The Presidential Candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, yesterday in Lagos outlined her economic agenda with a vow that, Nigerians would experience change within her 100 days in office
Oby Ezekwesili at an interactive session with select media explained that, there must be a critical look at expenditure, especially the cost of governance.
The cost of governance according to her was already in the agenda through the Oronsanye report which recommended the scrapping and merging of 220 out the existing 541 government agencies.
She said what the report suffered was implementation setback, adding that, on assumption of office the report would be updated and what was earlier recommended would be implemented.
“There is need to implement policies that will boost the economy and lift people from the state of extreme poverty. China has shown us the way to do it, and we can do it, we need to keep hope alive,” she said.
She equally pointed out that, getting the country’s fiscal crisis sorted out will be one area of the economy that she would accord priority
“We need to get our fiscal crisis sorted out. The 2017 budget performance that was released by the federal government shows that we are now in a state of imbalance”.
The oil revenue is not sufficient to cover the personnel cost of government. This is a nation of about 186 million people but about two million people in public service consume the entire oil revenue, there has to be drastic measures on the cost of governance.”
She explained that the country needs to shift her gaze from oil revenue to making investments in proper livelihood, quality education and skills necessary to make Nigerians world class citizens.
The former Education Minister, warned that, oil is not a basis to build the economy, saying that the country needs to make oil less important and consider the revenue on oil as a bonus and focus on a disruptive pattern that places the human capital at the centre of our economic strategy and less of emphasis on oil being at the center of our focus.
‘‘The productivity and competitiveness of the people of a country and the companies that operate within are the drivers of economic growth. And when the people are productive and competitive, the quality of growth that you achieve is one that is evenly distributed because everyone is participating in the growth driver.
The country also needs to invest in human capital and create an environment suitable for development.
We will do everything to improve the conditions of livelihood, human security, identify and carry out very ambitious security reform that will function effectively.
Nigerians must not be told that what they deserve is a choice between evils, I am not the evil one, I am the choice of the Nigerian people, she affirmed.”