By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Monday revealed that he worked with a team of experts for 18 months before he came up with his polices and plans on how to get Nigeria working again.
Atiku disclosed this in Yola, Adamawa State capital where he unveiled ‘The Atiku Plan’ ahead of the 2019 elections.
According to him, “Over the last 18 months, I have worked with the best experts Nigeria has to offer to come up with policies and plans that when implemented will get Nigeria going in the right direction again.”
On getting Nigeria working again, he explained that he was not talking about what he could do, but talking of what he had done before.
Atiku noted that when he was the vice president from 1999 to 2007, he chaired the National Economic Council that gave Nigeria her highest and most consistent GDP growth of over 6percent per annum.
He said that despite the fact that crude oil prices at that time were much lower than they are today, under President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, Nigeria paid off her entire foreign debt.
He stressed that the adminsitration equally introduced the GSM revolution that saw Nigeria move from just 100,000 phone lines to over 100 million today.
Atiku said, “We were able to achieve these, and much more, because we had a plan called the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy.
“That plan worked, and today I have the pleasure of unveiling our policies and strategies, not promises, to take Nigeria from where she is right now, to where she needs to be.”
Atiku also said that his plan to restructure Nigeria would lead to a vast increase in the internally generated revenue, both for the federal government and the states via the matching grants that his adminsitration would provide to state governments that increase their own revenue.
He stated, “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.”
The former vice president noted that if elected president, he would 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 GDP to 900 billion dollars by 2025.
These investments he stressed would create a minimum of 2. 5 million jobs annually and lift at least 50 million people from poverty in the first 2 years.
“This is my plan to get Nigeria working again. A plan that will give Nigerian workers a living wage. A plan that will give Nigerian youth a world-class education.”