The former Governor thanked Pastor Poju Oyemade for the event. Quoting the UNDP statistics of poverty growth a decade ago, he shared that China has a high poverty rate than Nigeria, but today the reverse is the case.
He added that Nigeria has more people living in poverty than India and China combined.
“Looking at it today, with global life expectancy and 74 years, Nigeria is pegged at 64 years. Literacy rate is as low as fifty one percent and it is the crux of our educational detriment.”, He said.
The former Governor Peter Obi stated how we serviced debt with 24.5% of our budget. According to him, “Borrowing isn’t a problem. Borrowing for consumption is”.
Stating how Singapore has 100% debt GDP but they are taken on projects that can repay itself; constitutionally, this is acceptable.
“While the Singaporean government is building the world’s largest port to be delivered in 2050, Nigeria is worsening in debt incurring.” he added.
Taking the conversation further, he stated how our inequality ranking is worse – sitting comfortably as the 157th amongst 150 countries compared.
“It is an established fact in Nigeria that 1% of the populace controls 85% of the economy, leaving the other 99% raking in poverty.”
He went futher to share these distrurbing facts;
Our stock market is incomparable with nations who less than two decades ago were wallowing in poverty.
Brazil is valued at $2 Trillion, China $13 Trillion, South Africa, $285 Billion, Nigeria is still dangling with $31 Billion out of which 18% was lost recently.
He closed with three solution areas if we are genuinely ready to salvage this nation.
In the area of SECURITY, he opened that an unsecured nation cannot and will not attract foreign direct investment hence can’t boost its economy.
Sharing his experience while as the executive director of a bank, an investor refused to invest in Nigeria despite his projections of high returns. Reporting what this investor said, “he would rather have a consistent single digit than a double digit that can be raked with just one crisis and all monies gone”. He said “This funding could have changed the face of Nigerian.”
The second was EDUCATION. The former Governor said, “Investing in education isn’t an expense, it is an investment. Nigeria is the only country which doesn’t meet the UNESCO recommended 26% of the total budget for education, pegging education at 4% of its total budget even security had higher allocation. This is a crisis compared to other nations with lower population’s budget. We must face reality and invest in this critical component to reduce the thirteen million out of school children in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the third, which is ECONOMY, he that our health and educational sector combined would have improved measure if the money allocated to subsidy was invested adequately.
He added that the equivalent to a decade budget for these sectors was stolen through subsidy and these money are yet accounted for.
“To redesign Nigeria we must invest in MSMEs as they are the backbone of any economy. In China, 92% of its GDP is gotten from MSMEs, contributing to 62% to employment rate, the government is aggressively investing in them.”
To end the discourse, he said that to revamp our economy we must invest in this sector save our perturbed level of unemployment.