Home Headlines 2019: Atiku unveils plan for Nigeria, promises ‘tough but necessary’ decisions to...

2019: Atiku unveils plan for Nigeria, promises ‘tough but necessary’ decisions to get country working again

Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 Presidential election.
Atiku Abubakar

Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has promised to take tough but necessary decisions that will move Nigeria forward, noting that the country needed a resilient and passionate leader who is ready to fight for her.

The former vice president made the promise on his 186-page document containing his plans for the country, tagged “My document to get Nigeria working again,” and made available to the public on Monday.

Atiku said the document would steadily begin to restore a stronger, equitable, unprejudiced and more prosperous Nigeria.

“It is my pledge, driven by unstoppable dedication, to hit the ground running with these big tasks and to take bold steps towards making difficult decisions that will be good for Nigeria in future years,” he said, warning that there were no quick fixes for the country’s problems.

“I know it is going to be a lot of hard work, with no quick fixes. It needs a leader that is resilient, disciplined and dedicated, and passionate about Nigeria to fight for it, and consistent enough to guide the country the rough times ahead.

“I pledge to remain focused and make the tough decisions needed to move the country forward.”

The Waziri Adamawa noted that as the nation goes on the historical journey in the next four years, the love to get Nigeria working again must bring all Nigerians together as a united nation.

“We can always fold our arms and say Nigeria is beyond saving, or we can take the bull by the horns with an optimism that Nigeria is worth saving and trusting that certainly glorious days lay ahead after the stormy years.

“I choose positivism, faith and confidence in our vision, the policy, and the political will to use this opportunity to get Nigeria working again,” Atiku added.

He stated that the last three and a half years of President Muhammadu Buhari have been most daunting for Nigerians.

According to him, all indices on socio-economic and political development have plummeted throwing over 70% of Nigerians into what he called unprecedented poverty, the like of which he said had never been seen before in the nation’s history.

Atiku said it was clear that those entrusted with the task of improving the lives of Nigerians were not up to the task.

He said the election was another opportunity for Nigerians to assess the quality of those they wish to place in charge of governance in order to bring about the desired change to the dwindling fortunes of the country.

“The next four years will determine our future in the global race, whether we can regain our leadership role in world affairs, reverse the economic meltdown, reinstate a sense of belonging for everyone, regain our people’s trust to protect their lives and property and ensure sustained prosperity.

“Therefore, it has never been more imperative than now that Nigeria needs strong and purposeful governance as well as a capable leader to get the country working again.

“It is now imperative to provide Nigeria with formidable and sustainable governance that will enable our people to make the most of opportunities that the country presents,” he added.

Atiku was convinced that his policy to get Nigeria Working again, when implemented, would build a stronger nation equipped with jobs, opportunities, unity and holistic security for all.

He described the coming election as a deciding factor for Nigerians to enable them to choose the path of a restored equitable and prosperous Nigeria or to go down a slippery slope to further impoverishment.

He expressed the hope that Nigerians’ choice will be for a stronger Nigeria to emerge from ashes.

“I believe we must get Nigeria working again. If we don’t, the consequences will be disastrous,” he warned.

Meanwhile, speaking at the launch of the document via a live broadcast on Twitter, Atiku recalled that he started out as an orphan selling firewood on the streets of Jada in Adamawa.

“I started out as an orphan selling firewood on the streets of Jada in Adamawa, but God, through the Nigerian state, invested in me and here I am today,” he narrated.

“If Nigeria worked for me, I owe it as my duty to make sure that Nigeria also works for you,” he said.

Atiku who served as vice president between 1999 to 2007, noted in his declaration that it was time to get Nigeria Working again, saying, “I appeal to you to join me on this journey towards a better life for all Nigerians.”

“Today we will begin the process of sharing our policies that form my plan to create jobs, restructure the polity, and Get Nigeria Working Again.

“If elected President, I will be pro-active in attracting investments and supporting the 50 million small and medium scale enterprises across Nigeria for the purpose of doubling the size of our Gross Domestic Product to US$900 billion by 2025.

“These investments will create a minimum of 2.5 million jobs annually and lift at least 50 million people from poverty in the first 2 years.

“My team and I will also help create jobs by innovating flagship 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 new apprentices every year.

“Our National Innovation Fund and SME Venture Capital Fund initiatives will provide stable and sustainable long-term support to aspiring entrepreneurs.

“My plan to restructure Nigeria will lead to a vast increase in the Internally Generated Revenue both for the Federal Government and the states via the matching grants that we will provide to state governments that increase their own revenue.

“Let me be clear no state will receive less funding than they get today – in fact all will receive more and the harder a state works the more they will get.

“And I am not just presenting these policies to you, I want you to own them. Take a look at them.