BusinessDay

Government vehicles will be gas-powered on my watch – Peter Obi

Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, has said all government vehicles will be gas-powered if elected in 2023.

Obi, in a series of tweets on Monday, shared what he said at the Fireside Chat event in Dearborn, Michigan, United States.

“It will take only one visionary leadership and disruptive thinker for Nigeria to be put back on the right trajectory. I know that with a robust diaspora support, we can take back Nigeria,” he said.

Obi said his government would expand physical infrastructure through market-driven reforms by unleashing growth-enabling entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations.

“We will engender human capital development that empowers competitiveness and gender balance; and pursue a robust Afrocentric foreign policy that restores Nigeria’s strategic relevance at the bilateral, multilateral, and global levels,” he said.

The Labour Party flagbearer charged the Nigerian populace to think seriously about a leadership that is imbued with competence, capacity, credibility, and commitment.

He said: “We will pursue intangible assets of good governance, rule of law, security of lives and properties.

“We will tweak the security architecture, by offering each arm or agency lead in areas where they have a comparative advantage,” he said. “Total reform of the entire security architecture that will include three level policing- Federal, state and community.”

He said a properly manned, equipped, and technologically driven security system will entail reforming the security sector and governance, with particular emphasis on re-focusing the military on external threats and border protection and police on internal security threats and law enforcement; swift prosecution of criminals, bandits and terrorists; enhanced coordination among security agencies; and upholding the rule of law.

Obi also highlighted his plans for the ailing power sector of the country.

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“We will aggressively support the private sector to invest in the power chain through a multifaceted approach, particularly the transmission infrastructure,” he said.

“We will, therefore, vigorously pursue the liberalization of the transmission infrastructure in addition to a robust power mix- embedded power and renewable energy.”

He said his government will support local refining for domestic use, which would be priced in naira.

“Starting with all government vehicles, we will transition to gas-powered cars,” Obi said.

He said once insecurity is tackled by his government and farmers return to farms, Nigeria’s food production will go up and inflation will go down through reduced food prices.

The former Anambra State governor also talked about reducing the cost of governance and corruption.

He said: “We shall pursue a drastic reduction in the cost of governance and corruption; Improve ease of doing business to attract FDI to jumpstart industrialisation and when borrowing is unavoidable, it will be strictly for regenerative purposes and production.

“We will have zero tolerance for corruption; block leakages and cut the cost of governance. Our total commitment to transparency and accountability in government business is the only credible way to achieve limited to zero corruption.”

Obi said global best practices and standards within available resources would be pursued, especially in education.

He said: “In the medium and long term, 14 percent budgetary funding for education is within the realm of possibility.

“We will re-direct the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) resources to the strict and robust funding of basic and tertiary institutions, with a view to ending the perennial strikes by University Staff and workers.”

Obi said that his government would ensure gender equality and female inclusion.

“As governor of Anambra State, my administration achieved close to a 60-40 gender balance in appointive and elective positions,” he said.

He made a case for Nigerians in the diaspora and their rights to partake in the electorate of the country.

He said: “By 2027 elections, Nigeria Diaspora must have a voice via absentee ballots.

“Executive and Legislative basis for engaging and empowering the Diaspora family already exist via the 2021 National Diaspora Policy (NDP) and the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Trust Fund. The Nigeria Diaspora has capacity and therefore, must have a voice. After all, membership has its privileges.”

Obi pushed for improvement on the present ranking after expert assessments indicate that diaspora annual remittances can be raised to about $60 billion.

“This will translate to about 14 percent of our total GDP. Diaspora remittances are our alterative Foreign Direct Investment and Official Developmental Assistance,” he said.

He said his government would trigger every known technological and knowledge transfer initiator.

“Nigeria’s brain drain will be turned into brain gain,” Obi said.

He said with Nigeria’s huge diaspora strength, the diaspora community could help to mobilise efforts in the direction of private sector investment.

“We will, therefore, fund our governance, and development needs ourselves. I know that with a robust diaspora support we can take back Nigeria,” he added.

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