Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25 election, Peter Obi, has said youths and other well-meaning Nigerians should work together to dismantle the criminality and corruption that had festered through different levels of government in the country.
Obi disclosed this while giving a highlight of his engagement with some Nigerian youths in Enugu on Friday.
In a statement on his X handle Saturday, Obi said the interactive session with young entrepreneurs, youth advocates, and change agents was aimed at discussing how to ‘Accelerate Actions to Achieve the SDGs in Nigeria Through Entrepreneurship and Civic Engagement.’
As a keynote speaker, Obi recalled pointing out to the youths that the Sustainable Development Goals are follow-ups to the Millennium Development Goals (2000 – 2015), “which before it ended in 2015, none was ever achieved in Nigeria because they were not mainstreamed into the development agenda of government unlike in other countries, like China, India, Vietnam.”
Ob said he related to the youths how the number one goal of the MDGs was to fight extreme poverty, saying, “Unfortunately, within the period of trying to implement the MDGs, more Nigerians became poorer, while other nations who mainstreamed their MDGs into their development agenda and followed it, like China and India pulled 439 million and 271 million people out of poverty respectively in the same period.”
In the area of education, the former Anambra State Governor noted that countries like China and India improved tremendously in the Human Development Index while the opposite was the case in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria, “which has not only failed to meet up with the MDG goals but has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world now.”
This, he opined, “shows how almost impossible it is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty and ensuring, at least, basic education for every child by 2030.”
In his recommendations, Obi encouraged the youths to take on entrepreneurship, no matter the difficulties they face in the country, stressing that “it is only through entrepreneurship that we will be able to build a strong small business sector that will catalyse the economy, foster productivity and help in moving the country from consumption to production.”
He concluded by reminding them that “Nigeria belongs to them and they must not cower in the face of difficult challenges and bad governance that pervade the nation today, but must raise their voices and demand for good governance.”
“We all must persevere and work together to dismantle the criminality and corruption that has festered through different levels of government in our nation,” the LP candidate urged.