Peter Obi’s Vision for Nigeria

Watch: Nigerian presidential candidate Peter Obi on his plans to transform Nigeria’s economy, his views on poverty and his plans for Africa’s development

This article is more than 3 years old

This article is more than 3 years old

Peter Obi, a candidate for Nigeria’s presidency, has outlined a progressive vision for the country in his bid to win the country’s first democratic election in decades.

During a recent campaign visit to Ghana, he outlined his plans to transform Nigeria’s economy, a continent-wide issue that is expected to dominate national politics.

He also said he wants to “rethink the way we see things”, and that the way to solve Africa’s problems is to improve people’s life conditions rather than spending money on war or foreign intervention.

His visit came as Nigeria struggles to meet economic and development goals, despite a strong sense of identity and national pride. The country’s GDP per capita was $566 in 2014, according to the IMF, below regional benchmarks, but on par with its neighbours such as Benin and Niger.

But Obi said his plans would transform Nigeria. His vision includes investing the nation’s budget surplus away from the defence budget, to fund social services, education and healthcare.

The plan for a trillion-pound deficit is ambitious, but comes at a time when national coffers are already running low.

As the economy grows, this deficit will turn into a surplus that is used to build infrastructure projects, according to the IMF.

But the finance ministry insists that the deficit is the result of a combination of domestic and external factors, which are unlikely to be resolved soon.

Obi, who left the country in March 2014, told the Guardian that the “biggest problem with our society is poverty” and that poverty had been his focus during the campaign so far.

He said that his plan would build houses for people with low incomes and build houses exclusively for those with higher incomes.


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