The Oasis Reporters
December 15, 2018
In criticising the anti corruption war of the Buhari administration, the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Peter Obi showed absolute grasp and in depth knowledge of the Nigerian economy as he reeled off one figure after the other to show his knowledge of what lay before the Atiku Abubakar presidency, should it emerge after the February 16, 2019 election.
He opined that the anti-corruption war of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government, killed jobs in the process.
Obi said this at the Vice-Presidential debate organised by the Broadcast Organisation of Nigeria, BON and the Nigeria Elections Debate Group, NEDG.
Perhaps the biggest trap that Nigeria’s Vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo fell into was in relying so much on the theme of the Buhari administration of fighting corruption, which failed his government also in 1985, barely twenty months after his military coup that removed the government of President Shehu Shagari from power.
As Yemi Osinbajo lost some composure arguing about recovering stolen funds from corrupt politicians to fund infrastructure, he got robust ripostes from Peter Obi who argued deftly with facts and figures that the war against graft cannot be a government policy, but a means to an end.
The former governor said before the current anti-graft campaign, Nigeria had more jobs and opportunities but the economy took a nosedive when the anti-corruption war started
Obi said, “It is not that you cannot fight corruption but you can fight it more aggressively while addressing economic issues. For example, in 2015, unemployment was 24 percent. Today, it is 40 percent. In 2015, we attracted $21bn in Foreign Direct Investment but we attracted only $12bn last year. Our GDP was $500bn in 2015 while per capita was $2, 500 today it is under $1, 900.
“If you look at our stock market, we have lost over N2tn in one year. So, that is not a policy. You’re just fighting corruption, you are not creating jobs. You cannot shut down your shop and be chasing criminals
Peter Obi gave an excellent account of himself. He was strategically, relying on research and data, deflecting the claims of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, effortlessly.
Peter Obi indeed made a strong case for the Atiku/Obi candidacy and has already been hailed by Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP campaign spokesperson in a post.
Check out @officialKolaO’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/officialKolaO/status/1073666728029290497?s=09
Congratulations our Vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
You made the @OfficialPDPNig proud tonight by exposing the lies and inefficiency of @OfficialAPCNg and President @MBuhari administration.
Sure, we would #GetNigeriaWorkingAgain and make life better for all our people”
Peter Obi further added that “what we are subsidizing today is inefficiency. There is no way a country can have N400bn for health which translates to N5 per citizen, yet paying trillions for subsidy”
“Currently, we have a government that is doing what it is not supposed to do. The job of government is supervision and to create an enabling environment for investments to thrive.
“We generated $41bn in Foreign Direct Investment, but now, we attracted only $12bn last year. Even our stock market has lost over 2 trillion in one year.
“ In terrorism we have moved from No.7 to No 3; Our inequality (rate) has worsened.
We are not supporting SMEs very well. While capitalization is $900bill in South Africa. Bigger Nigeria’s capitalization is valued at $30 billion. The ratio of lending to the economic sector in China is 250% to GDP, while in Nigeria, the loans are at 50% of GDP.
“While China produced 7 million jobs, Nigeria lost 4 million jobs”
Peter Obi bemoaned Nigeria’s level amongst the MINTS (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand) economic grouping portraying the gulf between them and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China), showing evidence of a lack of seriousness to tackle the country’s economic woes.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo simply failed to inspire. Hopefully, there be more debates. Peter Obi simply took the day.