Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Nigerians not to “hand over their future” to an inexperienced politician or Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said this at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG’s) presidential dialogue on the economy in Lagos on Monday.
Abubakar criticised the current administration, saying more Nigerians are poorer and more miserable now than in 2015.
“Capital has taken a flight. Policy incoherence and flip-flops combined with internal insecurity continue to pose a significant risk to investment and thus output growth,” he said.
“We have lost our esteemed position as Africa’s preferred investment destination to less endowed nations.
“The failure of leadership by the APC-led government is staring every Nigerian in the face as the country’s economic, social, political, and security challenges persist and assume frightening dimensions.
“Experience is important and we must avoid the mistakes of the recent past.
“It is too risky for Nigerians to hand over their future to a greenhorn or to the national leader of the very party that brought us to this sorry pass.”
The PDP standard bearer said he is the best candidate to rescue Nigeria due to his experience in economic reforms and management matters.
“As head of the economic management team, while I was Vice President, I was instrumental in designing a private sector revival strategy and advocated for the opening of the economy for private sector investments in several sectors. And we made tremendous progress,” Abubakar said.
“I’m sure you still remember the good old days of rapid economic growth with stable interest and exchange rates, low inflation, low rates of unemployment, and low poverty headcount. We paid off nearly all of our foreign debt which was crippling the country.
“We created novel institutions to lay the foundation for good governance and accountability, including the Bureau of Public Procurement, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and SERVICOM, whose Golden rule is “Serve others as you would like to be served.”
“We developed a formal development agenda, the NEEDS, which also extended to galvanising participation of state and local governments through SEEDS and LEEDS.”
On the effects of conflicts and insecurity on investments in the country, Atiku said his administration would take tough and difficult decisions on security matters without fear or favour.
“We shall put more boots on the ground and ensure that the security forces are well equipped, well trained, and well paid,” he added.
“Those who confront deadly criminals everyday must have the resources needed to do their job and be well-rewarded for doing so.
“In the medium to long term, I shall work with national assembly and state governments towards allowing state police for the states that so desire.”
By Wasilat Azeez
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