The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has said that at the rate the country was going, the entire country may soon fall into poverty.
The former vice president said this while reacting to a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 98 million Nigerians living in multidimensional poverty.
According to Atiku, even Aliko Dangote, who’s the richest man in Africa, has been touched by the “wave of poverty sweeping through the country”.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Paul Ibe, Atiku further alleged that the people “who put Nigeria in this crisis” did so carelessly and that Boko Haram or banditry are no longer Nigeria’s greatest security threat but the “creation of the largest wave of poverty in human history in the country”.
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“The failure of our economy over the last four years affects everyone from top to bottom. Four years ago, Aliko Dangote, Nigeria’s richest man, was worth $25bn. However, his net worth in 2019 is less than half that. He joined thousands of industrialists whose wealth and their ability to produce, had eroded in recent years, and continue to do so.”
“With the National Bureau of Statistics reporting a net job loss of over six million since 2015, we see that if industrialists have their wealth eroding, it affects their ability to create opportunities, which means that the trickle-down effect gradually dries.
“And in the wake of this report by the UNDP, we are greeted with nonchalance by those who led us into this crisis. It is as though they think that as long as they and their families are not amongst those 98 million extremely poor Nigerians, things can carry on as before.
“But that cannot be allowed to be the case. Those who have the ability, including the Council of State, all former leaders, elder-statesmen, and especially the other arms of government, must begin to collaborate for solutions, before the number increases from 98 million, to all 198 million Nigerians.
“We must remember that we are stakeholders in the Nigerian project; stakeholders who must speak up for those 98 million people who are losing their voices to poverty.”