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Over 100 Million Nigerians Living in Poverty, Says Peter Obi 

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, yesterday revealed that over 100 million Nigerians were living in poverty, saying the situation was responsible for the rising insecurity in the country.

The Labour Party presidential candidate said the inability of the current government to handle challenges facing Nigeria has painted the country as a failed state.

Obi spoke during a one-day International Colloquium forum with the theme: “What do Nigerians Want?” held virtual that was organised by Christ Church, in Port Harcourt.

According to the former Governor of Anambra State, “Over the years what we see as a country is training people into poverty. The consequence is that we have 100 million people today living in poverty. There is no way you will have 100 million people living in poverty and you will not have a crisis.

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“We have more people living in poverty than China and Egypt combined, a population of about 2.5 billion. There is nowhere you won’t have these crises we are going through. The number of people that are supposed to be working in Nigeria is 120 million, but today only 40 million are gainfully employed in Nigeria. We have 80 million people who are supposed to be working not working.

“The consequence is that we have a state but it is unproductive. Nigeria as a country is unproductive because when we talk about 80 million people that are not working, about 70 percent are youths in their productive age doing nothing with so many tendencies.

“So, the country is not doing anything, all the country is doing today is sharing. Everybody is looking for what to share, even when what we are sharing is finished which is why we have the large crisis till date”.

Speaking on security, Obi expressed sadness that the government was no longer in control of the nation’s territory, adding that the nation was being led by gangsters whose target is to loot the country’s treasury for personal gain.

“We are no longer in control of our economy. We have to deal with the issue of security. Why do we have a security problem? Is very shameful. Is curating the effect of leadership failure over the years?

“I have to stop the bleeding. You are going to borrow money but there had to be a law that all borrowed money will be for investment. We had to move from sharing formula to production formula.

“If we get it right and start borrowing for investment, that is where we start. When we start pulling people out of poverty. The more they pull people out of poverty, the more they reduce criminality.

“We need to start doing proper investment in security. Nigeria is lacking leadership. We have one situation where our system has been criminalised by gangsters who call themselves leaders and that is why we see desperation by people who want to run the government. It is remaining for us to carry guns and shoot people because we want to serve them”, Obi added.

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