50 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2025; privatise NNPC; restructuring | 9 things we learnt from Atiku’s policy document

The Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has released his policy document as we draw closer to the 2019 elections as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lifts the ban on election campaign.

See nine things we learnt from the document below:

To transform Nigeria’s economy to stand in the top 20 of the world

Our vision is to transform Nigeria into a modern economy that works for its people and capable of taking its rightful place among the top 20 economies of the world. My economic policy will be job-centred especially for our teeming youth population.

Focus on youth

Our youth are our most valuable resource… and charting new frontiers. Their entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and creative abilities are things of pride and should be applauded, encouraged and nurtured… I should know, I have thousands of them working for me all over the country…

Launch a new, more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable national Entrepreneurship Development and Job Creation Programme; target the creation of up to 3 million self and wage-paying employment opportunities in the private sector annually; target all categories of youth, including graduates, early school leavers as well as the massive numbers of uneducated youth who are currently not in schools, employment or training, create incubation centres, clusters and industrial/commercial hubs to provide a marketplace for MSMEs and SMPs; champion the repositioning and streamlining the activities of the existing Federal and State Government Job Creation Agencies.

Lift 50 million fellow Nigerians out of extreme poverty by 2025

Provide skill acquisition opportunities and enterprise development for job and wealth creation, rather than direct cash distribution; improve citizens’ access to basic infrastructure services – water, sanitation, power, education and health care; remove all forms of discrimination against the marginalised and vulnerable citizens and enhance their access to education and income generating activities; implement pro-poor policies that will enhance their participation in economic activities and improve household income; work more closely with NGO’s, the private sector and other development partners to mobilize resources for the effective implementation of our empowerment strategy.

A deliberate effort to increase access to electricity for Nigerians including those living in rural areas

Allow NERC to perform its regulatory functions without interference and guarantee its independence; review the Aggregated Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses existing in the power networks and extract firm commitments for a revised ATC&C Loss reduction target from the Distribution companies; create an environment that would enable Distribution Companies recover full costs for power supplied to their consumers; introduce creative solutions towards addressing the huge debt overhang and liquidity challenge in the power industry; ensure enforceability of industry contracts; upgrade the transmission grid; adopt short-term emergency measures.

Guarantee the highest level of social empowerment

For Gender equality – Work towards bridging gender and spatial gaps that exist in education and health.
For HDI Investments – Increase investments in the human development sub-sectors especially education and health by committing 25 percent of the budget to education and 15 percent to health.
For Senior citizens – Extend welfare to senior citizens in areas of healthcare and public transport concessions.
For Science & Tech – Promote research in science and technology through the establishment of a National Research and Innovation Fund.

For education – Reposition the Nigerian educational system to deliver more efficiently, effectively and sustainably.
For health – Promote health care delivery system that is comprehensive, efficient and can deliver effective and qualitative services to the citizens.
For job creation – Implement robust job creation and entrepreneurship development programmes.
For vulnerable groups – Design and implement special interventions to support the marginalised and vulnerable groups, including people with physical disabilities and special needs in the society.

Enhance cosmopolitan politics and an all-inclusive governance

Accountability – We would erect structures that would demand accountability from elected and appointed government officials at all levels.

Transparency –  There would be a deliberate provision for unrestricted access to government operations and information to the citizens.

Predictability – A deliberate and concerted effort, within the confines of the law, targeted at achieving the desired national goals.

Participation – Citizens participation would not end with merely casting their votes on Election Day. They would be encouraged to insist and ensure that their votes are counted.

The much-talked-about restructuring

Decongest the exclusive and concurrent list in the constitution; the Central Government would also retain the role of providing the required direction for the economy, defence and national security, internal law and order, currency, international affairs and foreign policy, customs, citizenship and immigration, firearms, and related matters; issues bordering on minerals and mines, internal security including Police, law and order, railways, communications, transport, environment, land matters, etc, would be devolved to the concurrent list; local Governments shall become an independent tier of government; federating units will be supported in economic management; Nigeria’s common resources will be shared equitably in accordance with a new revenue allocation formula to be negotiated across the board.

Emphasis on prevention of corruption

Champion institutional reforms of anti-corruption agencies and strengthening them for more effective; launch a comprehensive National Anti-corruption Strategy that is based on the rule of law, separation of powers, neutrality and non-partisanship; strengthen policies and measures for detecting corruption through a strong technology infrastructure that supports the end-to-end operations of government businesses for transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness; ensure that judgments on corruption cases are fully followed through and enforced by the appropriate law enforcement agencies; review the reward system for public and civil services; strengthen anti-corruption public enlightenment; enhance whistleblowing and witness protection policies; promote rule of law.

Promote the oil and gas sector

Transparency and accountability of the NNPC: partial privatisation.

See the full document here.

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