From Mokwugwo Solomon, Awka
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) His Excellency, Mr Peter Obi, has released manifesto for his 2023 presidential campaign.
The manifesto titled “Prospects Of Transformative Governance In Nigeria,” released on Friday, October 7, emphasizes security.of lives and property through properly restructured police force; harnessing youth strength, among other things.
It says, “We will tweak the security architecture, which will entail reform of the security sector and governance. We will restructure, re-equip and reorient the Nigerian police. This will include 3 level policing – federal, state and community.
“We will build a compact, robust and ready mobile police force with Rapid Response Deployment capabilities; and legislate the establishment of state police based on community policing. We will raise the population to police officer ratio to a higher level.”
The manifesto also assures of rebuilding Nigeria’s military power, promoting economic growth, and enhancing its technological prowess with a view to improving Nigeria’s diplomatic influence in sub-regional, regional and global affairs.
“Our administration will pursue a properly manned, equipped and technologically driven security system 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.”
The manifesto also emphasizes the challenge of high youth unemployed in Nigeria, and promised that LP administration will pursue the national youth strength with a view to curbing the trend.
“We are challenged by high youth unemployment, which stands at 54% for the youth; and 20 million out-of-school-children. We must give this country back to the Nigerian youths. Half of our 200 million people are below the age of 30.
“Harnessing our national youth strength and demographic dividends intelligently must start with curbing the high youth unemployment, and creating funding access to enable our youths become entrepreneurs and drivers of our Small and Medium Scale enterprises (SMEs),” it emphasizes.
It also emphasizes zero tolerance for corruption, blockage of leakages, and cutting the cost of governance; with avowed commitment to transparency and accountability in government business.
It also emphasizes on removing import and forex restrictions; as well as establishing the independence of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of moves to bring inflammation to a single digit.
“As part of our monetary policy, we will seek to re-establish the independence of the CBN; and commit to a credible and transparent plan to normalize the exchange rate and bring inflation to single digits.
“We will remove import and forex restrictions and insist on a single forex market. The current system penalizes exporters, who bring in forex by forcing them to sell at a rate that they are unable to source for forex when they need to purchase forex. This multiple exchange rate regime encourages capital flight and deters investment, which has further worsened Nigeria’s forex situation.”
It also promises that LP administration will prioritize production-centered growth for food security and export; securing and uniting Nigeria,
leapfrogging Nigeria from oil to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR); expanding physical infrastructure through market-driven reforms; as well as initiating human capital development that empowers competitiveness, and robust foreign policy that restores Nigeria’s strategic relevance.
“We are spending more on recurrent expenses, and we are borrowing frivolously. I am not against loans per se; but we must stop borrowing for consumption. All loans must be invested in regenerative projects. We must operate within available resources and strive for a balanced national budget as cost saving measures. Ending the leakages – including the subsidy regime and improving our tax regime, should do the magic.”
The manifesto adds, “We shall ensure that in moving Nigeria forward, no state or community will be left behind. Pursuant to its statutory responsibility to protect, our government will promote equity in power and resource sharing. The federating units will enjoy discernible autonomy. Resources will also be shared equitably. A higher derivation paid to oil or solid minerals producing states will not be tantamount to other states not receiving federal allocations that should keep them viable. We must transcend the rhetoric that bedevils a robust debate on some of these national questions.
“We will respect the principles of federal character, affirmative action and gender balance; but no longer at the expense of merit.”