The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday said he would take practical steps to reposition the economy, if elected.
Delivering the 2019 Quarterly Island Club Business Lecture in Lagos, the PDP flag bearer promised to restore investor confidence in the economy.
In the lecture titled, “My Vision to get Nigeria Working Again,” Atiku said he would support the private sector by undertaking reforms that would unleash growth in the economy.
“We will restore confidence in the Nigerian economy. We will implement policies to drive growth.
“Today, Ghana – a country with just 14 per cent of our population – attracts more Foreign Direct Investment than Nigeria.
“In order to reverse the trend, our economic policies would 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,“ he said.
Reeling out the components in his #The Atiku Plan for the economy, the PDP candidate said he would create the environment for a strong, productive, pro-growth private sector to create opportunities, jobs and fight poverty.
He said his government would be constantly engaging the private sector in policy -design and policy implementation.
The PDP candidate said he would liberalise the economic space and privatise all the ailing public enterprises, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“The #AtikuPlan will undertake a de-regulation of the downstream sector of the economy, review the PIB and privatise all four state refineries that operate less than 10 per cent of their installed capacities.
“We shall channel the proceeds from the privatisation into a special fund for the development of education and health,” he said.
He added that he would assist Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to grow and play their expected roles in the economy through the right policies and programmes.
The PDP candidate said he would increase investments in human capital, especially in health and education, as the people were the fundamental reason for economic growth.
“We will create jobs by growing the economy by 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 one million apprentices every year.
“Our National Innovation Fund and SME Venture initiatives will provide stable and sustainable long-term support to aspiring entrepreneurs.
“We will create an Economic Stimulus Fund with an initial investment capacity of approximately 25 billion dollars to support private sector investment in infrastructure,“ he said.
The PDP candidate promised to embark on workable power reform to improve power supply.
He also promised to improve liquidity by undertaking fiscal restructuring if elected.
Abubakar said repositioning the economy required a government that had the right focus, adding the PDP would meet the economic goals of Nigerians, if elected.
Speaking on the recent suspension of the former Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter Onnoghen, Abubakar described the Federal Government‘s action as wrong.
Abubakar said the constitution already spelt out the rules for the suspension and removal of the CJN, pointing out that due process was not followed in Onnoghen’s suspension.
He urged all Nigerians to use the opportunity of the February elections to vote the candidate with the right competence to govern the country.
The PDP thanked the Island Club, a foremost social club in Lagos, for the platform to speak and articulate his economic vision for Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prominent Nigerians at the lecture were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and Sen. Ben Murray-Bruce.
Others at the lecture included a PDP chieftain, Chief Bode George, PDP governorship candidate in Lagos, Mr Jimi Agbaje and former governor of Ogun, Chief Gbenga Daniel.