Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election, said Nigeria is today, regrettably, the poverty capital of the world.
To mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Obi emphasized that investing in small businesses across the country has proven to be the fastest way to lift people out of penury.
Obi wrote on X, “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 penury as part of my mission in 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, or 63 percent of the population, are classified as multidimensionally poor, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
“No nation can develop with more than half of its population living in penury.
“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 penury and gross income inequality are obviously threats to national prosperity, security, and development.
“Other comparable economies like India, Bangladesh, China, etc. have demonstrated that investing in small businesses across the nation is the fastest way to lift people out of penury.
“According to the United Nations, India lifted approximately 415 million individuals out of penury between 2000 and 2021. They achieved this remarkable milestone by reducing their global multidimensional poverty index.
“Similarly, Bangladesh has lifted over 33 million people out of penury within the said period, moving Bangladesh into the ranks of middle-income economies with a projection that it will enter upper-middle income status by 2041.
“I respectfully appeal to our governments at all levels to take urgent and positive actions by reforming and investing in critical areas of development, such as health, education, and lifting people out of penury. This remains my mission in New Nigeria because it is possible.