• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Obi woos Edo PDP members, pledges to fix Nigeria’s economy

Obi woos Edo PDP members, pledges to fix Nigeria’s economy

Peter Obi, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday, said if elected, he would leverage the huge potential of the micro, small, medium enterprises (MSME) to grow the economy and tackle Nigeria’s rising unemployment rate.

Obi, a vice-presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, expressed concern that the young ones, who are the backbone of MSMEs and are ready to take risks, lack the support and funding to excel.

According to him, “this sector contributes over 50 percent of China’s budget in taxes. We need to engineer this sector. If you look at the portfolio, you will see that this sector is starved of support and funding. We must bring our children out of poverty by supporting micro, small and medium businesses. Our children are very creative; if you give these young people access to funding and training, Nigeria will be a different country.

The former governor of Anambra State, during a meeting with members of the state working committee of the PDP and other party faithful in Benin City, decried the poverty level, rising debt profile, insecurity among other challenges, assuring that, if elected, his administration would not borrow money for consumption but for production and would put in place policies to pull people out of poverty within one year in office.

Obi, who equally appealed to Nigerians to apply proven track record as a criterion for selecting a candidate who will address the prevailing challenges confronting the nation, urged delegates and the electorate to consider the future of their children and should not take money in exchange for their votes when they go to the polls in 2023.

He, therefore, solicited support from members of the party as he embarks on the presidential journey to rebuilding Nigeria, adding that “if the society continues like this, it will take its revenge on our children and grandchildren.

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“I am here for us to discuss the future of our country and where our children will live in. We now live in a country where you wake up every day with sad news. You might think it is not happening in Benin, some of us think it is not happening in Lagos, in Enugu or Awka but unless we do something about it, it will happen in those places.

“What we are witnessing in Nigeria today is the cumulative effect of leadership failure over the years, and it is going to go round. We have more people living in poverty than any other country in the world.

“Our country owes so much money that we cannot pay. Our debt today is about $ 135 billion, about 35 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We now borrow money to service debts. Nigeria is borrowing more currently. It is a crisis situation, and this money we are borrowing is for consumption, not for production. Nigeria is not productive.

“It is not about electing somebody from South, North, it is for equity; we want somebody who has a proven track record and capacity. The problem in Nigeria is that we have people who do not know how to create wealth. We do not want wealth sharers anymore; there is nothing to share again, it is finished. We are now sharing the future of our children.

“You hear every day the government says there is no revenue because you can’t have 98 million people without jobs, and you expect to get revenue. Those people are your revenue because the more you pull people out of poverty, the more revenue you get; the more you are productive, the more revenue you get.

“The number of people that should be working in Nigeria should have been 120 million, but the number of people working is about 40 million. So, 60 percent of your working productive assets are not working,” Obi said.

Tony Aziegbemi, Edo State chairman of the PDP in his remarks, said, “We will have our consultations and, by the grace of God, our support for you will be total.”