Nigeria: 2023 Campaign – Atiku, Tinubu, Kwankwaso Offer Solutions to Ailing Economy

As the campaigns for the 2023 polls gather momentum, three of the leading presidential candidates yesterday gave indications of how they would revive Nigeria’s failing economy.

Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Bola Tinubu, said the cooperation and support of the private sector was required to implement the reforms in his economic master-plan.

Tinubu said this at the APC’s campaign council town hall meeting and dialogue with the Business Community yesterday in Lagos. He noted that during his tenure as governor of Lagos between 1999 and 2007, his administration developed a largely successful blueprint.

He explained that the success of his tenure turned the state into a safer, more prosperous place for any legitimate ventures irrespective of person, religion, region or ethnicity.

The APC presidential candidate commended the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, saying that the government performed with patriotism and commitment during trying times.

He, however, stressed the need to go further and faster, via his experience in both public and private sector to renew hopes and reverse the despair of Nigerians.

Tinubu reeled some of his economic blueprint to include the revival of the nation’s industries by bringing the nation’s industrial policy to life through creation of major and minor industrial hubs in each of the geographical zones to grow faster from bottom up.

He added that his team would foster productive excellence in areas such as light manufacturing and the creative industry, with active participation in the digital economy to birth the fourth industrial revolution.

Tinubu said his administration, if given the opportunity to be president, would target a minimum Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of between six to 10 per cent.

He further said the requisite reforms to champion productivity in the agricultural sector for increased exports and provision of food for the ordinary citizen would be done.

“We must produce, then buy made in Nigeria; we shall make Nigeria a leader instead of a bystander. We seek a consumer credit revolution, affordable credit for businesses, and the business sector shall increase in so many folds.

“I am determined to give you affordable and reliable power to light the entire economy as we cannot produce without constant electricity.

“We have what it takes to bring it to you all; we have the gas, sun, wind and water. As for petroleum subsidy, it has to be removed and my administration would see to the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA),” he said.

To tackle the country’s security challenges, Tinubu expressed his readiness to fight terrorism via counterterrorism.

He stated that his administration’s response to the country’s insecurity shall be defined by elements such as enlisting more people into the military, police, and other security forces.

He added that he would provide area and ground surveillance, identify, monitor and defeat the evil groups anywhere in the country.

“We shall have no respite until they surrender. A nation is not driven by itself but the content and the people that reside in it. Nigeria would move, crush all enemies, and bring progress and prosperity for today and tomorrow,” he said.

… I’m in US to attract investments to Nigeria – Atiku

Meanwhile, PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar’s visit to the United States will attract investors as part of efforts to salvage the ailing economy.

This was disclosed by the Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation, which blamed the dwindling value of the Nigerian currency, the Naira, and the scary security situation on the ineptitude of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration.

The campaign’s director of strategic communication, Dele Momodu, who stated this at a media briefing in Abuja, lamented the plummeting value of the naira, which has sunk to N800/$1 in the parallel market since the announcement of the plan to redesign the naira. He noted that the economy, which is on its knees at the moment, can hardly afford further devaluation of the Nigerian currency.

“Last Friday, our principal was at the United State of America where he held council meetings with officials of the U.S. Department of State. The visit was a means of strengthening bilateral partnership with the U.S. on the economy, poverty reduction and the fight against insecurity.

“The insight gained from the visit will arm our candidate and the PDP to deliver on its promises to the people of Nigeria when he comes into power next year through a seamless partnership with the government of the U.S. on the subject of the economy, insecurity and poverty reduction.”

On the recent security alert raised by some foreign countries in Nigeria, Momodu called on Nigeria’s security agencies to be at the top of their game to ensure that none of the scary scenarios painted by the security alert come to past.

A spokesman for the campaign, Charles Aniagwu, said PDP was concerned about the level of poverty in Nigeria, adding that the APC administration is doing badly in trying to get people out of want.

He said,” Our presidential candidate, his running mate and the leadership of our party is indeed very interested in recovering our country from where we are today.

“His visit to the US is because he has got economic policies that speak to the need to bring jobs back to the people. The greatest economy in the world is the United States of America and so if you want to make a difference you must be able to discuss with the masters both for the purpose of attracting direct investments and for the purpose of taking steps that will help you strengthen the naira that has collapsed very badly,” he said.

Our Job Creation Plan Will Reposition Economy – NNPP Candidate

On his part, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Sen Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso yesterday unveiled his manifesto and policy document, promising to revamp the education sector to train up the requisite manpower to revitalize the economy.

He also revealed plan to recruit 750, 000 into the military and increase the Nigeria Police Force personnel to one million as a way of tackling the security situation in the country

The NNPP Presidential candidate also pledged to mop up the 20 million out-of-school children in Nigeria in the next four years.

He said this would be achieved through the launch of a half a million-classroom initiative in his first few weeks in office by building 40 blocks of classrooms per local government per annum for the first four years.

Also, Kwankwanso said his administration would ensure parents won’t pay a dime as registration fees for the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the National Examination Council (NECO).

In his 160-page manifesto entitled “My pledges to you. The RMK2023 blueprint”, which was unveiled in Abuja, Kwankwaso noted that the document would be translated into local languages, even as he advised Nigerians to vote for leaders with practical, sincere and acceptable plan to hit the ground running when elected.

He said, “The crisis of unemployment is so alarming and there appears to be no effort being made to create opportunities for the teaming unemployed youth resulting in despondency, hopelessness and the rise of crime.

“The education sub-sector that is supposed to provide the backbone for our high-level manpower and human capital development has never been so neglected and relegated resulting in the continuous rot and decay of both the services and the infrastructure at all levels of education provisioning.”

He however gave assurance that the NNPP would right the wrongs of past administrations.

Also, Kwankwanso said his administration would ensure parents won’t pay a dime as registration fees for the West African Examination Council (WAEC), Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the National Examination Council (NECO).

According to him, said aside from ensuring free examination forms for student, JAMB results under his government will have a lifespan of four years.

“For our administration, no Nigerian child shall be denied the opportunity to write WAEC, NECO, JAMB, etc., because of their inability to pay exorbitant registration/examination fees. These examinations shall be free and all application forms for admission into tertiary education institutions (TEls) shall also be free.

“These examination bodies will be adequately funded by the Kwankwaso administration.”

In the document, Kwankwaso described as a misnomer the notion that any examination body will generate income and contribute to the federation accounts.

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