By Ikhili Ebalu Benin City
The People’s Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate in the February 16, 2019 general elections, Peter Obi on Thursday assured Nigerians that the present economic challenges will be a thing of the past if his party wins the elections.
Obi, who gave the assurance during an interactive session with stakeholders, organized private sector, civil society,,members of the party among others, said with the combination of Atiku Abubakar and him, the country’s economy will work again.
The former governor of Anambra state, who lamented the poor funding of the nation’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) noted that 80 percent of bad debts are being owed by only 350 persons in the country.
While describing SMEs as the main driver and engine of any nation, opined that five percent of debts is being owed by 37 million people.
According to him, in order for us to create jobs we have to ensure that the intervention funds that the APC government said it had been providing and not being accessed today by SMEs we will change the narrative because we have idea of what the go funds are for.
“We will work with you, the organized private sector to ensure that the intervention funds are accessible to SMEs. In doing this we will create an economic that will create jobs. SMEs is the biggest engine of job creation anywhere in the world.
“We are talking about creating jobs. You can’t create job in a country where 80 percent of total bad debts in Nigeria is being owed by only 350 persons, by this there is no way you can create jobs in that economy.
“SMEs, is having about 5 percent of the total debts , so there is no way you can fund them. Out of N20 trillion that is being owed to the banks 80 percent which is N16 trillion is owed by 350 persons. That represents to N45billion for each person. While five percent which is N1trillion is being owed by 37million persons, representing N37,000 per persons,” he said.
The presidential hopeful, said as a deliberate policy to put an end to incessant strike in the public tertiary institutions in the country the PDP- led federal government, public tertiary institutions will be supported and encourage to generate their own revenue.
He also, promised that the party will establish a loan scheme system for students to access to be able to fund their education while investing massively on universal basic education to build Hamm capital development of youths and address illiteracy.
He added that over 40 percent of young Nigerians are unemployed and that has led Nigeria to the capital of the poorest country in the world.
“Nigeria has been shutdown economically, politically and socially for over three years and has resulted to hunger, insecurity, and economic instability especially in the North Eastern part of the country,” he added.
Obi explained further that the government of Atiku and Obi will bring back foreign investors to develop the economy of the country mostly those who had closed their businesses for the fear of kidnapping, banditry, insurgency as a result of government inability to provide security for the citizenry.
He however urged Nigerians to vote for PDP candidate in all in the elective position, noting that it only the party that get Nigeria working again and than the incumbent government has failed to address the country’s socio-economic, security challenges.