The official campaigns for Nigeria’s 2019 elections — both presidential and National Assembly — officially began on 18 November. President Muhammadu Buhari kickstarted his campaign with an official launch of documents tagged as the ‘Next level’, which listed his achievements during his first term involving, among other things, corruption, infrastructure, and security. It also offered projections for what he planned to do if given a second term, which includes:
- A promise to create 15 million jobs;
- A total overhaul of the education sector by ‘remodelling 10,000 schools, every year and retraining teachers to impact science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics using coding, animation and robotics to reinterpret our curriculum’;
- The pursuit of policies to diversify the economy;
- Improving the accessibility of farming equipment, such as tractors, to farmers; and
- The development of six industrial parks and 109 special production and processing centres (SPPCs) across each senatorial district.
His main opposition and candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, announced his plans after the incumbent and focused his attentions towards the economy, boosting investment into the oil sector and federal restructuring. Among Atiku’s promises, are:
- To grow the national economy to a GDP of US$900 billion by 2025;
- Using private public partnerships (PPPs) to accelerate infrastructure investment;
- Boosting investment into the oil and gas sector; and
- Cutting subsidies and improving domestic refining capacity to around two million b/d.
There are a total of 79 candidates vying for the presidency in the 2019 elections. Media estimates put the cost of campaigning for the Presidency as high as ₦20 billion (US$55 million) but none of the candidates in any of the parties — other than Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP — have access to these sums to mount a viable challenge.