OBI AT CHATHAM HOUSE: Insecurity, Economy, Others Top Agenda

OBI AT CHATHAM HOUSE: <strong>Insecurity, Economy, Others Top Agenda</strong>
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By ABAH ADAH and CALEB ISHAYA 

  Presidential candidate of  Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi  yesterday in far away Chatham House London  gave an insight  how his government, if elected , would pursue reforms that would  turn around the fortunes of the country without inflicting pains on the people. 

Obi who spoke to over 600 Nigerians added that he will tackle agitations in the country blaming injustice as the cause of such agitations. 

Obi was invited by the Royal Institute for International Affairs to speak on his policies and vision for Nigerians.  AljazirahNigeria reports that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, Bola Tinibu had on December 4, 2022 appeared before the Think-tank House.

The Labour Party presidential candidate  said, he will ensure that his administration  introduces  a new budgetary system based on public accountability, objectives setting, and programme implementation as against the extant principle of revenue mobilisation, expenditure, allocation, borrowing without emphasis on monitoring among others.

He noted that the process of budgetary monitoring,  evaluating would be strengthened within the presidency.

“We’ll enforce principle of performance, auditing, institutionalise monitoring and evaluation process of the entire public service delivery as a primary means of actualising our vision of a new Nigeria” 

These reforms, according to him, will institutionalise personal involvement of both the President and the Vice-President in certain budgetary objectives of MDAs.

Obi who lamented the current status of Nigeria as a consuming nation said he has plans to steer the country from being a consumption nation to a production.

Fielding questions,  if he will sack or retain the embattled governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria , Godwin Emefiele , he said, ” The Central Bank of Nigeria will maintain its independence. It is not the problem of the person there; the cause is a weak governance structure”. 

“Replacing Godwin Emefiele and putting somebody with that level of fiscal rascality, which is what is fueling our inflation and our rate of exchange today. As long as the government continues on that fiscal rascality, that situation will continue to occur”.

He also noted that fiscal rascality was reflected in payment of unsustainable subsidies on petrol, a situation he described as criminal.

“Nigeria is today the only oil nation apart from Venezuela, because of sanctions, that is not meeting up its quota because over the years of oil theft, the multinationals have not been investing. Coupled with the theft and everything we are not realising what we are supposed to.

 “Every other nation that is in the same condition was able to bring down their rates and inflation within this period of the Ukraine war. But we couldn’t take that advantage because of poor management of our own fiscal space which will change with Datti and I “. 

 Obi added that appointment into his government will be strictly based on merit, adding that his government will assemble competent hands to form an effective government of national unity.

 He condemned what he described as the unethical kind of politics in the country and said his administration will redefine political office in Nigeria.

 “Politics is the engine of economic growth and social stability, we count ourselves honoured to be trusted, especially by the youths, to lead this democratic revolution, and we are deeply going to do so with sincerity, accountability and unquenchable love.

 “Our youths deserve a better Nigeria and we are simply the symbol of a struggle to reverse this ugly trend that keeps driving them into despair and rejection of their country. We are going to do everything that needs to be done to rescue and give our country prosperity, freedom, security, and peace.

“We will use merit to assemble competent Nigerians from all sections of Nigeria to form an effective government of National Unity

“Datti and I are committed to a new politics that start with ethics, we know that unless we change the politics by changing the political leadership, we are stuck in this terrible state of underdevelopment”, he added

He stressed that “Foreign capital is scared of corruption, is scared of poor policy and is scared of where there is no rule of law. You need to put a regulatory environment and make it conducive.

“That is what Datti and I want to bring on board. We will bring tangible assets of securing the country, making sure we govern through rule of law. We will fight corruption. Datti has a record that he is the only National Assembly member, who refused to buy property of the government”.

 On how he will address the issue of agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and others, Obi said, 63% of Nigerians are in massive poverty, which is fueling the agitations in the country. 

 “I condemn all agitators. But in condemning them, you have to look at why all these agitators are all over the place including IPOB, the Yoruba Nation”.


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