Former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar said that he would have sold 10% of the NNPC if he was elected the President of Nigeria when he contested.
He made this remark on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, while urging Nigerians to give President Muhammadu Buhari some credits for his efforts during the first year of his administration.
According to Atiku Abubakar, the Buhari administration has accomplished two out of the five areas they pledged to face, therefore, should be encouraged at least.
“He promised to look into issues like power, insurgency, unemployment, corruption and diversification and if you are to take two out of five, you can give him a pass mark. He has dealt with corruption and with Boko Haram. For power, give him time as well.
“I think the Niger Delta should be handled with a stick and carrot approach. In 2007, before I ran for president, I met with various stakeholders on the Niger Delta issue and they came up with a policy.
“Part of the recommendations was that the ministry be moved to the Niger Delta and not Abuja. We have had administrations that did not do their homework on the Niger Delta.
“If I had won, I would have sold 10 per cent shares in the NNPC; that will give me 20 billion dollars which would build infrastructure for the Niger delta but we will always end up with accidental leadership.
“Bring peace and development to the Niger Delta then they will stop blowing up pipelines. Then, we will get gas and then power can be stable but until then, we will not get it.
“State and local governments should control education, health, agriculture, roads and other infrastructure. A true federal system will allow the federating states to keep their resources while the Federal Government retains the power of taxation and regulatory authority over standards.
“The result will be a political and governmental system that empowers local authorities and gives them greater autonomy to address peculiar local issues, while enhancing accountability and contributing to the general good of the country.
“Such a robust federal system will reduce the tensions that are built into our current over-centralized system.”
Atiku Abubakar also encouraged autonomy for states, a tax-centred revenue base, enhanced, diversified economic activities and productivity in order to enlarge their tax bases. He also proposed an end to the indigene-settler dichotomy, the creation of a state police to complement the federal police.
He also said that Nigeria is not working as well as it should and needs reconstruction, partly blaming the structure of the country and governance, which was laid out in the 1960s, as the cause of Nigeria’s current predicament.