and for effective support to the development of a dynamic and internationally competitive private sector. We will reposition the public sector to become more disciplined and performance-oriented.
13. "We shall, through constitutional means, achieve a new political structure that guarantees freedoms and ensure government accountability at all levels. Our political reform shall reinforce the country’s concept of true Federalism by conceding unfettered autonomy to the subordinating units (states and local governments)."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the PDP's presidential campaign organisation had said that it would put its campaign on hold in solidarity with the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Legit.ng gathered that the suspension would see the party not holding its campaign in Benue state on Saturday, January 26.
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Nigeria Latest News: 2019 Presidency - 'Why Nigerians Must Vote For Atiku' | Legit TV