By Teslim Olawore
The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday in Kaduna reaffirmed his plan to privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) if elected president in the coming poll.
Abubakar speaking at a town hall meeting with ward, local government and state party leaders in the state at the Kaduna Trade Fair Complex said that the NNPC had failed to serve the purpose for which it was established in 1977. Selling off the corporation and all the three refineries, likening it to the sale of Nigerian Telecommunication Limited (NITEL), is the best option for the country.
He said Nigeria is among the biggest producers of crude oil, yet still imports refined products for local consumption at high prices to the detriment of the common man. He said if elected president, he would deregulate the NNPC and sell it to Nigerians the way Obasanjo sold NITEL.
Abubakar also urged the people of Kaduna State to come out en masse to vote for the PDP, giving them his words to allocate 40 per cent appointments to the youth in order to combat unemployment rate in the country.
He said that his government if elected, would make education a priority by providing scholarships to all deserving youth and women in the country and also promised to allocate 30 per cent of appointments to women, adding that, he would provide adequate funds through the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency to empower women and the youth.
He also said that his leadership would address the alarming insecurity and killings of innocent Nigerians across the country.
Abubakar said he would allocate more resources to the states and local government areas for faster development across the country.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, urged the Kaduna State party leaders to work tirelessly to ensure the success of the party at the Feb 23 and March 9 general elections.
The governorship candidate of the party, Isah Ashiru, was also at the event. He said he would bring development at all levels to the state if voted into power.
He urged the youth to avoid all forms of violence at the polls.