- Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra, laments that the south-east has not enjoyed its place in Nigeria
- Obi says the south-east has some of the best people capable of moving Nigeria away from economic challenges
- The politician also describes the 2020 budget as empty and not meant to lift people out of poverty
Peter Obi, the running mate to Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, has said the south-east has some of the best hands to pull Nigeria out economic challenges.
Obi also described the 2020 budget as empty and not aimed to enhance production and growth of micro, small and medium scale industries, adding that the current debt of the country is ‘toxic’.
Obi said this on Arise Television programme adding that the south east had not been treated fairly by the country, especially owing to a flawed electoral process that would not allow capable people to emerge in the leadership of Nigeria.
Speaking during the programme monitored by Daily Sun, Obi asked: “It is only fair that you treat every part of the nation fairly and equally. Are Igbos being treated fairly?
“The answer is no…For me, I believe we should restructure this country in such a way that every part of the country would be competitive and we would get the best out of our resources.”
Obi said he made a study of the budget of about 24 countries and followed them religiously to be able to see how such impact on the people.
“Let us use examples of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, China and South Africa) nations and the MINT economies (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey.) Of all these countries, there is none whose budget is less than 15% of its GDP except Nigeria.
“Brazil has a population of 210 million people, with a GDP of three billion, their budget is 803 trillion dollars. Nigeria has a population of 200 million people and a GDP of $400 billion and the budget for 2018 was $22 billion.
“If you look at all these countries and share their budget with their population, you will see that Nigeria is the worst, yet none of them have more than 5% of their people living under poverty. In our own case, 50% of our people are living under poverty and our budget is so low.”
He said Nigeria’s 2020 budget is not up to Indonesia’s budget for education.
He claimed Nigeria is in crisis that needs to be resolved with the right things done.
“The budget that you think is big is empty in itself and to worsen it, you cannot fund it. Raising revenue is very simple. The only way to increase revenue is to create more employment.
“If you pull 40 million people out of poverty, you can increase revenue through the tax they pay. But you are not creating jobs and you are now over-taxing the few who are struggling to make ends meet,” he lamented.
Legit.ng reported earlier that the south east governor’s forum recently resolved to take up the issues concerning the welfare of the people of the zone with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The chairman of the forum, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, disclosed this on Monday, October 14, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the governors’ meeting held in Enugu.
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