Editor’s note: Former Vice President and presidential candidate of main opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Mr. Atiku Abubakar, unveiled his policy document as part of his campaign pillars for the 2019 elections.
The document with the slogan ‘Get Nigeria Working Again’ is anchored on
• Having a good grasp of the challenges facing Nigeria. Not the superficial issues but the systemic ones
• Learning from the mistakes of the past, consolidate on the successes of previous regimes and build the future
• An unwavering commitment to the principles of open, competitive and private sector-driven economy
• Commitment to build institutions.
Below are his plans for national security, women and youth empowerment as well as the health sector development.
“Our national security is multi-dimensional. It has gone beyond armed defense to include protection of democratic and constitutional values like food security, peace, human, political and economic security. Resolving the unfair access to democratic dividends to reduce internal armed conflicts,insurgencies, crimes and militancy”– Atiku Abubakar.
• National security is about ensuring the reign of peace and stability in the country so that national objectives are achieved, and the nation’s sovereignty is sustained
• National security is linked with vital sectors like foreign policy, external defense, economy, education, internal security, healthcare delivery, cyber security, science and technology, policing, etc
• Security challenges have plagued Nigeria’s North East, Middle Belt and Niger Delta
• The current security challenges facing Nigeria can be attributed to a large number of factors including high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth, illiteracy, extreme poverty, corruption, bad governance, discrimination and politics of exclusion, and religious extremism.
• The policy thrust of an Atiku government will be based on good governance, visionary leadership and politics of inclusiveness that will reduce citizens’ frustration and alienation and eliminate the compulsion to take up arms against the society or fellow countrymen. Our priority will be to restore the citizen’s confidence in Nigeria as one indivisible, indissoluble, ethnically diverse but strong country to protect them and secure socio-economic benefits.
What we will do
• Re-activate meaningful registration at birth as a way to reduce crime and protect Nigerians
• Conduct the next national population census as the basis for further development planning
• Dealing with insurgency using alternativeapproaches to conflict resolution, such as Diplomacy; Intelligence; Improved Border Control; Traditional Institutions; and Good neighbourliness
• Restructure and Decentralize Security Institutions
• Promote Regional Security Cooperation
• Resolve Militancy Issue in the Niger Delta
• Improve Civil-Military Relations
• Strengthen the National Security Council
• Handle the North East Development Issues
• Deal with Terrorism, Kidnapping and Other Crimes.
Women and Youth empowerment
“The youth are our assets…I still have the same convictions today that our focus for the Nigerian youth must remain jobs, quality education, andsecurity. This is priority…. “
“Breaking barriers that prevent women from reaching their best potentials starts with early interventions in life and works for every woman, irrespective of whether she lives in the rural village, a lawmaker in the city, or the CEO of a multinational company” –Atiku Abubakar.
The presidential hopeful promised to break all barriers that prevent women from reaching their best potential whether in adolescence or adulthood:
• Promote equal access to job and education opportunities between men and women
• Pursue financial inclusion
• Create an environment that provides employment and fulfilment to our youth and women population through education, mentorship, vocational training, and technology and entrepreneurship initiatives
• Set standards that discourage the unfair exploitation and persecution of women in our society.
What he said he will do
Atiku pledged to encourage states and the private sector to incentivize studies for girls in Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM):
• Provide microfinance and financing schemes specifically targeted at the youth and women
• Create a special tribunal for crimes against women including domestic violence, physical or sexual abuse, rape
• Increase women representation and retention rates in politics and business, through positive action such as quotas for women on political platform and corporate boards
• Increase the number of appointments made to young people in government and in government committees.
“No country can truly have sustainable development without strong healthy citizens to drive that process. It is therefore the fundamental right of every Nigerian, no matter where they live, to have unrestricted access to optimal and affordable health delivery service.”– Atiku Abubakar.
There are about 40 doctors, 161 nurses and midwives available for every 100,000 Nigerians.
• In 2018, Nigeria has a ratio of 1 doctor to 6000 patients far below the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation of 1 doctor per 600 patients ratio
• About 30,000 Nigerians spend $1 billion on medical tourism annually in Europe and Asia since the beginning of the 21st Century. 60% of that total is spent on four major areas of healthcare: cardiology, orthopedic, renal dialysis issues and cancer
• About 57 million Nigerians have no access to clean drinking water and at least 130 million Nigerians live in environments that are dirty with no proper sanitation facilities.
Our policy thrust will be all embracing and targeted towards a preventive care strategy by creating a clean environment, modernizing living conditions, carrying out enlightenment campaigns on healthy living, and supporting with curative care through the provision of state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in hospitals and in rural clinics
• Ensure universal access to basic maternal and child health, reproductive health, immunization and mental health as well as effective therapies
• Government will position itself to deal proactively with emergency epidemics like Ebola, Lassa and others which occasionally afflict the people.
What he will do if elected in 2019
He promised to ensure a comprehensive reform of the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies:
• Accelerate Nigeria’s transition towards achieving universal access to affordable and quality healthcare services for all by 2030
• Expand access to basic primary healthcare • Improve quality of care and clinical governance
• Unlock market potential of the health sector by engaging the private sector • Encourage medium and large scale pharmaceutical industries for the local production of essential drugs
• Expand healthcare professionals to the frontline and attract Nigerian doctors in the diaspora to reverse brain-drain
Downlaod the full policy document here:Atiku Abubakar Policy Document 15-11-2018-5