Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, has pledged to address Nigeria’s many problems, including oil theft, corruption, debt service, secessionist movement, young unemployment, energy issues, and insecurity, among others.
Former Anambra State governor Obi talked on Monday about his ambitions at Chatham House, a renowned policy academy and think tank venue in the United Kingdom.
The 61-year-old billionaire claims that Nigeria’s current “structure” is one of lawlessness, and that this has caused the West African nation to become impoverished. Therefore, if elected the next month, he promised to destroy the “structure”.
Promising to fight and end endemic corruption in Nigeria, Obi said, “Go and check my records. It is there.”
He added that he remained the only former governor that did not owe salaries, gratuities or any pension after he left office.
The LP presidential candidate also promised to create an enabling business environment that will attract foreign investments.
“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 a regulatory and secure environment. We will fight corruption,” he said.
Noting that Nigeria borrows for consumption and not for investment, Obi said, “When you borrow for consumption, you have a crisis.
“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.”
On electricity, the former Anambra State governor said he would “turn around the power sector” if elected president, adding that he will move Nigeria’s power generation capacity from 4,000 megawatts to 7,000 megawatts by the end of 2023.
Obi said, “My solution to the perennial power problem in Nigeria is comprehensive and well-covered in our manifesto.
“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.”
He promised compulsory digital skills for primary and secondary students, adding that he will tackle youth unemployment through investment in education, research, quality entrepreneurial education.
Obi 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.”
On how he plans to fight 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 are no sacred cows,” the LP candidate said.
He continued by saying that everyone in Nigeria is an IDP as long as thousands of people are living in camps as Internally Displaced People.
He asserts that Nigeria’s arable lands have the potential to be another oil-like cash cow, creating millions of jobs for millions of young people who are unemployed.