Federal borrowing should be strictly for production – Obi
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has explained his consumption to production theory, which is the punchline for his presidential campaign.
In a statement on Wednesday, Obi said federal borrowing for consumption must stop and be channeled into regenerative projects adding that if elected, his administration would reduce the cost of governance in the country.
He further added that the country must look beyond oil and look forward to growth-enabling entrepreneurship by expanding physical infrastructure through market-driven reforms.
Obi said, “We therefore intend to leapfrog Nigeria from oil to the Fourth Industrial Revolution by expanding physical infrastructure through market-driven reforms that will unleash growth-enabling entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations.
“We shall pursue a drastic reduction in cost of governance and corruption, improve ease of doing business to attract Foreign Direct Investment to jumpstart industrialisation and when borrowing is unavoidable, it will be strictly for production.
“Whatever oil we still have will be refined domestically. These measures along with ending the leakages, including the subsidy regime and improving our tax regime should do the magic of moving Nigeria from consumption to production.
“It is also imperative that henceforth, we should strive to operate within available resources and strive for a balanced national budget as cost saving measures.”
The statement further explained the consumption to production theory stating that “the concept entails that the country ensures sustainability and resilience, and stop borrowing for consumption and channel all loans to be invested in regenerative projects.
“The thrust of the Obi-Datti presidency if hired by Nigerians will be on agriculture and production-centered growth for food security and export, with more emphasis on exporting finished products instead of commodities and raw materials,” the statement explained.
The LP candidate further said that legal framework would be enforced to protect foreign investors and their indigenous partners.
“We will enforce the legal framework protecting foreign investors and their indigenous partners. This is the only way to temper monopoly and capital flight.”
He continued, “Nigeria has over 84 million hectares of arable land with only 40% of it cultivated, pointing out that Nigeria’s arable land is her new oil and gold.
“In pursuit to Goal 9 of the SDGs, Obi explained that if elected the administration will from its inception, continue to encourage investment in infrastructure – energy, transport, irrigation, and telecoms—to grow these and other sectors,” he concluded.