Watch: Nigerian presidential candidate Peter Obi on his plans to transform Nigeria’s economy and improve public services
Abiola Osundairo: How do you plan to transform Nigeria’s economy and improve public services?
Peter Obi: There’s a lot of good elements in the federal government and in the state governments, and I’d like to see that all brought to the table. I think that a lot of the good policies that we have now were done by the federal government, but when it was time to make that move, we fell short. That’s why we’re here today. We need to be all in on it.
Abiola: There are all sorts of stories about how Nigeria came into being, but they are all over the paper. They’re not going to be discussed on CNN.com or in any of the other news outlets. So, how do you propose to change all of that?
OBi: I don’t have a master plan. What I have is an idea, and that idea is about creating a new economy. We need to find ways of harnessing what is already out there and also putting a new twist on it. As we continue to grow at a steady pace, we will have more opportunities and chances for every person. We can develop, in the short term, a lot of industries that we currently don’t have. Then, in the long term, we can have new industries, such as clean energy, that would drive transformation in our economy.
I think, and I say this with caution, that I am an optimist. And it’s quite possible that a lot of what I say could turn out to be the best thing that happened in Nigeria in a long time. It remains to be seen.
Abiola: And you’ve been criticized for having no master plan as you propose to transform Nigeria.
OBi: I know. You’ve called me a naïve optimist because of that. But at the same time, the truth is that I have an idea. I don’t know how long it is going to take. I know where I want to go, but then again, I don’t know where I am. I could be