I wish to appeal to all Nigerians, especially the youths, to see the 2023 election as an opportunity to take back their country and more importantly shun every form of primordial sentiments. Peter Obi
Address by Mr. Peter Obi, CON, Presidential Candidate, Labour Party, at the Success Conference 2022, taking place today, Saturday, 23rd September, 2022 at the Citi-Hub, Km 50, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
It gives me great pleasure and honour to join you all and to extend a warm welcome to everyone attending this crucial conference. This conference is both timely and highly topical as it brings together our vibrant youths to reminisce on their roles, as key agents of change, in advancing national development. I want to express my sincere gratitude to the conference’s organizers for the excellent job they are doing to encourage and uplift our young people to realize their potential as leaders in the development of our beloved nation.
It is imperative that, as this conference draws closer to the most critical period ahead of the 2023 elections, all young people of voting age obtain their PVCs and make sure they cast their ballots for qualified, competent, and trustworthy candidates at the local/state and national levels. Governments at all levels have a responsibility to provide an environment that allows people to achieve their life goals, including those related to infrastructure, health, education, and security of life and property. Good leaders bring about the good life; terrible leaders bring about destruction.
Without a doubt, the new administration taking office in 2023 will face a plethora of domestic and external challenges provoked by cumulative leadership failures over the years. These challenges have threatened our national unity, social cohesion, and citizens’ trust in the government and impeded our economic outcomes. Our country is currently one of the most miserable in terms of poverty rate, number of out-of-school children, infant and under-5 mortality rate, life expectancy, and a host of others. All these problems, though difficult, are not unsolvable.
Permit me to say that Nigeria is not bereft of good ideas and plans that will move the country forward. However, the institutional weaknesses and lack of political will to implement them are undermining our development efforts. With the right leadership with political will and commitment to addressing these problems, a new Nigeria, where everybody including the most vulnerable and excluded group like youths, women, and children will become the key stakeholders in the decision-making process, is possible.
I, therefore, reiterate my commitment to a purposeful leadership that draws its strength from all Nigerians, particularly the youths, in policy formulation and administration. The overall task of our leadership in 2023 is to streamline governance and ensure that it is responsive, transformative, and effective. We will demonstrate that good governance is all about providing the needed services to the people. If elected the next president of Nigeria, youths would be the main proponents of my main agenda to transform Nigeria from a consuming nation to a producing nation. The two main components of this agenda are human capital development and finance. Incidentally, the central goal of today’s conference is to improve the quality of human capital. Thus, under my leadership, the Federal Government will prioritise the ability of our educational system to produce the necessary skilled labour force that coincides with the 21st-century labour market demand, alongside providing entrepreneurial education at all levels. In addition, given the role of health in reinforcing education in the measure of productivity, my leadership will pay serious attention to the health system by ensuring that at least 100 million poor Nigerians have access to free medical services through an integrated health insurance scheme.
With respect to finance, the lack of government-backed sizeable venture capital funds is a significant adverse factor in the finance mix for SMEs and young entrepreneurs at the grassroots level. If elected, we intend to create a professionally managed SME Equity Fund within the first year of office with the goal of promoting the development of at least one value-added industry that will utilize the local raw material supply, be it agricultural or mineral, in every local government in Nigeria. our collaboration with global organizations like UNIDO and Afrexim Bank will ensure that the goods from these local enterprises will be of export grade.
In conclusion, I wish to appeal to all Nigerians, especially the youths, to see the 2023 election as an opportunity to take back their country and more importantly shun every form of primordial sentiments. The 2023 election should be based on competence, capacity and commitment to doing the right thing and not on ethnicity/tribe and religion since the high cost of living, insecurity and other problems that are facing us have no discrimination against ethnicity/tribe and religion. Finally, I wish to thank the organisers once again for inviting me
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