On Thursday, Bukola Saraki, former Senate President, formally declared for the 2023 presidency. He promises to bridge the gap between the North and Southern parts of Nigeria.
Saraki unveiled his economic agenda in Abuja. He promised to raise national health insurance coverage from the current seven to 50 percent, in the first two years, if elected President in 2023. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for the 2023 presidential election is on May 30th, 2022.
BusinessDay reports that Saraki kept his declarations until the party’s decision to keep the presidential ticket open to all the 15 cleared presidential aspirants, on Wednesday.
Saraki also promised to tackle insecurity to rid the country of bandits and terrorists,
“As long as a single village or forest in this country is controlled by terrorists, or bandits or any other criminal groups; as long as any of our citizens lives in fear; as long as our soldiers and other security agents do not get the right training, the right equipment, and the right incentives, the job is not done.
“It is for these citizens that I want to be President because I will do everything to protect the lives and properties of every Nigerian and everyone that lives within our borders. I will ensure that all our men and women in uniform are well-trained, are well-paid, and are well-equipped.
Speaking on the economy, Saraki noted that the country will continue to remain vulnerable “ as long as crude oil revenue remains the mainstay of our economy”
“ We will remain so vulnerable to the volatility of the international oil market, then the job is not done. And this is why I want to be President because I will raise the revenue from the non-oil sectors to the same level as we currently earn from oil.
“As long as there are still people in this country who believe that they can break the laws of Nigeria with impunity; who think that crime has no consequences, then the job is not done. And this is why I want to be President, because I will ensure strict compliance with the rule of law and guarantee consequences for crime.
“As long as we still import tilers, plumbers and electricians from neighboring countries, then the job is not done. And this is why I want to be President, because I will collaborate with the industries, and train one million of our youths in technical and vocational skills each year.
“As long as 65 million of our citizens still live in slum conditions in our cities and urban centers, then the job is not done. And this is why I want to be President, because I will deliver half a million affordable housing units every year to our low-income earners and eliminate urban slums.
“As long as Nigeria is not the tech hub for Africa, despite our incredible talents in this area, then our job is not done. And this is why I want to be President, because I will invest massively in skills in cloud computing, data analytics, programming and other such in-demand skills to drive innovation and competitiveness among our youths.
He also promised to address the case of Nigeria’s huge army of talented youths, who do not think that the Nigerian government can support their dreams, whether in entertainment, fashion, or other creative business, the job is not done.
“ It is for these talented Nigerians that I want to be President, because I will create the Nigeria Creative Industry Initiatives to protect our leadership position on the African continent and position us to be global leaders in the cultural productions economy.
“As long as our university lecturers still have reasons to embark on strike actions; as long our universities still rank outside the top 1000 in the world, then our job is not done. And this is why I want to be President, because I will ensure that our universities and higher education institutions are competitive and well-funded, adopting models and approaches that have served the most successful higher education systems in the world.
“As long as some of our best and brightest brains still relocate to other countries to find fulfillment, then our job is not done. And this is why I want to be President, because I will develop targeted incentives to reverse the brain drain and keep our professionals in the country.
“I can do it! My portfolio of experience at the executive level, and at the highest legislative institution of our country, makes me a unique asset in democratic leadership at a time that calls for consensus building, for cooperation, and for compromise.
“I know how business works. I know how the government functions. And I know how the legislature operates. This diverse experience stands me out. And I will bring the experience to bear in getting the most critical constituencies behind the tough decisions that we must take if Nigeria must survive.