The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, says the government is behind oil theft in the country.
Obi, who is the guest speaker at the Private Sector Economic Forum of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), asserted that no one can steal oil except the government.
He said: “Subsidy is organised crime,” he said while addressing the audience at the event on Monday in Lagos. “We need an aggressive production of local refining.”
“Make resources available to ensure a private-sector led oil refining,” the former Anambra State governor advised the Federal Government.
The presidential candidate who made the remarks while answering questions from panellists at the event also reacted to a question on the issue of cost of governance.
“I have allergies to waste,” declared Obi who obviously took a swipe at the government again.
Labour Party presidential candidate promised also to deal with insecurity aggressively since the situation was impacting on all other economic issues.
Obi gave the assurance at the LCCI economic forum yesterday, saying if the security situation can be handled, farmers will be back to the farms , which will quickly reduce the food inflation.
“We have an expansive land in the north. I say often that the greatest physical asset we have today is the vast uncultivated land in the north, which needs to be cultivated, and invested in. A state like Niger state has no reason talking about statutory allocation with its high expanse of land. They have enough to feed Nigeria and export.
When you handle insecurity, you can put people back to farms and invest on the productive assets of our country.
When you talk about assets. It’s not only NNPC and Ajaokuta, land is the major asset that has to be invested in . We will not allow our land to lie waste, we will invest on it and it will be productive.
On how to go about handling insecurity, the labour party presidential aspirant said he will overhaul the entire Secury architecture, ensure that it will put in place a multi level policing in federal and state levels, provide modern gadgets and vehicles..
On the issues of power, he said the government has privatised distribution and generation, leaving the critical link between this two, which is transmission.
” For me the first thing I will so is to liberalism transmission. It’s critical. We can support the existing companies involved in power to ensure dedicated gas supply, gas to power, ensure that generarion, distribution and transmission are properly aligned ,have clear certainty of policy and regulatory environment for them to operate.
We will support access to funding ,deal with the tax incentives, deal with issue of embedded power and renewable energy.
“The issues of power will be an emergency to deal with by all means possible to ensure we have power.”
On how to access resources to deal with the issues on ground, Obi said his government will involve the private sector.
“Government does not need to be entirely involved..”
.He said next in his order of priority in his first 100 days in office will be to deal with the issues of human capital, by tackling education.
” Our human capital is low, the more you invest in education, the better our economy. We will invest in education, health and start pulling people out of poverty. These are orders of priority of what we will do.”
On the issues of debt, there is nothing wrong with borrowing, every country of the world borrows money, expecially the countries we use as an examples. Some of them owe more than 80 percent of their GDP like America and China is owing 60 percent of their GDP.
Japan is owing 200 percent of their GDP and others.
The difference is that if you borrow for consumption you are in trouble, if you borrow for investment your economy will grow. The reason why things are not working here is that we borrow for consumption.
“We throw away the money. So debt is a component of development, but it must be used efficiently and effectively for a purpose that brings value.
“You borrow money and then throw it away that is why we have problem servicing our debt in the first place.
“If it was invested, it would have been used to service the debt.
“Under my watch, we will borrow for investment, we will not borrow for consumption.
He said his government will cut the cost of governance, remove physical recklessly and “we will not borrow the much we have borrowed today.”
On the ports, “I’m a trader, I know what to do with that. The president knows.
” I assure you that dealing with trade- importation and export will be seamless.
“Remember I’m trying to drive export, that is what we are doing.
I’ve made comparisons with Nigeria and over 30 countries and I’ve come to conclusion that Nigeria’s problem though daunting and difficult is solvable.
All we need to have is leadership that is committed.
My appeal is that 2023 election will not be based on ethnicity. Nigerians are suffering in all part of the country .
We want to move from goverment-led to private led.
“So dont vote for peter obi, because I’m an Igbo man, I’m not contesting based on religion or ethnicity, or vote for me because it’s my turn.