B Elizabeth Chukwuma and Lateef Adegbite
Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state, and Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, LP ,appears have taken advantage of the Presidential Town Hall meeting put together by John Momoh owned Channels Television, which is in partnership with the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and its partners to give an insight of the shape his Administration would take if elected the next Nigerian President in the February 25, 2023, elections.
He had said that that ”there would be more women in the government than male”, noting that that women are more ‘’productive in Nigeria and less corrupt than their male counterparts’’. He was emphatic on this. ‘’I wil bring more women into government if elected as the next President of Nigeria in the February 25, 2023, Presidential elections’’.
He noted that as a former governor of Anambra state, he was able to save money for the government because of the strategic positions held by women . He stopped short at saying that women occupied virtually all the strategic positions in his government including ministry of Finance. He had said that women occupied the position of Permanent Secretary and that of Commissioner in the ministry. This may have informed why he had saved $150 million in three banks during his Administration for the state government.
Alex Oti, a former Managing Director of Director of Diamond Bank, now acquired by Diamond bank and the Labor Party , governorship Candidate for the 2023, general elections in the south east state of Abia had said that Obi saved 150 million in three Commercial banks for the state.
Aswaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state had criticized him for saving state funds and watched the people suffer. The message was very clear that public funds are meant to be spent to save lives and not to be saved for future use. He has described Obi as ”Mr. stingy”’.
But the former Anambra state governor could not take it from Tinubu. He was said to have made him to understand that ‘’one of the things that are killing this country today is corruption perception index , which is measured by how political Leaders manage public assets. Another problem was nepotism, which has to do with the sharing of the Land manage state funds and everything belonging to the state.
He would want the former Lagos state governor to criticize those who had stolen state funds and impoverished the country instead of criticising a man who left millions dollars for the state in three banks. He may have alluded to the fact that the APC, Presidential who controls more than half of the resources of Lagos state should first condem himself before others.
Obi may have taken advantage of the Channels Town Hall meeting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to speak on the party Manifestos on Sunday, January 8, 2023. Many Nigerians may have seen the opportunity provided by the Channels Television Town Hall meeting to ask Obi, the LP , Candidate and Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed, his Vice Presidential Candidate, pertinent questions and and were said to have been given specific answers on how to tackle the many challenges confronting the country. The duo response to questions from participants as monitored by The Value News gives Nigerians hope that he is well prepared to take the country’s economy out from the wood and return the country to the era of saving and investing wisely.
The LP, Presidential Candidate was said to have promised ”to ensure stable power supply in the country” by increasing power generation from the present four Megawatts to 20 Megawatts and even surpass it within the four years of his Administration.
In achieving the target, he has promised ”to copy what was done in the North African country of Egypt and South Africa”’ to tackle the issue of power generation and distribution in the African most populous nation.
Many believe that Egypt could attain stable power supply within a short period because it was generating almost 50,000 Megawatts per day and which makes it possible for it to also export the excess power generated to Europe. The LP, Presidential Candidate noted that ”if Egypt and South Africa could enjoy stable power supply,why not Nigeria”. He was said to have travelled to Egypt ”to understudy how they came about the state power supply with hope to replicate in Nigeria.
Being a Capitalist, he had said that he will allow the private sector to build seaports and manage it in collaboration with the government as obtained in other maritime nations the world over.
The LP, Presidential Candidate, who has never his plan to remove fuel subsidy if elected the next Nigerian President was said to have repeatedly echoed it at the Channels Town Hall meeting. He had made clear to Nigerians at the meeting that fuel subsidy, which he had described as an ”organised crime will not stay a day longer than necessary in his government”.
He had said that Nigeria has the same population with the Asian country of Pakistan but the country consume below 50% of the fuel that is consumed in Nigeria, The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, NMDRA, had said that that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation , now baptized Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NNPCL, wih the pssage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, by the National Assembly , siGned into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari, in August 2021, had put the country average daily consumption at 68.9 million litres between July 31, 2022 and now. This may have informed why out of the 21.83 trillion budgetary provisions for 2023, Fiscal year, the Nigerian President who is winding up in his second term in office has projected N3.6 trillion fuel subsidy for the first six months of this year., meaning that if the Administration had allowed the subsidy to remain till the end of year, the government will spend about N7.2 trillion on subsidy alone.
The LP Presidential Candidate worries was that the Buhari government in six months had budgeted N3.6 trillion on fuel subsidy alone but budgeted N2 trillion for Education, Health, N1.5 trillion and provision of Infrastructure, including roads, N1 trillion described as critical sectors of the economy. Acoording to him , his government would need the fuel subsidy money to be able fund critical social development projects, in the educational and healthcare sectors of the economy.
On plan to tackle the the security challenges facing the country over the last 13 years, he had promised ”to sit down and discuss with various agitation Groups who are ready to know what is causing the agitation whether it is the issue of injustice, issues of where there is no fairness in distribution of amenities, issues that has to do with Poverty and employment”.
He may have left no one in doubts that if he wins the February 25, Presidential elections, the will discuss with the Leadership of the north eastern states of Borno and Yobe based Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram, the Islamic States of West African Province, ISWAP, Bandits Group and, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, operating in the south eastern part of the country.
He is optimistic that that the plan would restore peace in the counry, noting that ”nowhere in the world would agitation groups continued to foment trouble when there needs have been addressed as they are fighting for something”. This may have informed why he had promised ‘’to adopt the carrot and stick approach in dealing with them.
Given the poor performance of the Nigerian Super Eagles in the last African Cup of Nations may have encouraged Obi and his Vice Presidential Candidate to give their words to take sports, particular, football seriously. The LP, Vice Presidential Candidate for the 2023, general elections may have, given his words that ‘’people who represent Nigeria in any sporting event in the future would not be ”owed their salaries and allowance” as a way to encourage them to put in more efforts to win medals for the country including winning the African Cup of Nations Cup.
, the LP, Vice Presidential Candidate had sad said that country’s sports men and women will be getting their reward as at when due stressing that ‘’never will salaries and allowances of Nigerian Footballers, particular, be delayed by the Authorities’’. He further stated that the ‘’the Obi’s Administration would always be there to ensure that they are adequately Compensated, linked to industries and companies to raise their profiles internationally’’.