Nigeria’s main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar said on Monday he will boost oil sector investment, cut costly fuel subsidies and double the size of the economy by 2025 if he wins next year’s presidential election. The businessman and former vice president portrayed himself as a champion of the private sector as he released his manifesto and set out his plans to stop incumbent Muhammadu Buhari securing a second term in February.
The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate is, like Buhari, a northerner – but analysts say his business background, in port logistics among other ventures, has won him supporters among the southern business elite. In the manifesto, Abubakar said he would privatise government-owned crude refineries, issue new licenses for greenfield investments in refineries and consider re-introducing bidding rounds for marginal fields and oil blocks.
The plan, the manifesto said, would make sure Nigeria refined half its current crude output of roughly 2 million barrels per day by 2020. Abubakar’s manifesto also re-iterated his plan to partially privatise state oil firm Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).