Presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the recently passed Start-up Bill into law. Atiku, who noted that signing the bill into law would be the first step into solving Nigeria’s unemployment problem, however outlined his roadmap for growing the tech industry in Nigeria should he emerge president of the country in next year’s presidential election.
This is as his Special Assistant on Digital Media and Operations, Mr Eta Uso, called on Nigerians to vote in Atiku Abubakar as Nigeria’s president in next year’s election, noting that Atiku is the most qualified and the only candidate speaking about policy, solutions and clear plans of rebuilding Nigeria.
Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, Atiku Abubakar noted that the “ICT industry is a critical part of my national development plan and framework to ensure economic growth and diversification in the coming years.”
He said the Nigerian start-up space is one of the largest in Africa and that Nigeria has become a key destination for tech talents in Africa.
According to him, Nigeria is fast becoming a destination for tech talents and with a welcoming environment which his administration would enable for the start-up innovations, one can only but imagine the great developments that will explode in Nigeria.
“My administration intends to enthrone a disruptive economic agenda that will position ICT at the forefront of our policy development strategy and ensure that digital technologies and innovations in ICT, and IT-enabled products and services are given an enabling environment to drive and help build our new digital economy, notably in areas such as E-commerce, IT manufacturing, ICT enabled outsourcing, the broader start-up ecosystem and other emerging technologies.”
The former vice president who now wants to become Nigeria’s next president said if elected the president, his government recognises tech as a cross-cutting sector that can grow the economy and drastically reduce unemployment.
“My administration will ensure that the gap is bridged between established/Start-up Tech companies and the nation’s regulators to provide a thriving tech ecosystem that enhances competitiveness, innovation and job growth for our growing youth population.”
“I had previously outlined in my policy document and my recent Arise Interview, the need to transition into an E-government system to reduce expenditure costs, improve workflow management, service delivery and overall efficiency.”
“This shift will also provide opportunities for the ICT industry to innovate and develop solutions for government digital services as we build a new and enhanced futuristic economy.”
He said start-ups have a great potential of creating jobs, growing the economy and lifting people out of extreme poverty.
Note that in Nigeria, around four in 10 people live below the national poverty line, a World Bank report has stated.
Also, data by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics shows that for 2021, 33.3% or 23.2 million of about 70 million Nigerians who should be working, are out of work when an acceptable level would be 4%-6%.
The data also shows that Nigeria’s underemployment rate (people who work less than 20 hours a week) is also high at 22.8% and on an upward trend.
This highlights the urgent need for a fresh approach to tackle unemployment through policy reform.
Consequently, Atiku Abubakar has said that, in his policy framework, he has recognized and mapped out plans to further grow the start-up economy in Nigeria.
He therefore called for the start-up bill to be signed into law by the president to enable the country reap the full and great opportunities that the start-up ecosystem has to give.
According to him, the President’s signing of the recently passed Nigeria Start-up Bill 2021 into law would be a good step towards encouraging the growth of the start-up economy in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, further urging Nigerians to ensure that Atiku whom he said, has the solution to Nigeria’s myriads of problems, emerges the president, Atiku’s assistant, Mr Eta Uso added that Nigerians should avoid being blind but instead, vote for Atiku to bring developmental light to the country.
In a series of tweets, Mr Uso said “Let’s open our eyes to see that Atiku is the only man offering solutions.”
According to him: “If you’re blind the first time, it’s probably naivety. If you’re blind the 2nd time, it’s perhaps you’re offering the benefit of the doubt. But if you’re blind a 3rd time, you’re not worthy of anything good. Let’s open our eyes to see that Atiku is the only man offering solutions.”
“You can’t afford to be blind in 2015, in 2019, and blind again in 2023. In 2015, Nigerians chose hype and unfathomable expectations above truth and substance. In 2023, we must rise above ephemerals and see the obvious that of all the candidates, only Atiku is speaking to issues.”
“Only Atiku is speaking to solutions. Only Atiku has a plan to rebuild Nigeria, and only Atiku is clear on how he wants to execute his plan. No other candidate is speaking about policy, and neither is any other candidate talking about solutions to problems. Be wise this time,” he concluded.