Any man seeking to lead a nation of more than 150 million persons must be a man of ideals. The two leading men in the forefront of the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan and Atiku Abubakar have over time postulated ideas they have for the country. Underneath are the visions the two men have for the country.
Creating a new economy
Our goal is to make Nigerian Africa’s economic power house and at par, if not surpassing, other emergent economies in Asia, South America and elsewhere. Between 2004 and 2009, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an average of 7%. Projections indicate that by 2011, we should surpass this trend and record double digit growth climbing to about 13.1% growth level by 2013.
We have also been able to manage the rate of inflation which now averages 10.3%; our revenue earnings from the oil sector are expected to rise and stabilize at about N3.5 trillion while non-oil revenue may average N1.1 trillion.
Ensure that existing laws, rules and guidelines on fiscal responsibility are upheld at all times.
On Energy and Power
The power sector is the wheel that drives the economy and development of the country. We are determined to arrest the years of epileptic electricity supply in the country with the appropriate and comprehensive energy development policies and measures.
The Roadmap on Power unveiled on 26th August, 2010, remains our platform for the development of this sector. To take Nigeria into a future of stable electricity power generation and supply, we are investing efforts that would: Achieve a total generating capacity of about 14,000MW by the end of 2013. Add about 3,000 MW on the short term and about 5,000MW when fully developed from renewable sources.
We have, in recent years, placed great emphasis on creating an integrated approach to the problems of the transport sector, that is, the development of road transportation network, inland waterways, railways and aviation. According to the Vision 20:2020 policy framework, the transport sector is one of the few areas in our national life that:
Would yield huge amounts of revenue through generation of economic activities and employment opportunities, and
make investments in the transport sector attractive, and attract private capital both from within and outside our shores.
Conclude all critical road projects that have been delayed over the years, including the Abuja-Lokoja dualisation, the Benin-Ore road, Kano-Kaduna-Abuja highways and the second Niger Bridge.
Continue with the on-going work on the 337-kilometres East-West road, running from Warri in Delta State through Rivers, Bayelsa – Akwa Ibom States, and terminating at Oron.
attract private capital investment to develop the railways Upgrade/rehabilitate the nation’s railways for which financial assistance has been secured from the Chinese Government.
On Security of Life and Property
To address the increasing problems of insecurity and threat to life and property in the country, we will reconceptualise the role of the nation’s security agencies to ensure they effectively and efficiently perform their duties.
Re-train the men and women of the Nigeria Police to ensure that they discharge their duties diligently, professionally and with due courtesy to the public who they are meant to serve Intensify training and the acquisition of greater professionalism in intelligence gathering and inter-agency cooperation in crime detection and prevention management. Provide a new package of benefits and incentives for security personnel; Equip all security agencies with modern infrastructure and necessary hardware; needed for combating terror and violence.
On Niger Delta
We are determined to consolidate on the achievements of the peace recorded through successful implementation of the amnesty programme for the ex-militants in the Niger Delta region.
BoOST the post-amnesty programme with projects for the construction of Skills Acquisition Centres in all the nine States of the Niger Delta. Train the youths.
Equip them with skills to enable them work in various sectors of the economy.
Continue the programme of re-integration and rehabilitation of ex-militants of the Niger Delta in Obubra in Cross River State.
Lead initiatives to recover the environment which has been devastated by years of pollution and oil spillage
The Amnesty Programme is aimed at preparing the ex-militants for integration into society. The peace currently being enjoyed in the Niger Delta has led to a substantial increase in the production of oil and gas and, therefore, increased foreign earnings for the country. This will be consolidated through the successful prosecution of development programmes to transform living standards of the people in the Niger Delta
Current indices in Nigeria pertaining to health and personal well-being of our people, are of major concern. They show a life expectancy rate of 49 years for male and 52 years for female, a terrible regression from the years of progress recorded. Infant mortality, maternal mortality and the scourge of communicable diseases in a number of cases are at unacceptable levels.
Clearly, the health sector needs massive intervention and improvement.
Focus on ensuring more effective health care delivery in the rural areas under the Primary Health Care service scheme which will cover over 60% of the populace and with the emphasis on preventive health care.
Provide for free and compulsory vaccinations/Immunisation for our children in order to attain MDG targets and substantial reduction in infant and child mortality and morbidity and Safe-motherhood programmes.
On war on Coruption
We have an in escapable duty to stamp out corruption seeing that it is a cancer that defeats even the best efforts at development. Our desire is to bring about an impeccable administration that is transparent and accountable to the Nigeria people. Consequently, we will mandate:
Mandate and strengthen all anti-corruption agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to corruption.
The vote of Nigerians must count. That is the point of departure for our electoral reforms. Accordingly, we will implement all the recommendations of the Justice Uwais Electoral Reforms Committee as ratified by the National Assembly.
ENCOURAGE the conduct of free and fair elections in 2011 and ensure that all the agencies of government cooperate with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deliver on this.
help promote voter education such that the citizens defend their vote and cooperate to stop all election offenders in their track.
Creating a new economy
Atiku believes that the economy is in need of urgent reform for self-sustenance. His thinking is that the basic problem with the Nigerian economy is its over-dependence on petroleum, making it a “mono-product economy with little domestic linkages characterized by the absence of basic services expected of a government and the inability of the system to enable individuals operate their businesses with minimal interference by government and its agencies Another critical part of the Atiku vision for Nigeria is the need for a review and revision of the role of the state.
“There is need to revisit the role of the Nigerian state in development with a view to assuming a more active role in promoting market-based mechanisms.” He also wants the state to play an active role in ensuring accelerated infrastructure development.
On Energy and Power
The policy document also acknowledged the present crisis in the nation’s power sector and identified critical issues that have to be addressed to substantially improve power generation, transmission and distribution. His presidency will adopt an emergency power programme as a short term measure that can deliver additional capacity, ensure the completion of the power plants, distribution and transmission infrastructure currently under construction.
A national power programme will also be pursued. All on-going system expansion projects are to be completed to increase power supply.
Transportation, especially, road rehabilitation and construction will receive priority attention. He will also develop a new national road transport policy. There will also be a new national transport regulation system to ensure balanced regulation and road users will pay close to the real cost of road use. The administration will enhance road linkages to agricultural zones and develop agricultural collection and distribution hubs.
It will also develop inland dry ports and build new roads to feed into economic activity points from which states can develop trunk roads to feed into the new national network. The critical links to be developed include Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Abuja, Lagos- Benin City via Ijebu-Ode, Asaba -Onitsha, Owerri-Port Harcourt, Jebba-Tegina-Kaduna Abuja-Jos-Maiduguri and Abuja-Makurdi.
The policy document also addressed the problem of rail transportation which has suffered neglect in the hands of past administrations. A policy of vertical railway privatisation is to be pursued, the private sector operators will be encouraged to buy locomotives and operate them. A National Railway Development Agency will take ownership of the regulatory setting. Railway system shall be made all inclusive to ensure widespread availability of rail services in different parts of the country.
On Security of Life and Property
Atiku is unhappy with the current state of insecurity in the country manifesting in the increasing inability of the Nigerian state to protect the lives and properties of its citizens and impose its authority over the large swathes of armed groups who molest and terrorise innocent people.
The more pathetic aspect of this tragic situation is that even when these hoodlums are caught, the judicial system is not sufficiently configured to efficiently dispense justice. Atiku believes that a comprehensive reform of the country’s criminal justice system is a necessity.
It will be a key ingredient of his administration’s programme for achieving law and order. The police, the judiciary and the prisons are to undergo structural transformation. Within 100 days of its inauguration, the Atiku presidency will convene an all stakeholders summit that will include individuals awaiting trial, ex-convicts and prison staff to provide a holistic solution to the problems of the prisons, especially, congestion and living conditions.
On Niger Delta
The document described the state of under-development of the Niger Delta as “ a scar on the conscience of the nation” and noted that the Nigerian nation had not been fair to the region that had since the discovery of petroleum there several decades ago provided virtually all of the nation’s revenue. It said the Niger Delta case deserved to be treated as a national emergency project deserving a Marshal Plan which would be monitored and supervised at the highest level of government.
The Atiku presidency, according to the policy document, will within 100 days of its inauguration take initiatives to strengthen the Niger Delta Ministry to effectively direct and oversee all federal government programmes in the region. It will, within the same period, improve and strengthen the amnesty programme beyond the palliatives by prioritizing capacity building and employment generation.
Other initiatives for the remediation to be pursued, according to the document, include the floating of a Niger Delta Bond which will significantly raise the level of funding for development programmes, development of critical infrastructure such as township roads, water supply schemes, housing in urban centres, a scholarship scheme for students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
A new approach will be adopted towards healthcare delivery with the emphasis changing so that basic preventive solutions start from the local communities. The federal government shall be responsible for health policy matters at the top, lay policy guidelines, fund medical research programmes in collaboration with the states while it directly takes responsibility for healthcare delivery programmes at the tertiary level.
The document recommended a much more vigorous campaign against HIV/AIDES to bring down the current 5 percent prevalence rate down. It will ensure greater access to Anti Retro Viral drugs to ensure that those living with the virus do so painlessly. Anti malaria campaigns would be intensified through nationwide environmental programmes to reduce mosquitoes and the availability of genuine and effective anti-malaria drugs.
On war on Coruption
The document also proposes the strengthening of the war against corruption. The war will encompass the police, power, health and the educational system. The approach will be through reward and sanctions. Atiku believes that, in addition to whatever the anti-corruption agencies are doing, schools should also serve as foundation of the war against corruption
Electoral reform will be a priority under the Atiku presidency. This is desirable in order to give full meaning to the nation’s democracy. Politicians will be made to obey laws regulating elections and their conduct in public office. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will become truly independent, will be on first line charge and its chairman and commissioners will be men and women of integrity.
They will enjoy a six-year tenure to enable them conduct the election of the president who did not appoint them. The electoral umpire under the Atiku presidency would provide clear-cut criteria on eligibility of candidates for elections. This will be a guarantee against arbitrary disqualification of candidates.
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