A former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has argued that Nigeria as a country has failed, and that the present crop of leaders were not doing much to rescue it.
The former governor lamented that there were agitations in different parts of the country because the government had failed to address issues that would douse such agitations.
Even though the Nigerian government had claimed that the country was out of recession, Obi argued that this was hard to believe as many Nigerians were still feeling the impact of the economic recession.
He said “For me the country has failed, If anybody tells you that Nigeria is doing well, tell them it is a lie. They said that we are out of recession but almost all Nigerians are still feeling greatly the impact of recession”.
The former governor spoke in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Saturday at an Independence anniversary lecture.
He spoke on the topic “Change and changing Nigeria through harnessing of investment potentials of Ebonyi state: yesterday, today and tomorrow”.
In Nigeria’s 57th anniversary celebrations, Obi stated, “Whenever they talk about Nigeria at 57, I refuse to talk. My opinion is that Nigeria is a failed country, period and that is why you are seeing so many agitations you are seeing today. The agitation is not ending, it’s just begging,” he said.
He continued, that “It is a cumulative effect of leadership failure over the several years of this country and you can’t stop it because you now have millions of young people in their productive age doing nothing, you can call them anything”.
He noted that youths were drawn into agitations, and other forms of violence and crime because they are jobless and hungry, even as he stated that the Nigerian economy should move away from oil, into other sectors.
“If you don’t have a job and you have not eaten food in the morning, afternoon and night, tomorrow you are a potential terrorist, quote me anywhere. The only way to stop that is to give them jobs.
“We are moving from baggage economy to knowledge economy. So, the country should stop dwelling on solid minerals because it is a baggage economy and nobody lives with it. This is what Nigeria is doing and we are still talking about oil which is already destined to finish one day,” Obi stated.
On the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, he said “Nigeria should queue into Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), not in signature. The country is there in signature and it is the only country that got involved in Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and did not achieve one goal because as soon as we signed the signature, we threw it away and came here and started doing things wrongly.
“China put MDGs in their developmental agenda, they mainstreamed it in their developmental agenda and they are targeting to lift 16million people out of poverty but I don’t know how many people Nigeria will lift in the next 10 years because there is no such measurable goals, everything is done in confusion,” he said.
According to him, leaders have depleted the country’s reserve, and keep borrowing money which is shared, instead of being used for for developmental projects.
“Our reserve is weak today and we are not talking about savings rather we are borrowing more. In 2007, all our debts were written off and we didn’t owe anybody. But in 2017, we have accumulated a debt of $69 billion and nobody is thinking how do we get over this because what we are doing is based on nothing. We just borrow money and share”, he lamented.
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