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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I vow to fight the mafias of corruption- Atiku

Former Vice President and now a presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, has
vowed to defeat the mafia-like structures undermining Nigeria's energy
sector, in an ambitious economic outlay he unfolded Monday ahead of the
2015 presidential election.

At an event in Abuja Monday, Mr. Abubakar laid out a draft
policy of his plan for the economy, with a promise to effect
fundamental restructuring of institutions promoting inequality and
concentrating the nation's wealth in a few privileged hands.

The former vice president identified the Power Holding
Company of Nigeria, PHCN –formerly National Electricity
Power Authority, NEPA, and the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation, NNPC, as two key government institutions
operating with mafias who hold the country to ransom.
"Unless those mafias are broken, those two institutions would never work.
Government must be prepared to dismantle the mafias in NEPA, PHCN, which
have decided not to allow the country have stable electricity supply, and
those in NNPC," Mr. Abubakar said.

Addressing finance and economy reporters in Abuja, Mr. Atiku assured
Nigerians that if elected as the next president in 2015, his
administration's economic policies would not only address habits and
practices that currently compromise policy implementation, but also those
that would promote the hallmark of good governance through effective
policy monitoring, evaluation and implementation.
Besides, he said the main thrust of his administration's
economic policies would attempt to modify the way the
machinery of the Federal Government is working at the moment by providing
the political vision and capacity to tackle the incidence of poverty among
the populace.

The key policy areas in the economic programmes announced by the APC
presidential aspirant include wealth generation, which consists of about
20 components; infrastructure development and power (9); education and
skill acquisition (9), security (11), entrepreneurship and good governance
(13), agriculture and food security (8) and Niger Delta development and
ravaged areas (6).

Mr. Abubakar, a former Customs officer, is now reputed as one of the
leading private employers of labour in Nigeria. As vice president, he also
chaired the National Council on
Privatisation, NCP, responsible for the sale of government
companies to private entities, a process widely regarded as
barely successful.

Asked why he failed to utilise his economic plans to ensure a successful
privatisation of state-run companies like moribund telecommunication
giant, NITEL, petroleum refineries, the former vice president said the
privatisation process was not carried out by him as an individual but by
the NCP, as such he could not be blamed for any failing.

Mr. Abubakar said his draft economic plan would be subjected to a
comprehensive review by various experts during the Review Summit scheduled
for October 27, 2014 in Abeokuta, to bring the policy in context and
alignment with the manifesto of the party.

Apart from ensuring that the youths are given the opportunity to make
major inputs in the party's draft policy, Mr. Atiku said the final
document would clarify and streamline the responsibilities of ministries,
departments and agencies (MDAs) by removing overlapping roles and
redundancies. The policies, he added, would rely on the private sector as
the main driver of both the administration's economic and social policies,
while delegating operational responsibilities to states/

Local Governments and private organisations. "Our government would provide
the leadership and regulatory
mechanism to ensure results are achieved," he said. "That is a major shift
from what we have been witnessing under
successive governments in the country." Though he acknowledged the
impressive Gross Domestic Products, GDP, growth and economic stability of
the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Mr. Atiku said it was unfortunate
that these have not trickled down to the ordinary man, as
government structure tends to concentrate the wealth of the nation in the
hands of a few people at the top echelon of the population.

"We are stunted in our economic growth. Our job creation
record have been very bad. It is only when our job creation
efforts are good that the growth in GDP could be translated to the people.
At the moment the country has the highest rate of unemployment," he said.
To encourage the major creators of jobs to provide more employment
Mr. Atiku said his administration would provide tax rebates to them so far
as they would give their commitment to create at least half a million jobs
for the economy from their sectors.


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