The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has said the 133 million poor Nigerians as released in the NBS report should not be blamed on Ukraine war or Covid-19, but on the government that failed to provide basic necessities for the citizens.
Newsonline reports that Peter Obi said the National Bureau of Statistics report showed that over 133 million Nigerians are living in poverty and most of them in rural areas is a national crisis which was caused by corrupt leaders who have been in government over the years.
The former governor of Anambra state also lamented that 27 percent of school-age children are out of school and poor, 29 percent of all school-aged children are not attending school, and 94 percent out of school children are very poor.
Obi said, “The rural part of Nigeria is trapped in abject poverty; we are leaving our children, miserable and uneducated. 27 percent of school-age children are out of school and poor, 29 percent of all school-aged children are not attending school, and 94 percent out of school children are very poor.”
“The multidimensional Poverty Index is the best mirror of failure of governance in the country, In spite of earning trillions in oil revenue, in spite of borrowing trillion naira for infrastructure development, almost half of Nigerians are poor and close to two-third of Nigerians do not have access to basic sanitation, access to basic education, lack basic nutrition and do not visit hospitals.
“It is terrible disgrace and disservice to a country with our tremendous natural and human resource. The political economy of this report should be made clear to every Nigerian voter because what it simply means is that government is not working,” he said.
Peter Obi continued, “It means that the state is working for the few, and not for all the citizens of the country. It means that the future is terrible for every Nigerian- young or old, rich or poor.
“The trending of multidimensional poverty if not arrested immediately will damage state capacity and effectiveness and therefore disarray economic and social policies that will reverse the trend in the future.
If we combine atrocious fiscal decline with grand and pervasive corruption and the level of incompetence of public leadership to such generalized poverty, we will end up a completely collapsed state, thrown back to state of nature.”
The Labour Party presidential candidate said with the projection that the population of Nigeria in the next 28 years maybe 400 million, if the poverty rate is not arrested Nigeria will be a security to the West Africa.
“Unless the situation is arrested, with our population estimated to reach 400 million in the next 28 years, Nigeria would become a security risk to the entire Sub-Saharan Africa,” he argued.
“This report tells a story of the failure of economic policy of government. The failure of government to invest in basic social and human infrastructure and the lack of commitment to the wellbeing of ordinary Nigerians, especially those in the rural communities is heart-breaking.
How on earth is it that 63 percent of Nigerians do not have access to the most basic sanitation and nutrition? How come 63 percent of our citizens cannot approach a clinic or health center within two hours?
“The World Bank assessment of poverty in Nigeria in 2022 makes it clear that additional 5.1m Nigerians became poor this year. even if there was no pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Nigeria would still not have been able to reduce its poverty rate by any percentage because the policy administration has no impact on poverty,” he added.
Peter Obi called on Nigerians to vote for him in the 2023 election for a general turnaround of the country’s economy and security from consumption to production.
He said he is on a mission to take back the country from the few greedy politicians who have held the country down in corruption to detriment of the poor masses and youths who cannot get basic social amenities ane employment.
He said, “It is now time to end politics as usual, time to disband the army of greedy and self-serving politicians in Abuja and elect those who are connected to the people and those who share the pains and deprivations of the working and unemployed youths, abandoned women and deprived children across Nigeria.
“I will disrupt this trajectory of failure and wickedness in high places across Nigeria and give Nigerians back their country so that every child will have access to good schools, good drinking water, good sanitation, good health care, and their parents good jobs and the joy of being a citizen of a country that is lifting millions from poverty into shared prosperity.”
He assured, “If China lifted 750 million from poverty in about 20 years and if India reduced poverty from 50 percent to 20 percent in about 15 years, we could do even better.
“We can wipe off multidimensional poverty in less than a decade. Let’s do it together, let us end the corruption and incompetence with our votes.”