Leading Presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said that his agenda is built around a well-developed strategy that will revamp Nigeria’s ailing economy and transform the polity.
The five-point agenda is contained in a policy document released from the campaign office of the former vice president, and it details how the administration would, over the first five years, invest heavily in the needed infrastructure that would result in growth across several sectors.
Core among the infrastructure projects listed are 25000 MW of non-renewable energy (hydro, solar, nuclear) and other thermal fuels (coal, biofuel) in addition to natural gas; investing in oil refining infrastructure to double refining capacity to two million barrels per day by 2027; investing in the infrastructure of up to 5000km of modern railway lines; invest to improve transmission capacity of 10,000 to 15,000 MW over the short term with a target of 25,000MW over the long-term.
“I am offering myself again to provide the desired leadership. I have a history of economic reform and political transformation. As a private businessman of many years, I have a deep understanding of our economy and its challenges” he said.
While he was vice president, Alhaji Abubakar led the economic management team and is credited for designing the private sector revival strategy and opening up the economy for private sector investments especially in the IT sector – which is now one the fastest growing services sector in the Nigerian economy.
He noted that he will be replicating this on a larger scale with a five-point development agenda that seeks to: Restore Nigeria’s unity through equity; Establish a strong and effective democratic government that guarantees the safety and security of life and property; Build a strong, resilient, and prosperous economy that creates jobs and wealth and lifts the poor out of poverty; Promote a true federal system which will provide for a strong federal government to guarantee national unity while allowing the federating units to set their own priorities; and Improve and strengthen the education system to equip its recipients with the education and skills required to be competitive in the new global order.
Atiku noted that even though the APC-led government continue to blame the opposition and other external factors for the woes, it is evident that that there is a leadership vacuum that needs to be filled with competent hands.
“Today, another opportunity is presenting itself for Nigerians to ensure the emergence of an experienced, courageous, and result-focused leader to find a way through our country’s tough situation and make a positive difference. I, therefore, have the pleasure to present to you, once again, my vision for a united, prosperous society in which all citizens are able to realize their full potentials in a secure and decent environment”.
To reform the private sector, the administration would move to liberalise and deregulate the economy in many sectors, provide efficient infrastructure to reduce production cost, and provide protection to priority enterprises. He will also put in place Policies and Measures to Optimize the Growth Potentials of Real Sectors- including Agriculture, Manufacturing and MSMEs.
Other things detailed in the document include Policies and Measures to Expand the Export Base of the Economy; Increasing the flow of FDI into non-oil sector; optimising the fiscal space to generate more revenue for development; investing in human capital development with an all-inclusive approach that covers out-of-school children and citizens with special needs; revamping the health sector; among others.