Corruption war: We’ll dismantle toll gates in government MDAs – Atiku

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Former Vice President and standard bearer of the People’s Democratic Party, ( PDP), in the February 16 Presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar yesterday promised that his administration would launch a frontal attack on corruption in the public sector using technology as an enabler.

Speaking in Lagos at the unveiling of his economic blueprint entitled “Atiku’s Plan, My Plan to get Nigeria Working Again”, the PDP Presidential candidate said he would operate a technology driven economy which would make human interface in economic and financial transactions nearly impossible.

Atiku who appeared at the occasion with his running mate, Mr Peter Obi, cited the United Arab Emirates and China as some of key emerging economies where human intervention in financial transactions are minimal, said if given the opportunity to lead the country, he would  use technology to keep corrupt Nigerians away from nefarious practices .

The duo were in agreement that the Nigerian public sector harbours too many tollgates in government ministries and agencies which must  be dismantled to reduce and eliminate corruption. He said it was often when people are regularly exposed to cash mountains in the course of their official duties that they are tempted to steal, but that under a technology driven economy, payments for taxes, duties and levies would be done online and without human interface.

“ There are a lot of tollgates in our system and we must reduce the meeting points with cash by introducing technology. It has happened in the United Arab Emirates and it can also be done in Nigeria.

On job creation, I would look at how other developing nations have conquered unemployment and adopt their strategy. China with a population of 1.2 billion people has 800million people employed and if they can do it, Nigeria can also do it using MSMEs’. He said

The PDP Presidential hopeful also promised to privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) even at his personal detriment, stressing that the private sector has all it takes to deliver infrastructure to the citizens with government acting as regulators.

On whether he would assume the role of minister of petroleum or education in order to achieve his mandate of transformation in the key sectors, if elected, Atiku said he wouldn’t since he does not have the requisite experience and qualifications to handle such responsibilities. Instead, he said he would bring the best brains who would deliver on infrastructure and an efficient economic model that would make Nigeria a preferred investment destination. Under an Atiku and Obi administration, Nigerian women and youth would collectively account for 70 percent of positions, while older men would take the remaining 30 percent.

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