Watch: Nigerian presidential candidate Peter Obi on his plans to transform Nigeria’s economy into a world leader
Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, pictured in 2014, says Nigeria will never be a member of the international community, but will only become more so. Photo: Andrew Harrer
Peter Obi says he wants to transform Nigeria’s economy into a “global leader” while championing the creation of millions of jobs. And he’s going to do it without the help of his predecessor… yet. Jonathan told CNBC Africa’s Business Day with Tom Lee on Thursday he will not be returning to Nigeria. The former president made his remarks while flying from London to Lagos, Nigeria, on a trip to Africa’s third-largest economy.
“There is very little left of the economy that we inherited from the former regime. So what we are planning to do is to build Nigeria into a world leader,” Obi told Lee in a recent interview, adding the former President “has been very clear about what he is going to do to that country.”
Nigeria’s economy was on a downward trajectory before Jonathan took office in 2007. But it has since rebounded, and there is optimism that it will do so further.
“We will never be a member of the international community, never have been in our history. But we will become more so. We are not going to be happy with what we have as it is today. We are going to try to move it in that direction,” he said in an interview on Business Day. “I feel like I have a responsibility to do what I can to make sure that Nigeria will never be a member of the international community, only a member of the African community. And when we become more of a member of the African community, that makes us a more powerful country.”
Despite his plans to transform Nigeria’s economy, Obi is not expected to be given a second term. Jonathan is expected to run for another term in 2018.
Nigeria has also made a name for itself as an Africa’s economic leader over the past 15 years. Despite being ranked the 10th-worst in the world by the World Economic Forum, Nigeria has outperformed most of its African and global counterparts.
It was in the midst of the post-election violence that President Jonathan was hit with allegations that he was aware of killings of protesters who took part in a march which ended up in violent clashes between security forces and protestors