Obi at Harvard, gives insight into his government’s policy thrust

•Assures on tackling corruption, lists priority areas

The Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi has unveiled his policy thrust if elected President of Nigeria in 2023.


Obi, who is in United States of America in continuation of his international consultations with the Diasporas, gave a vivid picture of what his government would do in all critical areas, including his top three priorities, if elected to office.


He made the disclosures while responding to questions from Harvard eggheads on Wednesday October 5, 2022 at the famous University’s Fireside chat on Prospects of Transformative Governance in Nigeria.


The LP Candidate responded to the over 20 questions posed by the University relating to virtually all areas of governance, restructuring, corruption, security, foreign policy, subsidy, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), among others.


On his top three priorities, Obi identified them as; Production-centered growth for food security and export; Securing and Uniting Nigeria; and Leapfrogging Nigeria from oil to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR); Effective legal and institutional reforms (rule of law, corruption and government effectiveness); Expanding physical infrastructure through market-driven reforms (unleashing growth-enabling entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations); Human capital development that empowers competitiveness; and Robust foreign policy that restores Nigeria’s strategic relevance.


When asked if the corrupt will be allowed to keep their loots, Obi stated; “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. The policies required to fight corruption already exist; it is the political will to implement them that has been lacking. My governance modalities have always been forward looking and will remain so. We will negotiate the return of our stolen national wealth from the custodial countries.


On subsidy issues in petroleum and electricity, the LP candidate said: “There are two elements of subsidy- the corruption component and the real subsidy component. The oil subsidy arrangement as it stands is fraught with criminality. It is unacceptable.


“For the corruption, we will deal with decisively which will reduce the subsidy cost by over 50%. There will be weighted measures and counter-balance policies and programmes to cushion the impact of the removal of oil subsidy, if and when it is removed. The difference is that now, only some sacred and self-entitled few benefit from the oil subsidy. That narrative will change.


“We will support local refining for domestic use and priced strictly in Naira. Starting with all government vehicles, we will transition to gas powered cars.”


Photo: Obi (2nd right), accomplished novelist, Chimamada Adichie (far left) and other discussants at the forum.

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