Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, (LP) Peter Obi says Nigeria cannot develop when more than half of the country’s population live in poverty.
Obi stated this on Tuesday while marking this year’s World International Day for the Eradication of poverty.
The former governor of Anambra state, in a statement on October 17, described the high rate of poverty in the country as a threat to national security.
He suggested that to eradicate poverty, governments at all levels should take urgent and positive actions to invest in healthcare and education.
Obi said: “As we mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty today, I restate my unwavering commitment and desire to pull millions of Nigerians out of poverty as part of my mission in the New Nigeria. Our beloved country Nigeria is today, regrettably, known as ‘the poverty capital’ of the World.
“According to the World Poverty Clock, over 71 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty today and a total of 133 million people, 63 percent of the population, are classed as multidimensionally poor according to the National Bureau of Statistics. No nation can develop with more than half of its population living in poverty.
“According to Oxfam, the richest 0.003 percent of Nigerians, 6,355 individuals worth $5 million and above, have 1.4 times more wealth than 107 million other Nigerians. This high rate of poverty and gross income inequality, are obviously a threat to national prosperity , security and development.
“Investing in small businesses across the country has shown to be the fastest way of lifting people out of poverty, as has been proven by other comparable economies like India, Bangladesh, China etc.
“According to the United Nations, India lifted approximately 415 million individuals out of poverty between 2000 and 2021. They achieved this remarkable milestone by reducing their global Multidimensional Poverty Index.
“I, respectfully appeal to our Governments, at all levels, to take urgent and positive actions by reforming and investing in critical areas of development; health, education, and lifting people out of poverty. This remains my mission in the New Nigeria because it is possible.”