Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi, said yesterday in Abuja that the party would transform Nigeria’s economy from that of consumption to production.
Obi made the declaration at the Labour Party and the Coalition for Peter Obi Leadership Summit.
The summit had “Youths, Governance and a New Nigeria’’ as its theme.
He said that he would diversify the economy by harnessing potentials and natural resources from all regions of the country.
He added that he would build a country of integrity where patriotism would be the pride of citizens.
“We have a country called Nigeria, but we don’t have Nigerians.
“What we want to do is to create Nigerians and the only way to create Nigerians is to make people to have hope in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a great country. God created this country and gave it everything to make it great. The only thing that is lacking is a simple thing called leadership.
“That is what Datti and I intend to provide.’’ he said.
He explained how he plans to harness regional potentials for national economic development.
“When I say we are not a producing country but a consuming one, it is true.
“For instance, Borno is a state situated on 70.9 square kilometres of land and today we are talking about Sambisa Forest. It is an asset for Nigeria.
“This is because Sambisa Forest is twice the size of Israel and it is an agricultural land that can give us food.
“If you go all over the northern part of Nigeria you will see that Nigeria is blessed with land that can give us food.
“We are waiting to share money from oil. How much do we generate from oil?
“Our total export as a country is 30 billion dollars including oil, yet we live in a country of over 923,000 square metre, almost one million square kilometres,’’ he said.
Obi said that Nigeria, when compared with Vietnam that lives on 331square kilometres of land and has a population of 100 million was lagging behind.
This, he said, was because Vietnam’s export is 312 billion dollars yet Nigeria could not do 10 per cent of Vietnam’s exports with a vast land and a population of 200 million people.
He added that Niger is two-and-half the size of The Netherlands, yet the state could not feed itself or the country whereas The Netherlands’ agricultural export for 2021 was 120 billion dollars.
“We cannot continue to live like this; our position is simple, all Datti and I want to do is to move this country from consumption to production,’’ he stressed.
In his remarks, the vice-presidential candidate of the party Mr Yusuf Datti said the duo and the party were not looking for money in government, but looking to run a government in money.
Datti noted that Nigeria has a lot of money and potentials and that all it needed was credible leaders to harness them.
“I am following a business leader who knows how to create wealth and we are going to create it legitimately.
Datti said that he would serve with integrity having proved it earlier as a senator and was one of the senators who did not buy a house at the Apo Legislative Quarters when they were sold.
He stressed that the Labour Party would drive Nigeria into prosperity and integrity.
Datti called on those who had lived and prospered by promoting disunity and crises in Nigeria to sheath their swords because their time was up.