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APC leaving behind poverty as legacy – PDP

  The Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign has said the outgoing Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress administration was leaving behi...

 

The Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign has said the outgoing Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress administration was leaving behind an inglorious record of grinding poverty occasioned by an abysmal performance in education and health among other indices of development.


Special Assistant , Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, Phrank Shaibu, said this in response to the latest report by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics which says 63 percent of Nigerians are poor.


Shaibu explained that data released by governmental and nongovernmental organisations have underlined the fact that the number of Nigerians living in poverty is alarming but this latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics about the multidimensional height of our poverty level calls for concern.


This, he said is even more so that,  in Buhari’s Nigeria, there have been no convincing measures being taken to indicate that anything concrete is being done about it.

He said, “Included in this troubling reality is that over 23 million youths, mostly educated and potentially productive, are unemployed.


“This development portends only one thing: a threat to the security and stability of the Nigerian nation.


“From the monetary perspective, the Central Bank of Nigeria, whose job it is to check inflation claims that it is doing its best to ensure that the overall prices for goods and services remain low, stable and predictable even as records on the ground point to the contrary.


“Although the Buhari administration claims to be empowering potential investors; big and small so as to improve people’s lives, records show that 54.7 percent of Nigerians are financially excluded due to low level bank penetration in the country, and that beside the 916 Microfinance Banks, the 24 ‘big banks’ have only a little over 6000 branches, mostly concentrated in a few urban centres.“

He further said, “To worsen matters, the social safety net scheme introduced by the federal government in 2016, to tackle poverty and hunger has not made any significant impact owing to poor implementation, corruption allegation and politicization.


“Only a sensible government will reckon that by redirecting public expenditure away from recurrent expenses and unnecessary consumption back to capital projects, the government can have positive impact on incomes and employment.


“Such newly-employed individuals can in turn pay their bills, rent and essentials, thus providing income to the farmers, herdsmen, landlords and the like.


“Industrial policy, the kind that is encapsulated in Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s blueprint, is another area to concentrate on.


“A nation of 200 million people cannot abandon its manufacturing sector in favour of importation. We must ensure that most of what we eat, drink, wear or otherwise use on daily basis are locally produced, thereby creating local employment and saving foreign exchange.


“The current policy thrust may give government additional revenue but it is actually wasting scarce resources and generating more jobs and incomes for foreign countries.


“Even within the industrial sector, more employment opportunities need to be created.


“The worn excuse that the sector does not generate much employment because it is capital intensive has been discredited by the example of big countries like Russia and Brazil, as well as small ones like Trinidad and Tobago.


“So far, we seem to focus mainly on what taxes, fees or royalties we can extract rather than developing the upstream and downstream sectors, through the creation of integrated complexes to provide chemicals, plastics and other industrial inputs for our industrial uses and export. The days of simply exporting crude should by now have been over.


“It is for the purpose of departing from Buhari’s legacy of poverty that Atiku’s policy document code-named Unity-SEED, which stands for Unity, Security, Economy, Education and Devolution of power to states and local governments lays emphasis on Promoting diversification and linkages between agriculture, industry and micro and small enterprises.”


Shaibu maintained that “Although the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate believes that the oil sector shall remain key to Nigeria’s development as it continues to provide fiscal resources for investment in economic and social infrastructure, his plan is to give priority to the promotion of sustained non-oil sector growth and enhanced linkages between the oil and non-oil sectors.


“In pursuit of a policy of diversification, Atiku shall support the development of a commercially-driven, technology-proficient agriculture which ensures food security and interfaces with the manufacturing sector for the supply of raw materials. “

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