By Taiwo Ajala
A new brand of purposeful and transformative leadership with tolerance for zero corruption is what Nigerians will get if the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi becomes Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Obi told Nigerians at Harvard University on Wednesday when he held a consultative meeting with them in the United States.
He also criticized the current oil subsidy regime which has seen the government paid trillions of dollars to oil thieves while fuel scarcity persists across the country.
Obi said: “We will offer a new brand of transformative and purposeful leadership. Nigeria is not bereft of good governance ideas and plans.
“Hence, the overall goal of my administration shall be to streamline governance, make it more responsive, transformative, effective, less transactional, and therefore efficient and cost-effective.
“We will have zero tolerance for corruption, we will block leakages and cut the cost of governance. Our total commitment to transparency and accountability in government business is the only credible way to achieve limited to zero corruption.
“The policies required to fight corruption already exist; it is the political will to implement them that has been lacking. My governance modalities have always been forward looking and will remain so.
“We will negotiate the return of our stolen national wealth from the custodial countries. There are two elements of subsidy — the corruption component and the real subsidy component. The oil subsidy arrangement as it stands is fraught with criminality.
“It is unacceptable. For the corruption, we will deal with decisively which will reduce the subsidy cost by over 50%. There will be weighted measures and counter-balance policies and programmes to cushion the impact of the removal of oil subsidy, if and when it is removed.
“The difference is that now, only some sacred and self-entitled few benefit from the oil subsidy. That narrative will change. We will support local refining for domestic use and priced strictly in Naira. Starting with all government vehicles, we will transition to gas powered cars.”
Then state police and true federalism will also come into play as Obi said his administration will legislate the establishment of state police, tweak the security architecture of the country, to tackle insecurity.
“The relevant security institutions and agencies exist. The supporting national security enabling documents and strategies also exist.
“We will tweak the security architecture, which will entail reform of the security sector and governance. We will Restructure, Reequip and Reorient the Nigerian Police: This will include three 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 of police officers ratio to a higher level.
“We will have 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.”