Peter Obi, presidential candidate on the Peoples Democratic Party platform, said that if elected president of Nigeria, he would replace the monthly stipend sharing formula with a production formula.
The industrialist said so in Calabar when he visited PDP delegates ahead of the party’s presidential primaries.
The primaries are held on May 28 and 29, 2022.
The former two-term governor of Anambra State said it was important for everyone to be productive if the nation was to survive, adding that other nations around the world were busy producing, while Nigeria was busy sharing and consuming.
He said now is not the time to dance and celebrate as a nation, but the time to work and fix the badly battered nation because of our celebration of bad things.
He said, “Nigeria is a nation of over 200 million people, of whom around 100 million live in poverty, over 18 million children out of school, of whom around 10 million are girls.
“We have an unemployment rate of 35% and if we add underemployment it will increase to over 50%, many of whom are young people of working age.
“So we can’t celebrate.”
The shrewd economist said there was nothing wrong with borrowing as a nation as the world’s largest economies were also in debt, but Nigeria’s problem was that it was borrowing for consumption.
Obi added: “The consequence of borrowing for consumption today is that Nigeria is spending over 90% of its income to pay off its debts without much production for it.
“The export of crude oil did not save Venezuela or any country.
“We need to invest in our huge landmass and grow our economy like other countries like Singapore, Vietnam and even Morocco have done with tourism.”
He called on party delegates to put less emphasis on sharing money, as many politicians would come to share money, but when voting they should consider the future of their children.
In response, Venatius Ikem, chairman of the PDP in Cross River State, said that although things had gotten really bad for the nation, “we could start making amends for the future by voting right.”
According to him, Obi is the kind of president Nigeria needs because after listening to him, every sane person should have a serious thought about the way forward for Nigeria.
Ikem said, “I believe if you become president, Nigeria will have a turnaround.
“However, I do not expect Nigerians to just wish, but to express their wishes through their support for Peter Obi.”