Suppose Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party's presidential candidate, is elected in 2023. In that case, there will be no haven for oil thieves and their accomplices, no matter how high up in the country.
This was Atiku's vowed Saturday in Lagos on meeting with a diverse group of corporate Nigerians at the Eko Hotel as part of the Business Dialogue Stakeholders Forum.
Nigeria Breaking News Today: I will identify and prosecute oil thieves - Atiku
Among those present at the session are Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Herbert Wigwe, and Muhammad Hayatudeen.
In the interest of national development, Atiku also stated that he would seize all oil blocs allocated to Nigerians who had failed to make them operational.
When elected, the former Vice President promised to maintain frequent interactive sessions between the government and the country's business class. He also outlined how he would address what he described as an ailing economy.
"We will take the oil blocks we have given you away and give them to those who will if you do not develop them." Furthermore, Atiku promised the stakeholders that "we will also compile a list of those involved in oil theft, publish it, and prosecute them."
Atiku mentioned the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo when discussing his plans to expand the oil and gas industry.
He said the oil production quota was set to be increased to four million barrels per day.
That plan, he explained, would be resurrected and sustained beyond the projected figure if he is elected president next year, noting that the Petroleum Industry Act and any other enabling legislation would be invoked.
"We started this process when we were in government." There were, however, some hiccups. For example, we could not pass legislation encouraging IOCs to invest in the sector. "We'll start from the beginning," he said.
He stated that production would be halted to close FOREX regime loopholes in oil, emphasizing that he would encourage local production rather than "control of public expenditure."
"The strength or weakness of our economy determines the dollarisation or non-dollarisation of the Nigerian economy." So you won't need the dollar if we strengthen our economy. "The number of jobs created and exports can strengthen the naira," he said.
He believes that monetary policy will be such that the Central Bank of Nigeria will be independent. "Monetary policy, as well as other related issues, would be liberalized."
The economy cannot function without price stability, and job creation and poverty eradication are impossible." Therefore, even though inflation is a global phenomenon caused by high demand and limited supply, the CBN will claim responsibility for delivering price stability."
"However, none of this prevents the CBN from carrying out its responsibilities of price stability and a single window fiscal regime," the PDP presidential candidate said, noting that "some of these economic and financial challenges have been existing investing in 1999."
In his remarks, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the PDP vice-presidential candidate, listed community agitations, high-powered illegal bunkering, and vandalism on oil pipelines as some of the problems confronting the Niger Delta region,
He noted that the Atiku administration would use technology-driven surveillance and other solutions to address the issues. Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP's national chairman, thanked corporate Nigeria for being present and reassured them that they were dealing with the right party.
"There will be an ongoing discussion. Not if, but when we take over next year, we will continue interacting with you," he declared.
Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Akwa-Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel, respectively, pleaded with the stakeholders to support Atiku for a better Nigeria.