2023: Atiku Unveils 5-point Development Agenda 

Alhaji. Atiku Abubakar photo by Sunmi Smart-Cole

Former Vice President of Nigeria and a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar has released an abridged version of his policy document ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

The policy document tagged, “My Covenant with Nigerians,’’ is an update on the 2019 document which could not be implemented for the benefit of Nigerians.

According to Paul Ibe, Atiku’s spokesperson, “the election lost by the PDP in 2019 was a huge loss to the nation, considering his intention to change things for good.”

He lamented the failure of the current APC leadership, leading to hardship, which he said was staring everyone in the face. 

Ibe maintains that the abridged policy document which was summed up to a 5-point development agenda seeks to restore Nigeria’s unity through equality, social justice, and cooperation among various people.

“The document further reveals that Atiku will establish a strong and effective democratic government that will guarantee the safety and security of life and property,” he said.

The former Vice President, if elected as Nigeria’s President, according to the document will build a strong and prosperous economy, creating jobs and wealth as well as lifting millions out of poverty. 

The document says that at the centre of its policy, Atiku Abubakar’s government will promote a strong and true federal system.

A key component of the policy agenda is to improve and strengthen the education system and equip students with all necessary skills “required to be competitive in the new global order which is driven by innovation, science, and technology.”

Atiku said he believes that with the understanding of the above, the people can hold him accountable if he fails to deliver on his social contract with Nigerians. 

On the economy, Atiku said his agenda is guided by three basic principles – re-affirming the criticality of private-sector leadership and greater sector participation in development; while also repositioning the public sector to focus on its core responsibility.

The presidential aspirant proposes to break government monopoly in all infrastructure sectors, including refineries, rail transportation and power transmission.

To avert persistent price distortions, according to the policy document, the current interventionist exchange rate management policy would be eliminated.

Atiku also promised to rely more on optimizing the fiscal space to generate more revenues for development. He projected a fiscal regime that is stable and predictable and can clearly bridge the gap between the national revenue yield and national expenditure.

He highlighted some of the fiscal strategies his administration will employ to include domestic reforms to improve IGR, promoting export growth to improve foreign exchange earnings, blocking leakages and financing projects through strategic partnerships with the private sector.

On national security, Atiku said his government will reactivate meaningful registration at birth as a way of reducing crime rate and protecting Nigerians. 

According to him, dealing with insurgency shall rely mainly on alternative approaches to dispute resolution.

On making state governments become more viable as centers of development, Atiku promises to decentralize security institutions, promising to deal decisively with terrorism, kidnapping and other crimes.

On anti-corruption, top on the agenda is to champion institutional reforms of agencies and further strengthen them.

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