The All Progressives Congress (APC) led government has been criticised by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar over a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that 133 million Nigerians are poor.
Atiku, on Thursday added that 63 per cent of Nigerians are poor due to a lack of access to health, education, and living standards, alongside unemployment.
He lamented that this development portends serious threat to national security.
Also responding to this development, the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, said the rising poverty in Nigeria is an indication that the APC federal government has failed to build the economy.
Berating the APC-led government, while addressing newsmen, the Director of Strategic Communication in the PDP presidential campaign council, Dele Momodu, said the APC couldn’t have done well because it never had the wherewithal.
Momodu explained that the aggrieved five governors led by Nyesom Wike are still members of the party, adding that there’s still room for reconciliation.
He said: “So far so good they are still in the party and we are happy they are in the party. There is still room for reconciliation, all they are saying is that they are not happy and we will continue to pray that peace will reign in the party. As for the Atiku campaign we remain steadfast, we remain focused and nothing distracts our attention.”
Also speaking, the Special Assistant, Public Communication to the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, Phrank Shuaibu expressed concern over the latest report by the NBS about rising poverty level in the country.
“More so that, in Buhari’s Nigeria, there have been no convincing measures being taken to indicate that anything concrete is being done about it. Included in this troubling reality is that over 23 million youths, mostly educated and potentially productive, are unemployed.
“This development portends only one thing: a threat to the security and stability of the Nigerian nation.
“Although the Buhari administration claims to be empowering potential investors; big and small so as to improve people’s lives, records show that 54.7 per cent of Nigerians are financially excluded due to low-level bank penetration in the country and that besides the 916 Microfinance Banks, the 24 ‘big banks’ have only a little over 6000 branches, mostly concentrated in a few urban centres,” he said.
According to him, what made matters worse for the APC administration was that the social safety net scheme introduced by the federal government in 2016 to tackle poverty and hunger has not made any significant impact owing to poor implementation, corruption allegations and politicization.
“Only a sensible government will reckon that by redirecting public expenditure away from recurrent expenses and unnecessary consumption back to capital projects, the government can have a positive impact on incomes and employment. Such newly-employed individuals can in turn pay their bills, rent and essentials, thus providing income to the farmers, herdsmen, landlords and the like.
“It is for the purpose of departing from Buhari’s legacy of poverty that Atiku’s policy document code-named Unity-SEED, which stands for Unity, Security, Economy, Education and Devolution of power to states and local governments lays emphasis on Promoting diversification and linkages between agriculture, industry and micro and small enterprises,” he added.