Former Anambra State governor and presidential candidate of the Labour Party(LP), Dr Peter Obi has promised to transform Nigeria from a consumption to production-based economy if elected president in the 2023 general election.
He made the pledge on Tuesday during the 10th anniversary lecture in honour of Late Pascal Bafyau at Pascal Bayau Labour House and TUC Secretariat in Abuja.
Mr Peter Obi in his remarks stated that he is on a courtesy call to the office of the leadership of the two labour organizations not to campaign but to honour the organised labour on whose party and interest he is seeking Nigerians vote in the 2023 general elections.
Speaking further, he said, “the theme of my ambition is to move Nigeria from consumption to a production economy–to remove sharing formula and replace it with production formula and you can’t talk about production without labour.
“Labour is the critical factor of production. Capital and machines can’t do anything without labour. Labour is what makes them work and because labour is the greatest contributor to production, it has to be properly consulted and compensated.”
“I don’t need to tell you how bad things are in this country today. If you are on wages, today Nigerians spend 100 percent of their wages on just feeding. So many don’t even know where their next meal will come from. They pay to train their children only for them finish school and stay at home without work
“These are issues we need to discuss about. Nobody can be president without sitting down with the labour organisation to decide the future of Nigeria.
“We can no longer have a situation where the leaders are here and workers are there. They must sit at the same table and talk. That is the beginning of the solution, that is what is happening all over the world.
“Nigeria is not a producing country. The collective effect of what we are suffering today is bad leadership. We have a leadership that concentrates on sharing. So you have to move from sharing formula to production formula.
“This is a country of 200 million people sitting on 923,000 square kilometres of land. They can’t feed themselves, they can’t export anything.
“Total Nigeria’s export including oil is under $2 billion for 200 million population. A similar country, not a first world country, one with the same trajectory as Nigeria in the year 2000, Vietnam, sitting on 331,000 square kilometres of land, a third of Nigeria’s land space and 100 million population, with half of Nigeria’s population, their total earnings last year was $312 billion.”
He said it is worrisome that more than half of the country’s youths of productive age are unemployed.
“This is what the Labour Party is seeking to sit down to discuss for the future of our country,” he added.
He went further to say that borrowing is not the problem of the country as other countries are also borrowing to support their economic development drive. However, he said: “If you borrow for consumption, you are in problem but if you borrow for production, you will progress.”
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on their parts promised to support, campaign and do everything within their powers to ensure that Mr Peter Obi, emerges winner in the 2023 presidential election,
Comrade Ayuba Wabba while speaking to the gathering of high-profile labour leaders and members present at the 10th anniversary lecture in honour of Late Pascal Bayau, stated that Mr Obi is among the finest Nigerian and the first presidential candidate of Labour Party to be recognized by the labour centre and the first ever presidential candidate to visit the centre.
He went on to say that NLC is solidly behind the LP and would fully mobilise to ensure the victory of the party come 2023.
He also recalled that the workers’ unions have realised that strikes and protests alone cannot change the narratives in Nigeria, especially in regard to workers’ welfare and fair treatment of the working people, “hence labour must venture fully into politics and work hard to support candidates whose mantra will make life better for our members and Nigerians at large.”
On his part, Olaleye said Obi is a face among the presidential candidates all labour unions are ready to work with, and that the entire labour movement has accepted, adopted and would support, and ensure workers massively vote for him in the 2023 presidential elections.
He further said that the Labour Party is stronger and more formidable, adding that the party has a widespread structure, as there is a worker and member of either TUC and NLC in every family across Nigeria.