Town hall: Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso unfold plan to tackle poverty, others

Ahead of the 2023 general election, three leading presidential candidates, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), have proffered solutions to the rising poverty index rate in Nigeria promising to initiate intervention schemes and support entrepreneurs.

The candidates stated this on Sunday at the special town hall meeting held by Arise TV.

They promised large scale investment in the non-oil sector, through massive investment in agriculture, infrastructure, education and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which would empower Nigerians.

Responding to questions on the allegations levelled by President Muhammadu Buhari that Governors should be blamed for the rising poverty level, Peter Obi dismissed the report, saying that since the buck stops on the federal government table they should take responsibility.

Obi further stated that the federal government should be held responsible for major fiscal policies responsible for poverty level, he underscored the need to restore investors’ confidence for the adequate inflow of resources required to develop the country’s economy, including education, primary healthcare.

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Rabiu Kwankwaso, the NNPP candidate, blamed the rising poverty on unabated security challenges which deprived millions of Nigerians from going to farms.

He assured that the NNPP when voted into power in the 2023 general elections will increase the number of Military personnel from 250,000 to 1 million as well as other security agencies with a view to secure every square meter in the country.

Kwankwaso further stated that his party was committed to tackling the power crisis in the country and improving infrastructures to aid business transactions.

Also speaking, former Vice President, Atiku argued that the PDP administration introduced the Social Investment Programme (SIP), alleging that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration which allegedly copied the scheme has not been able to effectively implement the programmes.

While assuring that his administration will sustain the Social Investment Programmes if voted into power, he expressed optimism that effective implementation of these programmes will drastically reduce the poverty level.

On the controversy over siphoning of local government allocation, Obi called for more synergy between the federal government, states and councils across Nigeria for meaningful developments.