HomePoliticsNigeria at last stage...

Nigeria at last stage of collapse, Peter Obi tells CNN


At the weekend, the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi featured in a CNN interview anchored by Zane Asher. Below is the full text of the interview:

 

Mr. Obi thank you so much for being with us. You’re certainly the most popular presidential candidate among young people in Nigeria, there’s so much momentum behind you. But here’s the problem. Nigerians are used to being disappointed by their leaders, and what do you think about some of the problems that are facing the country right now, they are systemic. I’m talking about the corruption, I’m talking about oil theft, I’m talking about insecurity, I’m talking about the fiscal hole that Nigeria is in right now. Can all of that really be solved by one person?

Well, if you have a leader that is competent, has the capacity and commitment to start dealing with these challenges, you’re not going to solve it overnight, but there will be a clear, visible, measurable attempt to deal with these. And there is nothing that is not solvable. Some issues just have to be dealt with decisively. But you need to have a capable leader such that when you look at his past records in office, you can say yes, he is capable.

If you do, indeed, become Nigeria’s next president, Nigeria you know, is broke. It’s barely able to service its debts. It spends so much more that it earns. What are your plans? From a concrete perspective, what are your plans to take Nigeria’s economy off life support?

Well, a variety of things. One, is that we have to deal decisively with the issue of insecurity. It’s impacting negatively on our economy. We have to deal with it head on. We have to get our finances right, and start ensuring that the vast lands of the North are invested in and cultivated. We have to start pulling people out of poverty as quickly as possible. We have to immediately reduce aggressively, the cost of governance, and the issue of corruption.

Anyone who knows anything about Nigeria knows that it has this embarrassing reputation of importing refined fuel, despite the fact that it’s Africa’s largest oil producer. What is your plan for transforming Nigeria’s economy from a consumption economy to a production economy?

Let me tell you it’s not the issue of refineries not working, there’s no reason we should not encourage the private sector to operate refineries. It can be done as quickly as possible. We can today, decide to remove the oil subsidies, and use the resources to invest in and support the principal areas of production; from critical infrastructure to education, to supporting investment in refinery, which will be done in the shortest amount of time.

A lot of Nigerian presidents have come in and talked about revitalizing the manufacturing sector, investing in refineries, but change, as you know, has been very, very slow. Why is it going to be different with you and what would you say were the biggest hurdles in making sure that all of the things that you just listed come to pass?

Well, what people need to do is to look at what I promised as the state governor. When I said I was going to turn around education, health, pull people out of poverty, bring sanity and civility in governance, did that happen or not? When I said we were going to save money, did we do that? Yes, we did.

I want to talk about one of the major issues that Nigeria is dealing with, grappling with right now. That’s violence and insecurity. You can barely travel from one part of Nigeria to another without fearing for your life. I’m talking about kidnapping. I’m talking about banditry. I’m talking about terrorism, I’m talking about Boko Haram. What is your plan for that?

Initially, what we first have to deal with is the issue of security. Unless you have security, the farmers can’t… you can’t have investment. Nobody will ever want to put or invest money in an insecure country. So, we will deal this issue of insecurity decisively. We will start by reorganizing our security architecture. We will then bring in more hands into the security system, and motivate them properly, so that we can defeat the issue of insecurity. It’s the most important thing that Nigeria needs today.

You and I are both Nigerians, we’re are both from Southeastern Nigeria. It’s a very hard country to hold together. You have to manage about 200 million people, with so many different tribes, so many different ideas. When you think about the fact that you are from the Southeast, how easy is it going to be to rally Nigerians from the North behind you? That’s got to be on your mind?

That was the situation obtainable in the past. We used to elect leaders based on ethnicity, religion, strong connection etc, and that has brought us to the bad situation we are in today. “Our structure”, the structure of criminality, is what we want to dismantle now. We want to ensure that the next election is based on character, capacity, competence, commitment to do the right thing. Nigeria is not just in a fiscal mess, it is at the last stage to collapse. The people in the North don’t have a secure place, they don’t have good roads. They don’t buy bread cheaper than those in the South. They people in the South are facing the same issues. All what you hear about ethnicity, religion, connection, is an elite conspiracy to keep Nigeria undeveloped. But now we’ve reached the edge.

Thank you for coming on our programme.

Thank you for inviting me.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

More from Author

IPC plans training for 12 media monitors for 2023 poll – VELOXNEWS

The International Press Centre, says it plans to hold a...

NEDC trains 50 women on renewable energy, distributes energy-efficient stoves in Gombe – VELOXNEWS

The North East Development Commission (NEDC), in collaboration with Gombe...

Osun NNPP denies endorsing Tinubu – VELOXNEWS

The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Osun has denied...

Buhari says with renewed military onslaught, insecurity will soon be over in Nigeria – VELOXNEWS

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York President Muhammadu Buhari said Friday in...

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Read Now

IPC plans training for 12 media monitors for 2023 poll – VELOXNEWS

The International Press Centre, says it plans to hold a two-day training from Oct. 1 to Oct.2 for 12 media monitors, ahead of 2023 general election.Mr Olutoyin Ayoade, Communications Officer, Component 4, IPC, said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.Ayoade said that the training...

NEDC trains 50 women on renewable energy, distributes energy-efficient stoves in Gombe – VELOXNEWS

The North East Development Commission (NEDC), in collaboration with Gombe Government, trained 50 women on renewable energy and distributed energy efficient stoves to them.Mr. Aliyu Abdulkadir, the training Coordinator NEDC, disclosed this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday after the training.He said...

Osun NNPP denies endorsing Tinubu – VELOXNEWS

The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Osun has denied claim that it has endorsed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Sen. Bola Tinubu.The Caretaker Chairman of the party in the state, Alhaji Abdussalam Abdullateef, who made the rebuttal at a news conference on...

Buhari says with renewed military onslaught, insecurity will soon be over in Nigeria – VELOXNEWS

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York President Muhammadu Buhari said Friday in New York that insecurity in Nigeria will soon be a thing of the past thanks to renewed efforts by the Nigerian military.According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi...

PDP Senator, Chimaroke Nnamani makes APC/Tinubu Campaign Council list

From Geoffrey Anyanwu, EnuguFormer Governor of Enugu State and incumbent People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senator representing Enugu East Senatorial District, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani’s name is in the list of the 422-member Presidential Campaign Council of the Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola...

Be prudent with your entitlements, beware of fraudsters, COAS tells retired officers – VELOXNEWS

From Molly Kilete, AbujaThe Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, has warned retired army officers to be prudent with their entitlements and benefits so as not to fall in the hands of fraudsters.He said the warning has become necessary as many retired officers...

COAS tasks retired officers on maximum utilisation of entitlements – VELOXNEWS

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has advised the retired and discharged officers of the Nigerian Army to make maximum use of their entitlements.Yahaya gave the advice at the Regimental Dinner in Honour of Retired Officers of the Rank of Colonel and Below...

Coalition unveils social protection campaign to end poverty in Kaduna State – VELOXNEWS

A group, Coalition of Social Protection Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Partners has unveiled a Social Protection Advocacy to fast track poverty eradication campaign in Kaduna State.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the group is a national coalition of CSOs advocating for increased media...

Lawan-Dare re-emerges PDP governorship candidate in Zamfara – VELOXNEWS

 Dr. Dauda Lawan-Dare on Friday re-emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for the  2023  poll in zamfara.Lawan-Dare was re-elected with 422 votes  in the re-run primary ordered by a Federal High Court in Gusau.Chairman of the PDP Governorship Primary election committee and Kaduna...

Buhari urges more private sector participation in humanitarian sector – VELOXNEWS

 President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in New York called for more private sector participation in the humanitarian sector in Nigeria.The Nigerian leader made the call against the backdrop of lingering challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, catastrophic weather events and conflicts.The president, according to his spokesman,...

Lagos govt fined N750,000 for towing lawyer’s vehicle – VELOXNEWS

A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has awarded N750,000 damages against the state government for violating a legal practitioner, Lawal Aliyu’s fundamental rights, following the towing of his vehicle and imposed fines by Lagos State Traffic Management Authority without a valid court order.In a judgment...

FG selects Ethiopian Airlines as preferred bidder – VELOXNEWS

The Federal Government has selected Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Consortium as preferred bidder for Nigeria Air.The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika made this known during a media briefing on Friday in Abuja.According to him, ET scored 89 per cent out of 100 as regards the technical...