Nigeria cannot develop with 133 million people in multidimensional poverty: Peter Obi

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has harped on the poverty level in Nigeria, saying that no nation can develop with more than half of its population living in poverty.

“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, 63 per cent of the population, are classed as multidimensionally poor according to the National Bureau of Statistics,” Mr Obi said.

Mr Obi said this on his X handle to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

“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 poverty as part of my mission in the New Nigeria,” Mr Obi added.

He stated that according to Oxfam, the richest 0.003 per cent of Nigerians, 6,355 individuals worth $5 million and above, have 1.4 times more wealth than 107 million other Nigerians.

He explained that high rates of poverty and gross income inequality, are obviously a threat to national prosperity, security, and development.

Mr Obi further explained that investing in small businesses across the country is a proven method of lifting people out of poverty, citing other comparable economies like India, Bangladesh, and China as case studies.

“According to the United Nations, India lifted approximately 415 million individuals out of poverty 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 poverty 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”.

Mr Obi appealed to the government at all levels to take urgent and positive action by reforming and investing in critical areas of development, health, and education, thereby lifting people out of poverty.