Ahead of the 2023 general election, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has promised the electorate of ensuring equal representation between the rich and the poor in the country if voted into office as the President.
Obi made this remark in a press statement from the Obi-Datti Media Office which was made available to The PUNCH, highlighting the purpose of his visit to Queen’s College, Lagos where he spoke at the Old Girls’ Association programme commemorating the 95th anniversary of the institution.
Obi said, “My administration will ensure that citizens’ interests supersede political interests and the existing trust gap between the government and the governed; the poor and the rich will be reduced to the barest minimum.
The LP standard bearer added that female representations in his government will be assured recollecting that as governor of Anambra State, his administration achieved close to a 60-40 gender balance in appointive and elective positions while that of the Federal Government was around 30 to 35 per cent.
He further disclosed that education is central to his policy thrust and said he would pursue a Marshall plan-type programme on education that incorporates compulsory technical and vocational skills, sports, entrepreneurship, programming, and digital skills from the primary to the secondary level.
According to him, “Inevitably, we will improve access to finance, MSMEs, youths and women, to significantly reduce unemployment and insecurity.”
According to the former Anambra State Governor, “We will introduce a mandatory ‘No Child left Behind’ educational policy, mindful that Nigeria’s inadequate investment in the social sectors including health, education, and housing which has resulted in the current dismal social and demographic trends reflected in low life expectancy, high maternal mortality rate, a large number of out-of-school children, huge unmet housing needs as well as high youth unemployment.
“Our government shall prioritise education to serve the following functions; technical and industry relevance aligning with local comparative advantages and factor endowments; modern skills proficiency, critical thinking, ethical citizenship values, global competitiveness, and talent export.
“The Obi-Datti administration, when elected, will sustain national development. Our governance principles, priority projects and programmes shall be anchored on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.
Obi noted that experience shows that inclusiveness is an essential element in effective public policy making pointing out that he intended to stop the underrepresentation of critical components of society in decision making such as women, youth, and the vulnerable in the country.
He also told the Queen’s College Old Girls that if elected President he would “from its inception, encourage investment in infrastructure, energy, transport, irrigation, and telecoms and education with gender mainstreaming and social inclusion in education, enterprise and politics will always be a priority.”
Obi also expressed his commitment to the well-being of the girl-child and women pointing out that this would be fully reflected in his broad and gender-specific policies.