By Yinka Kolawole
LAGOS — Presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, in 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, yesterday, described oil subsidy in Nigeria as organised crime, with a promise to tackle it decisively if elected president.
Obi stated this yesterday, in Lagos, at Private Sector Economic Forum for 2023 presidential election, organised by Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI.
He also promised to immediately stop the dollarisation of the Nigerian domestic economy on resumption of office.
Obi said: “I have said it before, 50 per cent of the subsidy is corruption. That will be dealt with decisively. Subsidy will be removed where absolutely necessary.
“Second, we will start aggressively and immediately anywhere we can, local refining, especially modular refinery, driven by private sector not government. We are going to support and ensure that the refineries are put in as quickly as possible.
“So, I assure you subsidy will not be there. Subsidy is one of the things that is driving inflation because you have huge sum of money being thrown into the system to deal with deficit budgeting to pay for the subsidy.
“As I have said before, we have to stop the dollarisation of our economy, especially domestic economy. Under my watch, if you must operate you must charge in naira, except you are operating in the international space.”
On security, he said: “If we deal with the issue of insecurity and farmers are able to go back to the farms, you remove subsidy and tackle corruption, the inflation will go down.
“When we come into government in 2023, one thing that we must aggressively and decisively deal with is the issue of security. We will deal with it as quickly as possible. And I can assure you that will be the first thing on my desk.
“We need to overhaul the entire security architecture and ensure that it is out in place aggressively, including having multi-level policing, federal, state and community policing.”
On the issue of debt, Obi noted that there is nothing wrong in borrowing but it must be for the purpose of investment, adding: “Debt is a component of development. But it must be used for investment not consumption.”
According to him, many countries such as Japan and Singapore have debts that are more than 100 per cent of their GDP but their economies are growing because they borrow for investment.
His words: “Under my watch, we will borrow for investment not consumption and ensure fiscal discipline.”
Also speaking in tackling corruption, Obi said he will live by example.
“If the principal and members of his family are not corrupt, the issue of corruption will be reduced by 70 per cent,” he stated.