The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, on Monday, posited that measures put in place by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal are poorly thought out.
Obi in an interview on Arise Television’s The Morning Show asserted that the recent palliatives introduced by the Federal Government were product of “limited thinking” of people in authority.
Noting that the palliatives are temporary solutions, Obi stated that the proceeds of fuel subsidy removal should have been invested in education and health which are the instruments needed to tackle the biting and widespread poverty in the country.
Speaking on what approach he would have taken differently in resolving the looming strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, he said: “Fuel subsidy is organised crime. I said it repeatedly that it should be removed. For me, the approach would have been, is to remove the corruption and criminal side of it and remove the excess demand.
“If you look at what this country has been doing since inception, you could see announcements with limited thinking. Which again produces limited outcome. We need to find a way in an organised manner, to remove and show the proceeds or the gains of the removal to be invested in the critical development areas of education, health, and bringing people out of poverty.
“When you do it in that organised manner, with proper palliatives that are well structured, you would have seen Nigerians going along with you.
The former Anambra State Governor added that he felt positive about Nigeria’s future.
The former Anambra Governor who also opined that academic qualifications should not be criteria for leadership positions, however, said leaders should be honest about their status.
He pointed out that some past and present world leaders were not highly qualified academically but were honest about their qualifications.
“It is the issue of leaders making statements, doing things that are honest and truthful. This is an issue of honour and integrity. It is the foundation on which you build society.
“If you look at what is happening in Nigeria today, there are so many issues of certificate, age and all sorts of falsification or the other. It is all over within the leaders.
“There is no way people can be doing this and be able to do the right things. Because that means that they are living a falsified life.
“There are so many great people in the world who did not go to school. I can say that the greatest president in America is Abraham Lincoln. He did not go to a formal school because he came from an extremely poor family.
“He didn’t have to say he had a PhD here or there to generate arguments like what we are having all over Nigeria today which is bringing the credibility of the nation into question.
“You don’t need to have all the degrees in the world to be great but you need to be honourable about your past,” Obi added.
Information Nigeria reports that some Governors, lawmakers as well as Tinubu are currently having legal battles following the discrepancies surrounding their academic records.
While condemning the devaluation of the currency, he added that the use of the dollar in the country has led to unproductivity.
His words: “Dollar has become the underground currency of our economy; it shouldn’t be. We have a currency called the naira.
“All the things people use dollars to do that are not productive should be removed.
“I can assure you that when you remove it, it can strengthen the currency. Today, even when you want to do party primaries, people share dollars. That is not our currency.
“There should be a stiff penalty in dealing with the issue. If people earn dollars legitimately, let them spend it the way they want.
“However, it has now become a means of corruption and criminality in our system.”