Read his full speech below:
On October 6, 2018, I sought and obtained the mandate of the Peoples Democratic Party, to fly their flag as a candidate for the office of president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Today, I am formally presenting myself to you as the presidential candidate of not just the PDP, but of the hopes and aspirations of all Nigerians.
The sad fact today, as you know, is that too many of our people are not working and are living in poverty and insecurity.
The very fabric of our society is breaking down. We have never been so divided as a nation.
The most important question in this election is:“are you better off than you were four years ago? Are you richer or poorer?” That is why our primary focus is to get Nigeria working again.
However, I am not here to tell you how I will get Nigeria working again.
Instead I would like to tell you how we will get Nigeria working again together.
I am strongly of the view that i am just one Nigerian and one Nigerian cannot be as wise as all Nigerians.
That is why I will offer an inclusive leadership.
Atiku abubakar is 100% for 100% of Nigerians, 100% of the time.
Too often, Nigerians have been promised better governance by those seeking their votes. Such individuals have preyed on the legitimate desires of our people for their conditions to be improved, that they make all sorts of promises.
But it is one thing to promise and another thing to deliver.
I am not one for making grandiose promises. Rather than promises, I believe in policies.
A promise is an indication to do a future action, a policy is a plan to achieve future goals.
I believe in setting goals and coming up with realistic plans and policies to achieving those goals.
To me, leadership is having the discipline to commit to one’s goals until they are a reality.
I have succeeded in running my private enterprises which now employ 50,000 Nigerians because I believe in policies and I have the discipline to stay with them until they become reality.
It is my desire to run for the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, not because I have a bag full of promises, but because I am prepared to lead.
Over the last 18 months, I have worked with the best experts Nigeria has to offer to come up with policies and plans that when implemented will get Nigeria going in the right direction again.
I am not talking about what I can do. I am talking of what I have done before.
When I was Vice President of the federal republic of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, I chaired the national economic council that gave Nigeria her highest and most consistent GDP growth of over 6% per annum.
Despite the fact that crude oil prices at that time were much lower than they are today, under the dynamic leadership of president Obasanjo, we paid off Nigeria’s entire foreign debt.
We also introduced the GSM revolution that saw Nigeria go from 100,000 phone- lines to over 100 million today.
We were able to achieve these, and much more, because we had a plan called the national economic empowerment and development strategy.
That plan worked, and today I have the pleasure of unveiling our policies and strategies, not promises, to take Nigeria from where she is right now, to where she needs to be.
This is my plan to get Nigeria working again.
A plan that will give Nigerian workers a living wage.
A plan that will give Nigeria’s youth a world-class education.
A plan that will empower Nigerian women, reduce maternal mortality and increase their financial stability.
A plan that will cater for the elderly, so our people are not afraid of growing old.
A plan that will invest in our failing infrastructure
But above all, this is a plan that will help create jobs because in my many travels across our great nation, the one thing i constantly hear, is that our people need jobs.
Without jobs, our people cannot afford to feed their families and our children live in poverty.
Without jobs, there is crime, drug use and insecurity.
Without jobs, where is the hope for a better life and a better future?
Today we will begin the process of sharing our policies that form my plan to create jobs, restructure the polity, and get Nigeria working again.
Please allow me to give you a brief summary.
If elected president, i will be pro-active in attracting investments and supporting the 50 million small and medium-scale enterprises across Nigeria for the purpose of doubling the size of our GDP to 900 billion dollars by 2025.
These investments will create a minimum of 2. 5 million jobs annually and lift at least 50 million people from poverty in the first 2 years.
My team and I will also help create jobs by innovating flagship programmes such as the national open apprenticeship programme through which we shall enhance the capacity of master-craftsmen and women to train one-million new apprentices every year.
Our national innovation fund and SME venture capital fund initiatives will provide stable and sustainable long-term support to aspiring entrepreneurs.
My plan to restructure Nigeria will lead to a vast increase in the internally generated revenue, both for the federal government and the states via the matching grants that we will provide to state governments that increase their own revenue.
Let me be clear, no state will receive less funding than they get today – in fact all will receive more and the harder a state works the more they will get.
And I am not just presenting these policies to you, I want you to own them. Take a look at them. You can view them at atiku.org, and you will have an opportunity to provide your feedback.
I will also give the opportunity for anyone in Nigeria to have their say on national television.
These are not just Atiku Abubakar’s plans, these will be our plans. Yours and mine.
I started out as an orphan selling firewood on the streets of Jada in Adamawa, but God, through the Nigerian state, invested in me and here I am today.
If Nigeria worked for me, I owe it as my duty to make sure that Nigeria also works for you, your family and your friends.
It is time to get Nigeria working again, and these are the plans and policies I have for achieving that.
I appeal to you to join me on this journey towards a better life for all Nigerians.