The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Monday November 19, 2018 launched his campaign for the 2019 general elections, with the theme “Lets Get Nigeria Working Again”
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s Speech
Today, I am formally presenting myself to you as the presidential candidate of not just the PDP but of the hopes and aspirations of all Nigerians.
The most important question in this election is: “Are you better off than you were four years ago? Are we richer or poorer?” That is why our primary focus is on getting Nigeria working again
I am strongly of the view that I am just one Nigerian and one Nigerian cannot be as wise as all Nigerians. That is why I will offer an inclusive leadership.
Too often, Nigerians have been promised better governance by those seeking their votes. Such individuals have preyed on the legitimate desires of our people for their conditions to be improved, that they make all sorts of promises.
I am not one for making grandiose promises. Rather than promises, I believe in policies. A promise is an indication to do a future action. A policy is a plan to achieve future goals.
As the International Monetary Fund stated very recently, it is the failure of this government to have a coherent and comprehensive set of policies combined with poor leadership that has led to its failure to deliver.
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.
I am not talking about what I can do. I am talking of what I have done before. I was Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 and in that time, I chaired the National Economic Council that gave Nigeria her highest and most consistent GDP growth of over 6% per annum.
Despite the fact that crude oil prices at that time were much lower than they are today, under the dynamic leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo, we paid off Nigeria’s entire foreign debt.
We also introduced the GSM revolution that saw Nigeria go from 100,000 phone lines to over 100 million today. We were able to achieve these, and much more, because we had a plan.
That plan worked and today I have the pleasure of unveiling our policies and strategies to take Nigeria from where she is now, to where she needs to be.
My plan will give Nigerian workers a living wage. My plan will give Nigeria’s youth a world-class education.
My plan will cater for the elderly, so our people are not afraid of growing old. My plan will invest in our failing infrastructure.
But above all, my plan will help create jobs because in my many travels across our great nation the one consistent thing I hear wherever I am is that our people need jobs.
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.
Thank you for watching and listening. May God bless you and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
Presidential Candidate, Peoples Democratic Party