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Nigeria’s Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, finally releases manifesto, promises ‘industrial revolution’

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Nigeria’s outlier presidential candidate, Peter Obi has finally released his “pact with Nigeria”  as the manifesto of the Labour Party (LP).

Mr. Obi wants to reform its system of costly subsidies and unify the local naira currency’s multiple exchange rates if elected in February, his manifesto released on Sunday showed.

Obi said he would “demand the transparent liberalization of the foreign exchange market” if elected on February 25.

He promised to dismantle a multiple-rate naira regime that “effectively subsidises a few privileged persons, whilst depriving the government of badly needed revenues,” his manifesto said, adding that “unaffordable subsidies” would also be recalibrated for the benefit of poorer citizens.

See major highlights of the manifesto below:

  1. To secure Nigeria, end banditry and insurgency, unite our dear nation, to manage our diversity such that no one is left behind.
  2. Shift emphasis from consumption to production by running a production-centered economy that is driven by an agrarian revolution and export-oriented industrialization.
  3. Restructure the polity through effective legal and institutional reforms to entrench the rule of law, aggressively fight corruption, reduce the cost of governance, and establish an honest and efficient
    civil service.
  4. Leapfrog Nigeria into the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), through the application of scientific and technological innovations to create a digital economy.
  5. Build expansive and world-class infrastructure for efficient power supply, rail, road, and air transportation, and pipeline network, through integrated public-private partnerships, and entrepreneurial public sector governance.
  6. Enhance the human capital of Nigerian youths for productivity and global competitiveness through investment in world-class scholarship and research, quality healthcare, and entrepreneurship education.
  7. Conduct an afro-centric diplomacy that protects the rights of Nigerian citizens abroad and advances the economic interests of Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in a changing world.

Nigeria is due for another general election in 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been in office since 2015 will be completing his second term of four years.

The 2023 presidential elections in Nigeria are expected to be a close contest between Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressive Congress, Atiku Abubakar of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and dark-horse Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

Politics

Tunisian union, UGTT chief, Noureddine Taboubi accuses President Saied of intimidation

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As part of the fallouts of the recently conducted parliamentary elections in Tunisia, its trade union, UGTT accused President Kais Saied of targeting it as a distraction from record-low election turnout.

The powerful union also accused president Saied of overseeing a “total failure” of economic policies.

The UGTT chief, Noureddine Taboubi at a meeting held at Gammarth to discuss the arrest of the union’s senior official Anis Kaabi earlier in the week said “the president is trying to divert attention from the record low election turnout in the first and second round of legislative elections and the utter failure of his economic and social decisions.”

Mr. Taboubi added: “Why is the UGTT a target?  Because [the authorities] want to pass the painful reforms they are always discussing.

“In order to pass these painful reforms, they need to distract the public with trivia by saying that the reason for this situation is the UGTT.”

The election, which was a second round of the Tunisian parliamentary polls held last Sunday with reports that nearly 90% of the electorate did not vote, making it the highest level of abstention since the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Ben Ali and marked the advent of democracy in the country.

Voter turnout for the first round of the parliamentary elections in December was only 11%, prompting widespread ridicule among Saied’s opponents and new demands by the powerful labour union that he changes tack.

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Burkina Faso’s PM, Kyélem de Tambèla, moots ‘federation’ idea with neighbouring Mali

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There are indications that neighbouring West African countries, Mali and Burkina Faso might be forming a “federation” to boost their economic clout.

The indication was given by Burkina Faso’s prime minister, Apollinaire Kyelem de Tambela who is currently on a visit to neighbouring Mali this week.

According to an official account of the visit published by his office on Thursday, Prime Minister Tambela said, “we could create a flexible federation that would be mutually reinforcing and respect the aspirations of both sides.”

“Mali is a major producer of cotton, cattle, and gold. Burkina Faso also produces cotton, cattle, and gold,” Kyelem de Tambela said during the trip on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“So long as we each take separate paths, we don’t have much clout. But if you put Mali’s and Burkina Faso’s production of cotton, gold, and cattle together, it becomes a powerhouse.”

There has been the idea to forge a federation in francophone West Africa, consisting of Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Benin shortly before they gained independence from France in 1960.

“Our forebears tried to create groupings, like the Mali Federation, which sadly did not last. But they showed us the way,” he said.

“One of my reasons for going to Mali is that for a long time, we’ve been looking elsewhere for solutions when they’re often right under our noses,” he continued.

The West African neighbours are battling a brutal jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives, driven more than two million from their homes, and prompted military takeovers of the elected government.

Each has witnessed two military coups since 2020 and is under pressure from the international community to return to democratic civilian rule. The two have also tilted towards embracing relations with global south-in Russia and China as they have both engaged Russian mercenaries- the Wagner group in containing terrorism as well as seeing relations with France.

A federation consists of a group of countries or regions that have joined together to form a large organization or government. Under the federal arrangement, no region is politically stronger enough to dominate the other but each can influence the other through the instrument of negotiation and compromise.

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