You must accept restructuring for unity, economic growth, Atiku tells North
lSays he leader that Nigeria needs The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said that the country and the North in particular have nothing to fear about the planned restructuring of the country, if he emerges President in 2023.
Atiku, a former Vice President, said instead of a break up, restructuring of Nigeria would strengthen the unity and economic development of the nation.
Atiku spoke at the Arewa Joint Committee Interactive session with 2023 Presidential candidates at the Arewa House in Kaduna yesterday.
The Presidential hopeful appealed to all Northerners to key into his agenda to rebuild and lead the nation into an era of economic development and progress airportwhile saying with his experience in politics, he is the Pan Nigerian Leader that Nigeria needs.
Other Presidential candidates that appeared before the Arewa Joint Committee included the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) candidates, Adewole Adebayo and Kola Abiola, respectively.
Addressing the Arewa leaders at the gathering, Atiku unfolded his programmes for Nigeria, saying that “our agenda is guided by three basic principles”.
According to him, his blueprint for the country will re-affirm the importance of Private sector leadership and greater Private sectors participation in development, adding that he would reposition the Public’ sectors to focus on its core responsibility of facilitation and enabling the appropriate legal and regulatory framework for rapid economic development.
Atiku said it was necessary “to break government monopoly in all Infrastructure sectors, including the refineries, rail transportation and power transmission and give private investors a role in funding and managing the sectors, thus emulating the benefits accrued in the oil and telecoms sectors
“Allow the market greater leverage in determining prices. This way, we shall eliminate the persistent price distortions occasioned by current interventionist exchange rate management policy. Government’s intervention, where absolutely necessary, will be done responsibly and judiciously”.
The PDP candidate pointed out that, “we envisioned a new Nigeria without crude oil in which Agriculture, Manufacturing and MSMEs shall be the growth drivers.”
He lamented that Nigerians, today ” do not fare well on measures of poverty, stressing that 82.2 million Nigerians (which is 40 per cent of the population) live at or below poverty”.
Atiku remarked that these are issues the PDP government will address in 2023 if it wins the elections.
He argued that “poverty is more perversive in the Northern regions than in the South; 15 of 17 states with above National average poverty headcount rate are in Northern Nigeria”.
He further added that, “72 per cent of the extremely poor are in the North, while only 28 per cent live in the Southern regions”.
Present at the occasion were PDP leaders, the Vice Presidential candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Senator Adamu Ailero, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, and Senator Ibrahim Shekarau.
Others were Professor Ango Abdullahi, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Audu Ogbe, Yahaya Mohammed, Aminu Tambwual, and Munir Jafa’r, who was the Chairman of the occasion.
Meanwhile, the SDP Presidential candidate, Adebayo, said the nation was presently in a sorry-state, while lamenting the havoc done to the country’s economy and social life.
Adebayo said: “We in the SDP will bring back the glory of the Sardauna of Sokoto and other Progressives fathers of the nation in 2023 when I am in power”.
He condemned the prevailing insecurity and structural decay under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, vowing to tackle it if given the opportunity.