Peter Obi, presidential hopeful and former Anambra governor, says the insecurity in the country is the result of the high population of unemployed youths.
He said this on Monday in his presentation at the ‘Greater Nigeria Conference’, which featured discussions on the need for the south-east to produce the next president.
The event held in Abuja and was organised by the Nzuko Umunna, an Igbo think-tank.
In 2021, Nigeria hit a new record on high unemployment rate, following the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that unemployment rate climbed to 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter (Q4 2020) from 27.1 percent recorded in Q2 2020.
According to Obi, Nigeria needs to move from being a consuming nation to prioritising production.
“I thank my brothers and sisters who are also aspiring. I want us to do it in unity and ensure that one of us emerges and is supported by all of us,” he said.
“Everyone has talked about injustice in Nigeria and everybody knows that this country thrives on injustice. But beyond that, I want us to look at the true description of a failed state — when a system is no longer in control of its territory, economy. Is Nigeria in control of its territory, economy? And the reason is simple.
“When Pa Adebanjo was talking about Nigeria when it was good, he talked about how the west kept cocoa money, the east kept for palm and the north kept for groundnut. That was when Nigeria was producing. Today, what Nigeria is doing is sharing, sharing, sharing. All I want to do is stop the sharing and start production.
“Development is hinged on human development index (HDI). Let’s invest in education; let’s pull people out of poverty — with 100 million people living in poverty, you’ll have crisis and that’s the crisis we face today.
“I’m a wealth creator and I know what it means to create wealth. I’ve travelled to 31 countries of the world and know that you cannot have 55 percent unemployment, with 70 percent of your youths not knowing where the next meal will come from and you think you’ll have peace. No.
“We need to invest in youths. That’s what’s happening in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, everywhere. I want to invest in youths. The opportunity is for me to move the country from consumption to production.”