Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party (LP), has said that Nigeria cannot progress so long as more than half of its people are poor.
To honor this year’s World International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Obi issued a statement on Tuesday in which he called the country’s high poverty rate a threat to national security.
Obi called on governments at all levels to make immediate and constructive investments in healthcare and education as part of efforts to eradicate poverty.
What he said was:
In honor of today’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I’d like to reaffirm my purpose in the New Nigeria to lift millions of people out of poverty.
“Today, unfortunately, Nigeria, our much loved country, is known as ‘the poverty capital’ of the World.
Over 63% of Nigeria’s population, or 133 million people, are considered to be multidimensionally poor, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics and the World Poverty Clock.
More than half of a country’s population living in poverty is a major obstacle to any country’s progress.
The top 0.003 percent of Nigerians, or 6,355 people with a net worth of $5 million or more, own 1.4 times as much wealth as the bottom 107 million. A nation’s prosperity, security, and progress are all put at risk by its extreme poverty rate and wide income gap.
As other comparable economies like India, Bangladesh, China, etc. have proved, “investing in small businesses across the country has shown to be the fastest way to lift people out of poverty.”
The UN estimates that between 2000 and 2021, India would have helped 415 million people escape poverty. By decreasing their worldwide Multidimensional Poverty Index, they reached this impressive landmark.
I humbly ask our governmental bodies at all levels to reform and invest in health, education, and alleviating poverty, three of the most important sectors of progress.
As the New Nigeria proves, “this remains my mission because it is possible.”