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2023 Election

What Peter Obi Said During Meeting With NESG – [Full Text]


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The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on Monday held an interactive session with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), where he restated his plans for the country if elected to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

During the chat, Obi gave seven highlights of what his government would do when elected into power. They include tackling insecurity, moving the country from consumption to production, restructuring and institutional reforms, encouraging the application of scientific and technological innovations, building world-class infrastructures, enhancing human capital for the youths, conduct afro-centric diplomacy to protect the rights of the citizens.

The former Governor of Anambra State said he and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, are jointly committed and have sacrificed their selves for the good course to restore Nigeria’s glory.

According to Obi, the problem with Nigeria is not the paucity of development reports, plans and manifestoes but the absence of the right leadership to patriotically appreciate the efforts of organizations such as NESG for a better and inclusive Nigeria through a committed implementation of devoted reports.

Obi’s words at the interactive session with NESG reads: “Let me start with special thanks to NESG not only for this opportunity to interact this morning on Our Pact with Nigerians but also for all you have been doing for a better Nigeria over these years.

“Since its formation in 1993 by a group of very altruistic and patriotic Nigerians, NESG has consistently and most commendably maintained the creed of its formation- Unequivocal commitment to a sustainably growing and inclusive Nigeria.

“To diligently produce a transformative report with detailed suggestions for a better Nigeria every year for the last 28 years is not only uncommon but a testament that a New Nigeria is Possible!

“I was also reliably informed that rather than being paid for your efforts for a better Nigeria; you pay by yourselves to serve! Thank you and God bless you all. A New Nigeria is indeed Possible!

“It is the inspiration we receive from patriotic organizations like NESG and individuals that propelled Datti Baba-Ahmed and I to offer ourselves to serve Nigeria! The theme of the 2022 summit, NESG 28, was- 2023 and Beyond: Priorities for Shared Prosperity.

“The keynote elucidated and summarized the summit with a focus on ‘THE NIGERIA WE NEED’. Datti Baba-Ahmed and I are on the same page with NESG, but Our Pact with Nigerians is deeper.

“It is a combination and consideration of many reports such as that of the NESG, the National Development Agendas and wide consultations with Nigerians on the pervasive challenges we face and the possible solutions. But let me say something which I think you will agree with me, the problem with Nigeria is not the paucity of development reports, plans and manifestoes.

“The problem is the absence of the right leadership to patriotically appreciate the efforts of organizations such as NESG for a better and inclusive Nigeria through a committed implementation of devoted reports. As John C. Maxwell, a renowned leadership expert, stated, ‘Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

Obi appeal to NESG and Nigerians at large to believe and trust in the Obi-Datti leadership so Nigeria can grow again. He stressed that he and Baba-Ahmed have vowed to deliver a new, transformational, and patriotic leadership.

The presidential hopeful added: “As our public and private sector experiences and records are public knowledge, an objective assessment and comparison with other contestants should reveal a big gap.

“We are different and committedly pledge in line with my mother’s counsel and upbringing that Nigeria’s resources will be prudently and transparently managed for a better Nigeria. Our Pact With Nigerians, summarized in 7 key priority areas, is our implementable plan through which a New Nigeria, The Nigeria We Need, A Nigeria of Shared and Inclusive Prosperity will be achieved and sustained.

  • To secure Nigeria, end banditry and insurgency, unite our dear nation, to manage our diversity such that no one is left behind.
  • Shift emphasis from consumption to production by running a production-centred economy driven by an agrarian revolution and export-oriented industrialization.
  • Restructure the polity through effective legal and institutional reforms to entrench the rule of law, aggressively fight corruption, reduce the cost of governance, and establish an honest and efficient civil service.
  • Leapfrog Nigeria into the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), by applying scientific and technological innovations to create a digital economy.
  • Build expansive and world-class infrastructure for efficient power supply, rail, road and air transportation, and pipeline network through integrated public-private partnerships and entrepreneurial public sector governance.
  • Enhance the human capital of Nigerian youths for productivity and global competitiveness through investment in world-class scholarship and research, quality healthcare, and entrepreneurship education.
  • Conduct afro-centric diplomacy that protects the rights of Nigerian citizens abroad and advances the economic interests of Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in a changing world.

According to Obi, the seven key priority areas highlighted above are their plan to create what can be described as an Associational Nigerian Economy. “As the precarious state of our economy with its litany of problems (insecurity, macro-economic instability, poverty, inflation, unemployment and many others) is a public knowledge, I will not dwell on all of them but please permit me to use some key economic issues to share insights on the immediate steps that we will take to rescue our dear country, Nigeria,” he said.

The Labour Party presidential candidate added: “We will start Uniting Nigeria with the formation of a Government of National Unity within a week of being sworn in. Our institutions, particularly ones directly responsible for implementing Government policies, will be diligently reformed to make them fit for purpose.

We will vigorously pursue all possible policies and interventions to secure our country, for example- a 3-level policing structure.

We will restore Nigeria’s macroeconomic stability through:

  • Removal of Oil and other opaque subsidies.
  • Fiscal and monetary policies are properly and transparently aligned in line with our vision for a new Nigeria.
  • Our creditors will be properly engaged for debt restructuring and possible cancellation /forgiveness.
  • We will work with the CBN to reduce the ‘ways and means’ to what is allowable under the law and for a more transparent and liberalized foreign exchange market.

Obi stressed that the cost of governance would be drastically reduced and further reforms implemented to ensure that there is a fit for the purpose size of government.

“A new budgeting system enshrined on the tenets of public accountability, objective setting, and program implementation will be utilized and supervised by the office of the President.

“We will strive towards a zero-based national budget to overcome the mindset and reality of past non-performing national budgets routinely hampered by budgetary deficit overhangs.

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“In addition to the above, all security agencies, EFCC and ICPC will be strengthened to support our determination to fight and significantly reduce corruption,” Obi concluded.

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