Nigeria’s campaign season was officially flagged off on Sunday by the country’s election commission and the two leading candidates for the presidential polls wasted no time to present their plans to the electorate.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday asked Nigerians to re-elect him in 2019, primarily to keep fighting the corruption war his administration started in 2015.
He also stated that his commitment to the provision of infrastructure, rebuilding the economy and sustaining the anti-insurgency war would be re-doubled if given a second opportunity.
Buhari spoke in Abuja at the unveiling of his 2019 campaign document, titled, ‘The Next Level.’
The two-part document also showcased the achievements of his administration in the past three years, especially in the provision of infrastructure and tackling insecurity.
Also on Sunday, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, formally released his policy document aimed at wooing voters for the 2019 elections.
The 63-page document titled, ‘Let’s get Nigeria working again,’ captured his plan for the nation’s critical sectors.
In a subsequent broadcast on social media on Monday, Atiku categorises his mission into three: unity, security and prosperity.
Under what he tagged, ‘Refining and Petrochemical Infrastructure,’ the former vice- president promised to privatise all the nation’s four refineries if voted into office in February 2019.
He said the decision became necessary because the four refineries with a total installed capacity of 450,000 barrels per day had operated sub-optimally over time.
Atiku noted that the refineries had struggled to produce at 10 per cent of installed capacity. “We shall prioritise investment in nameplate capacity and ensure that Nigeria starts to refine 50 per cent of its current crude oil output of two million barrels per day by 2025,” he promised.
Atiku said the objectives of the policy were, among others, to create one million new jobs within 10 years via petrochemicals and petrochemicals-based activities, as well as to build enabling infrastructure to add value to the economy via the development of petrochemical facilities.
As part of efforts to promote the oil and gas sector, Atiku said he would partially privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to ensure transparency and accountability of the oil firm.
Promising to embrace restructuring, Atiku said his administration would decongest the exclusive and the concurrent list in the Constitution.
He stated that the Federal Government would retain the role of providing required direction for the economy, defence and national security, internal law and order, currency, international affairs and foreign policy, customs, citizenship and immigration, firearms and related matters.
He added, “Issues bordering on minerals and mines, internal security including police, law and order, railways, communications, transport, environment, land matters etc would be devolved to the concurrent list.
The presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on 16 February 2019. The polls are seen as a litmus test for Nigeria after the 2015 process was widely hailed as the best in Nigeria’s recent history.