The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi has vowed to tackle Nigeria’s multifarious challenges including oil theft, debt servicing, secessionist agitation, youth unemployment, electricity problem, insecurity, amongst others. Obi, a former governor of Anambra State spoke on Monday when he discussed his plans at a world-leading policy institute and think-tank forum, Chatham House in the United Kingdom.
According to the 61-year-old businessman, the “structure” currently in Nigeria is that of criminality and it has impoverished the West African country. He, therefore, vowed to dismantle the “structure” if elected next month. Obi said he would fight and end public corruption. “Go and check my records. It is there,” he said, adding that he is the only former governor that did not owe salaries, gratuities or any pension after he left office.
Enabling Business Environment…
The LP presidential candidate said he would provide enabling business environment that will attract foreign investments. Obi said, “Bringing back foreign investors is like bee and honey. All you need to do is to create honey and the bees would find it. “Foreign capital is scared of corruption, is scared of bad policies, is scared of where there is no rule of law. You need to put regulatory and secure environment. We will fight corruption.”
Borrow For Investment
Obi said Nigeria borrows for consumption and not for investment. “When you borrow for consumption, you have a crisis,” he said. “We have grown that debt by over 400% but our per capital is 2,000. That means the money we borrowed was thrown away. “We will restructure the debt for a long time to be able to pay it. Then we will say no more borrowing for consumption but for investment.” “Revenue shortfall and leakages such as oil theft will be dealt with decisively by holding persons in positions of authority fully accountable,” the LP presidential candidate said.
‘I’ll deliver 7,000 Megawatts by end of 2023’
The former Anambra State governor said he would “turn around the power sector” if elected by February 25. According to him, he would move Nigeria’s power generation capacity from 4,000 megawatts to 7,000 megawatts by the end of 2023. “My solution to the perennial power problem in Nigeria is comprehensive and well-covered in our manifesto,” Obi said.
“We’ll ensure we deal with the issue of transmission and distribution. “However, we will immediately complete the $2.3bn Nigeria-Siemens network improvement deal to achieve a stable 7,000 megawatts by the end of this year, 11,000 megawatts by 2024 and 25,000 by 2025.”
Compulsory Digital skills for primary, secondary students
Obi said he would tackle youth unemployment through investment in education, research, quality entrepreneurial education. The LP candidate said he would pursue his education plan by “incorporating compulsory technical and vocational skills, sports, entrepreneurship programming, digital skills from primary to secondary school level”. “In line with this commitment to transform our educational sector, we will prioritise the funding of this critical sector. Our tertiary institutions will be remodeled to serve as hubs of research development and commercialisation,” he added.
‘No Sacred Cows’
In tackling insecurity, Obi said he won’t have any sacred cow or untouchable. “As long as you are not involved in this transactional governance, you won’t have an issue dealing with anybody. We are at an existential threat and there is no sacred cows,” he said. He added that as long as thousands of Nigerians are in Internally Displaced Persons camps, all Nigerians are in IDPs. According to him, Nigeria’s arable lands can be another cashcow like oil and provide millions of jobs for millions of unemployed youths.