Peter Obi, the Labor Party (LP) flag-bearer, said if his government is elected in 2023 it will overhaul the country’s security architecture and restore trust between the government and the people to create a new economic order.
Mr. Obi said this at the 2023 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lagos (LCCI) Private Sector Business Forum on Presidential Election 2023 on Monday in Lagos.
In his opinion, any government that takes over in 2023 will face daunting challenges; both domestic and foreign, which have degenerated over the years due to leadership failures.
Those challenges, Mr Obi said, have had a negative impact on the country’s unity, social cohesion, trust in government, prosperity, education, employment, health, trade and other indices.
The LP President’s flag-bearer stressed that the country is not short of good ideas and plans, but that institutional weakness and a lack of political will to implement them have limited its economic potential.
Mr Obi said in addition to overhauling the entire security architecture, his government will ensure multi-tiered policing at the federal, state and local levels and adequately arm them with modern equipment to ease the economy from the worries of insecurity.
He stated that once elected President, his government will streamline governance to ensure it is responsive, transparent and effective; ensure institutional reforms and bring about inclusive participation of all groups.
Mr Obi said the country must hold its government accountable for visible, measurable changes in security, manufacturing for export and applying and complying with the rule of law to consolidate Nigerian democracy.
“Good governance must aim to provide good service, receive constructive criticism and move forward with the goal of restoring people’s trust in governance.
“Under my oversight, all groups such as youth, women, the disabled, the vulnerable and the private sector must be represented in my government’s decision-making process as I am committed to providing demand-led leadership.
“As a trader, I am one of you and sincerely acknowledge your challenges and pains and would provide my own solutions to the issues raised, particularly safety, which affects all other economic issues.
“We have identified and prioritized seven critical areas in line with some Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure focused leadership as we secure and unite Nigeria with effective legal and institutional reforms,” he said.
Mr Obi said his government will invest in manufacturing to help shift the country from consumption to production and exports to deal with the country’s revenue and other economic crises.
He said his government will also create an asset register and ensure the country’s assets become more productive with real private sector monitoring.
He explained that in addition to addressing the uncertainty, the issue of power generation needed to be addressed head-on by liberalizing transmission and supporting existing power generation companies.
These, Mr Obi said, would ensure the energy sector is properly aligned with clear policies and the regulatory environment.
“To address electricity, we must first provide access to finance and tax incentives, and address the issue of embedded power and renewable energy.
“I’m not saying I’ll be superhuman, but I will bring the political will to follow the rule of law, address oil theft issues and address leaks in government revenue to address oil funding Academic Staff Council of Universities (ASUU).
“I’m offering the opportunity to do the right thing and make sure it’s done from 2023 onwards.
“Nigeria’s problems, while daunting and difficult, are solvable, and my appeal is that the 2023 elections be based not on ethnicity but on competence and accountability,” he said.
LCCI President Michael Olawale-Cole said the overshadowing effect of politics on the economy prompted the chamber to organize the event as its contribution to a new economic order that could bring the Nigerian economy out of the doldrums.
He noted that patriotic Nigerians would like to know the plans and intentions of a future president and this would most likely improve people’s decisions in the elections.
“Nigerians have another opportunity to decide who will lead them over the next four years from 2023 to 2027.
“The Nigerian economy has been inundated with myriad problems, including oil theft, an unsustainable subsidy system, insecurity and a foreign exchange crisis.
“Despite all these challenges, however, the outlook and future for the Nigerian economy remains bright as the country is the continent’s largest economy with nominal production in the region approaching half a trillion dollars,” he said.
The LCCI President tasked the federal government to pay special attention to the education sector by providing lasting solutions to the problem of labor disputes in the country.
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