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While speaking at the 3rd South East Economic Summit with the theme, “South East Nigeria: An Investment Destination”, PDP’s vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on Tuesday, lampooned the anti-corruption policy of the President Buhari-led federal government, saying the country has receded in attempt to frighten and muscle the opposition with anti-graft campaign.
According to Vanguard, the former governor of Anambra state, told the federal government that fight against corruption was not economic policy, and could boomerang when it is fought with intent to be vindictiveness.
Peter Obi gave an instance that when peoples’ businesses that employ thousands of people and which render crucial services to the society are shut down in guise that they were established through corrupt means, the nation would lose more than the value of the looted money, if any.
He blamed the nation’s poverty on over dependence on oil revenue to the detriment of other resources, arguing that oil has become a declining asset which many nations are dumping.
Obi gave the example of Venezuela, which he noted has the largest deposit of oil in the world, with 23 million population but is economically a failed nation because it failed to adopt modern economic model like developed countries that run knowledge-based economy.
He said “Nigeria in the past three years actually came down from GDP of 520 billion to a GDP of less than 400 million, and that was why I was worried when people say we are doing well… fighting corruption is not an economic policy; it’s a disaster…”
The PDP presidential candidate said that South East and South South geopolitical zones of the country have the capacity to change Nigeria economically as they have the regions with the fastest growing cities in the country.
“Knowledge economy is the driver of the word today. Nobody is talking about baggage (oil) economy; in our own, its’ even a diminishing asset.
“People are now trying to build vehicles, they don’t need petroleum and we are still busy arguing everything, price of oil went up, price of oil went down; when we have talented young men that can change this place if supported, and this is what we need to look at and support them.
“Like I always said to people, your country in 2016 had 70 something million poor people and India had 76 million poor people.
“Within three years India pulled 102 million people out of poverty. They have no oil. Your country pulled 12 million into poverty and we became number one, they became number two. They have no oil.”