Re-Brand Arewa


The Presidential candidate of The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  for the upcoming election has shared the new vision he has for the country if elected as the president while addressing the Lagos Island Club.

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I thank the Lagos Island Club for giving me this platform to speak to such a distinguished audience and on My Vision to Get Nigeria Working Again. However before I delve into this subject I need to say a few words on a fact that many of you already know: our democracy is in peril. 

After unsuccessfully abusing the instruments of state to remove the leadership of the legislature, President Muhammadu Buhari has turned his sights on the judiciary.
It has always been my view that those who aspire to govern Nigeria must begin to unveil their policy priorities and their strategies for dealing with a plethora of local and national issues.
Indeed, it is time for citizens to demand as a matter of right, from people aspiring to lead them, a plan on what they want to accomplish and how.
Political slogans should not take the place of development plans and propaganda is a poor substitute for proper socio-economic and political agenda.
I have faith in the capacity of Nigeria to make a quantum leap from third world to first that Singapore, under Lee Kuan Yew, or Malaysia under Dr. Mahathir, made. 

Under the present administration, unemployment has unfortunately been our only boom industry with over 13 million people joining the ranks of people without a job, which now totals 21 million.
If people do not have a job they struggle to feed their families which is why 0ver 100 million of our people cannot afford one decent meal a day.

If we are to develop into a United, Secure and Prosperous nation we must be bold enough to stitch all the structural faults lines that have arrested our development as a nation. We must adopt a new economic management model and a new political structure that will cure all the federating units of their addiction to oil revenues. We must re-structure the polity and the economy.

My Vision for Nigeria has been encapsulated in the #TheAtikuPlan which I launched on the 19th of November 2018. As I demonstrated in the #TheAtikuPlan, Nigeria does not need a complex vision.
All we need, and will assiduously work to achieve, is a United, Secure and Prosperous nation that will work for all Nigerians irrespective of their gender, age, religious beliefs, ethnic identity, local government, state or geo-political zone. 
Nigerian citizens want a Better Tomorrow. We envision a New Nigeria that will have, as a minimum, seven basic features

1. An indivisible, indissoluble, ethnically diverse but strong country that protects its citizens and secures their socio-economic benefits.

2. A modern, dynamic and competitive economy that is capable of taking its rightful place among the top 20 economies of the world. Nigeria has the potential to double its GDP by 2025

3. A strong economy that is capable of providing in the next 5 years, a minimum 3 million job opportunities annually, reducing poverty rates to below 20% and significantly closing the income inequality gaps.

4. A Nigeria that guarantee scitizens' access to economic opportunities and makes the basic needs of life, including health, education, electricity, water and housing, readily available and affordable for everyone.

5. A new political structure that guarantees freedoms and ensures accountability at all levels of government. Tomorrow's polity shall reinforce the country’s concept of true Federalism by conceding unfettered autonomy to the subordinating units.

6. A Nigeria that promotes the politics of inclusiveness and minimizes citizens’ frustration and alienation and completely eliminates the compulsion to take up arms against the society or fellow countrymen.

7. A country that recognizes the central place of the rule of law and ensures the supremacy of law over all persons and authorities.

Here are just 10 examples of the sort of and pragmatic policies we plan to enact immediately should I be so fortunate so to be chosen by the Nigerian people to lead them 

1. We will restore investor confidence on the Nigerian economy.

2. We will support the private sector by undertaking reforms to unleash its growth potential and to play a key role in the economy.

3. We will liberalise the economic space and privatise all ailing enterprises. In particular, the #TheAtikuPlan will undertake a de-regulation of the downstream sector of the economy, review the PIB and privatise all four State refineries.

4. We will assist the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to grow bigger and to be more productive. As we all know, small businesses offer the greatest opportunities for achieving inclusive pro-poor growth, through increased self-employment.

5. We will prioritize Human Capital Development. Our philosophy is that people are the fundamental reason for economic growth.

6. We will create jobs by growing the economy and promoting innovative flagship job creation programmes such as: The National Open Apprenticeship Programme.

7. We will create an Economic Stimulus Fund with an initial investment capacity of approximately US$25 billion to support private sector investments in infrastructure. Power sector reform will be a critical policy priority.

8. We will improve liquidity by undertaking fiscal restructuring and improving the management of our fiscal resources.

9. We will build strong and efficient service delivery institutions for more effective co-ordination of government policies and for effective support to the development of a dynamic and internationally competitive private sector.

10. We shall, through constitutional means, achieve a new political structure that guarantees freedoms and ensure government accountability at all levels.

In conclusion, since the return of the country to democratic governance in 1999, I cannot think of a more important election than the one we face in just over two weeks, given our daunting development challenges.

Nigeria needs a leader who shares its hopes and aspirations, who understands the complexities of the development process and who has the capacity to articulate an acceptable notion of development. 
It requires strong commitment, bold initiatives, and a discernible shift from the mistakes of the past, to lift Nigeria from the abyss, and make its people happier, healthier, wealthier.

So I appeal to you, as well as the entire nation, to go out and vote on February 16th so together we can Get Nigeria Working Again.

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