By Miftaudeen Raji
A presidential aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi has highlighted factors behind Nigeria’s economic backdrop and while the leadership and citizenry all have to be keen on transformational politics and economic growth.
He noted that there is a need for Nigeria to reference and study the timelines of the best economies and emulate them.
Obi, who spoke on The Discourse, a public affairs show on Classic FM, Sunday, said, to become an economically productive nation, the first thing government needs to do is to invest in education, human infrastructure and capacity development.
He said, “The more educated the people, the better it on the economy, which in the long run helps our development as a nation. You don’t do physical infrastructure before human infrastructure. Human capital is too low in Nigeria.
“You need to pull people, people, out of poverty. That’s what the Asian countries did. India pulled 250 million people out of poverty in 5 years,” he added.
The former governor of Anambra State, who said he embarked on comparative studies of economies of 31 countries to figure out where Nigeria go wrong, regretted that corruption, reckless spending and “sick leadership” have been the bane of Nigeria’s progress.
He said, “What people are acquiring now is no longer greed. It’s become a sickness. People are sick here. People have to reduce their greed. People are acquiring what they don’t need. 80 billion nairas is a budget of a state. That’s no longer greed, it’s sickness.”
Asked his message for the Nigerian youths striving to make incursions into Nigerian politics, Obi simply urged young people to ensure that they select the right people that would help them build a better future.
He said, “One of the main reasons why Nigeria is not progressing economically is that people think our problem can be solved by politics. The engine of solving this problem is the economy. The economy must work. The engine of productivity is the young people.
“The reason why it’s worse now is that we young people in their productive age doing nothing at the time the system is supposed to support them; at the time they have all the energy. The greatest employer of labour is the Micro Small Enterprises. That’s where the dominant young people are. They need to be supported with ideas and grants. They need to be properly directed. Government need s to give them hope.”