Saturday, April 10, 2021

2019: I’ll restructure Nigeria in 6 months – Atiku

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tiamin rice

Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has said that he would restructure the country in six months if voted as president in 2019.

Mr Atiku made this promise at Chatham House, UK, during a question and answer session on Wednesday, April 25.

He said: “It is doable. In fact, what I’ve told many Nigerians at home is that if you give me six months, I know I will be able to achieve a fast level of restructuring, otherwise the concurrent list issue.

“It’s very easy to deal with it because there is no state that you will call and say ‘I want to give you this responsibility together with the resources’, and will say ‘no’.

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“I want the people of every state to be able to hold their leaders accountable because, at the moment, the federal government is being accused of everything, even when it’s not in its area of responsibility.

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“I want to be able to resolve that so that citizens can hold their local leaders responsible for lapses and maladministration.”

When asked if he would run as an independent candidate if he doesn’t get the Peoples Democratic Party ticket, Mr Atiku said: “We’ll wait until that time.”

On President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent comment, Mr Atiku said he was not surprised because he was not an employer of labour.

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He said: “On the issue of youth, I am an employer of labour and most of that labour is youth-dominated and I make a lot of profits from my businesses.

“I don’t agree with the assumption that the youths are lazy or they are indolent. Certainly, I don’t.

“But I’m not surprised with the fellow who made that remark because he’s not an employer of labour, he has no business, he has no educational institution so he doesn’t relate with youths in schools so I don’t blame him.”

On the economy, Mr Atiku said: “If I have my way, the federal government will match state’s IGR up to $250 million per state.

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“Even with this policy, the federal government will continue to offer support (in the form of intervention programmes) for states that rank below the average development index, until such a time as they are able to become self-sufficient and sustaining.

“Beyond institutional and administrative reforms to improve the operational efficiency of the revenue agencies, the federating units will be challenged to double their efforts in rebuilding the fiscal-social contract, by enhancing service delivery in key areas such as health, education, water supply and infrastructural development.

“Only this would change the predominant perception that government revenues are diverted to the private bank accounts of politicians and their cronies.”

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