Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party says he plans to boost productivity by growing the national economy quantitatively and qualitatively by devising programmes for re-skilling youths to achieve greater synergy in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field; and create a venture capital-like fund for young entrepreneurs.
Obi released his manifesto Sunday morning, titled “Our Pact with Nigerians: Creating a New Nigeria”.
He also stated that he would re-design incentives for present and prospective investors in the industrial sector, coupled with an apprenticeship system to provide a ready-made source of technical expertise in the relevant areas.
He said one of the most economic priorities in his manifesto is shifting emphasis from consumption to production by running a production-centered economy that is driven by an agrarian revolution and export-oriented industrialization.
He said In consideration of Nigeria’s current ranking as the least competitive economy in Africa with very low total factor productivity (TFP) and export competitiveness index (ECI), he will, with all sense of urgency, aggressively pursue policies and programmes that enhance the productivity and competitiveness of all the sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“We will grow the national economy quantitatively and qualitatively by devising programmes for re-skilling our youths to achieve a greater synergy between their skill sets and our factor endowments, create a mandatory national certification for blue-collar artisans, strengthen some of the existing tertiary schools of science and engineering to train the next generation of experts in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field, and create a venture capital-like fund for young entrepreneurs.
“To ensure that the country’s economic production is equitably geared towards the net-zero emissions drive, we shall re-design incentives for present and prospective investors in the industrial sector, coupled with an apprenticeship system, to provide a ready-made source of technical expertise in the relevant areas,” he said.
He also said he will apply entrepreneurial governance to dismantle the impediments to free trade and ease of doing business.
“We will strive towards a zero-based national budget to overcome the mindset and reality of past non-performing national budgets that are routinely hampered by budgetary deficit overhang.
“We will pursue an aggressive technology-driven public sector financial management system anchored on a reformed, well-trained, and motivated civil service” he added,
Refresher: Nairametrics reported earlier that in his manifesto, Obi plans to fix Nigeria’s foreign exchange market, which has faced several criticisms.
Nigeria’s forex market under the management of Godwin Emefiele-led central bank is associated with a multiple exchange rate regime, a largely fixed official price, and a disparity between the official and parallel market rates that range between 65-85%.
In a nutshell: The Obi/Datti campaign says it wants to “simplify” and “liberalize” the forex market and “dismantle” the multiple exchange rate regimes currently in place.
It also wants to remove “unaffordable subsidies” and stop the central bank’s funding of the government via ways and means.
Read further to see details of their plan as well as our take on each plan.
Understanding of the issue: The campaign manifesto laid out its understanding of the challenges with Nigeria’s current foreign exchange market policies as implemented by the central bank. It posits that the central bank has conflicting policies that have resulted in an unstable exchange rate regime. It claims the policies are in conflict with the apex bank’s core mandate of controlling inflation.