Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi has reiterated that if elected as president of Nigeria, he would engage with all agitators to stabilize the country.
He stated this while answering questions when he was featured at the Arise Presidential Town Hall Series in Abuja with the Presidential candidates of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Mr Kola Abiola, New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) Rabiu Kwankwaso and the Vice Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa. said he would engage the Independent People Of Biafra (IPOB) amongst other groups to address their concerns, Obi said there was nothing wrong with negotiating with any group that would bring lasting solutions to national stability.
“I’ve said repeatedly, I will dialogue with every agitator, there’s nothing wrong in agitation, I will consult. Governance, democracy is about consensus.
“I will consult with everybody, dialogue is normal. Agitation is normal. So we will deal with everybody we will make sure we sit down and talk,” the LP candidate stated.
The LP presidential candidate also said “Let me put it on record. The Nigerian economy is well diversified. Oil as the measure contributes less than 10% of our GDP but the problem is that it contributes about 50% of government revenue and about 80% of our foreign exchange.
“Our biggest contributor to our GDP today is agriculture. If we look at our about 180 trillion economy, agriculture contributes about four to 1 trillion with about 20+% of that economy.
“So it is not faded by 5 trillion is contributed over 16% ICT covered by that. So what do you need to do? Why we’re not getting a no, no working is diversified, aren’t they?
“They are not productive. That is the problem. That is what I was talking about in agriculture. You have almost 50% of arable land uncultivated. If we do that and are still able to invest in other areas? The economy would advance,” Obi enthused.
He argued that “Your manufacturing today is about 9% we should get about 15%. If you’re able to invest in the land, invest in this and be able to contribute to export goods. Just imagine if you can feed 220 million.
“Imagine if we take N1000 and you can feed yourself. You can move at an average of N1000 per day per year, you will triple your contribution to agriculture to about N80 trillion and that will result in a significant change in the economy.
“So it’s a question of how do you ramp up your production? That’s why labour is saying we want to move the country from consumption to production.
He maintained that all that would be needed to invest in power was to advance the already existing reality.
Furthermore, he said the Labour party would if elected have a dedicated gas supply to the gas-powered plants and invest in transmission so that the installed power of 12,000MW can be activated to boost Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) businesses across the country.
“Even if you produce the commodity because your transmission line can only take about 6000 and that is a problem.
“Infrastructure is also weak. First is to upgrade and then show that I deal aggressively with the transmission decision for the infrastructure to be able to take what we can produce immediately is about 12,000 MW.
On top of that, is to deal with the issue of ensuring that those who are generation today are supported by making sure they get dedicated gas supply with policies that are consistent and then start dealing with new ones.
“That will come, we will explore and not abandon captive power, anything you can do, to ramp up as quickly as possible. It can be done. We have over 100 million Nigerians without electricity. According to the World Bank, it is 90 million, but for me, it is about 100 million. That is unacceptable. So you have to declare war on power.
“If South Africa with 50,000 megawatts can declare an emergency, I will declare war here in power,” Obi stated.
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