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Minimum hourly wage, health insurance for 133 million Nigerians: highlights from Obi’s manifesto

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Peter Obi

Peter Obi, the Labor Party‘s (LP) presidential candidate, has unveiled his long-awaited manifesto.

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Our Pact

The 72-page manifesto, titled ‘It’s Possible: Our Pact with Nigerians’, was published on Sunday.

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The manifesto listed seven priority areas that Obi’s administration would focus on if elected president.

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Here are some of the highlights from the manifesto.

FROM CONSUMPTION TO PRODUCTION

One of the manifesto’s priorities is to shift the emphasis from production to consumption by creating a production-focused economy fueled by an agrarian revolution and export-oriented industrialization.

The former governor of Anambra has vowed to “aggressively” implement policies and programs that improve productivity in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.

He added that his administration will create programs for young people in order to achieve greater synergy between their abilities and talents.

On diversifying the economy, Obi said his administration will increase the export potential of the country’s agriculture value chain and natural resources.

“We will achieve this through targeted export incentives and deliberate actions in: a. Expand the development of technological manufacturing and processing capabilities in the primary product value chains where we enjoy a comparative advantage,” the manifesto says.

“b. A monitored financing scheme specific to entrepreneurs that takes advantage of capacity building as described above.

“C. A radical reform of our logistics and distribution systems, including ports, customs and trade facilitation instruments to increase the competitiveness of our products and the ease of doing business and reduce the high trade costs that have impeded our competitiveness in non-oil exports”.

PERMANENT END TO BANDAGE AND INSECURITY

The LP presidential candidate reiterated his commitment to put a “permanent end” to the relentless banditry, insurgency, kidnappings and cross-border terrorism.

He promised to increase the staff of the military, police and other security agencies, and adequately fund them to improve their ability to respond to security threats.

“Carry out institutional reforms to protect Nigerians, which consists of four initiatives running simultaneously; reform the security sector, with particular emphasis on refocusing the military on external threats and border protection, and the police on threats to internal security and law enforcement,” reads part of the manifesto .

“Swift, firm and fair prosecution of criminals, bandits and terrorists to end impunity; increased coordination between security agencies to improve operational efficiency; the fair and transparent administration of justice depended on the rule of law.”

Speaking about his quest to unite the country, Obi said he will ensure that his administration’s policies and conduct reflect a strong commitment to fostering a united Nigeria.

He said he will make deliberate efforts to “recreate a sense of patriotism, shared ownership and responsibilities in matters of nation building, integration and cohesion” among Nigerians.

ENTER MINIMUM HOURLY WAGE

Obi promised to remove the current wage structure of the national minimum wage in which workers are paid monthly and replace it with a “national minimum rate based on hourly productivity.”

The LP presidential candidate said that private and public sector employers would pay their workers based on their actual productivity.

The manifesto promises to “solve the problem of the national minimum wage by eliminating the existing wage structure and introducing a national minimum rate based on hourly productivity, for which public and private sector employers should pay employees based on their actual productivity.” ”.

“We will push for legislation to maintain a national minimum wage with binding effect and enforcement in all states and local governments in Nigeria,” he added.

“This will include the criminalization of non-payment of wages, salaries, pensions, rights, benefits and the violation of collective agreements.

“This will reduce poverty and inequality, and enhance the social solidarity necessary for a development agreement.”

LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL RE

RESTRUCTURING THROUGH LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS

In the 72-page manifesto, Obi said his administration will “critically review” the 68 items on the exclusive list and move the agreed items to the concurrent list.

Stephen Oronsaye

He promised that within the first year of his administration he will start with the immediate implementation of the Stephen Oronsaye report, which recommended the merger of some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

“Review all regulatory agencies in Nigeria with a plan to gradually move away from a bureaucratic approach towards incentive-based regulation that is based on a cost-benefit analysis,” the manifesto said.

Office of Regulatory Review

“In this regard, we will establish the Office of Regulatory Review in the Executive Office of the President to review and harmonize proposed regulations to ensure they pass cost-benefit analysis and improve economic efficiency and social justice before they are enacted.

“Seek a greater inclusion of our customary laws (norms and values, with respect to their compatibility with our constitution) in the contents of our formal law and in the administration of justice.

“For example, reforms will be sought so that our traditional laws/rulers are properly integrated into the formal/legal/governance system.”

WORLD-CLASS INFRASTRUCTURE FOR POWER, RAIL AND ROAD

The former governor promised to “build expansive, world-class infrastructure for efficient energy supply, rail, road and air transportation, and pipeline network, through integrated public-private partnerships and public sector corporate governance.”

He said his administration will provide adequate and affordable electricity to all Nigerians to improve livelihoods.

Obi has vowed to launch a solar power revolution in the northern part of the country to achieve uninterrupted power in the region by the end of 2024.

QUALITY HEALTH

SCHOLARSHIPS, RESEARCH, QUALITY HEALTH CARE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION

Child Left Behind

The LP presidential candidate said his administration will introduce a ‘No Child Left Behind’ education policy.

Universal Basic Education Commission

He added that he will address the legislation that guides the modalities of access to financing for the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), in order to eliminate the prevailing bottlenecks.

As for health care policy, he promised to provide health insurance coverage to “133 million poorest Nigerians, including pregnant women, children, the elderly and the disabled.”

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