Lifting over 80 million Nigerians out of poverty is our priority – Ezekwesili reacts to Gates Foundation report on Nigeria

The Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili 2019 presidential campaign says its plan to lift majority of Nigerians out of extreme poverty stands out as the most actionable strategy in the lead up to next year’s general elections in the country.

 

This is coming on the heels of recent declaration by Bill Gates, Founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that the world can overcome extreme poverty as demonstrated by countries such as China, India, Mexico, South Africa, among others.

 

The second richest man in the world insisted that if nothing drastic was done, a high percentage of the world’s poor would come out of sub-Saharan Africa – a region, which has seen its population rise uncontrollably in recent years.

 

The Presidential candidate of Action Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), ObyEzekwesili, who has made lifting Nigerians out of extreme poverty the major thrust of her campaign, challenged her rivals to bring up their doable programmes to better the lots of citizens.

 

She said, “Beyond the rhetorics that is currently being engaged in during this election season, it is clear to us that getting people out of debilitating poverty is the single most crucial assignment that we have. That is why we adopt this as the cornerstone of the #Oby4President campaign.”

 

While lamenting that most aspirants to public office in the country were seeking political power for its sake, the ACPN presidential hopeful in a statement from Ezekwesili campaign organisation added, “This position is informed by ObyEzekwesili’s informed belief that only a prosperous people can take the nation into the future we all dream of.”

 

She contended that since research indicates that over 40 per cent of cases of extreme poverty could be found in sub-Saharan Africa by year 2050, “to turn around these tragic projections, we need to drastically change how we do things as a country. We cannot continue to vote in the incompetent leaders who put us into this poverty while expecting change to happen.

 

“It’s time to put in motion another wave of poverty reduction – which has slumped by over 1.2 billion people globally since 1990 – and we are more than ready to make this happen.”

 

Watchers of the forthcoming general election in Nigeria have expressed the view that Ezekwesili is the most prominent woman to run for the office of President in Nigeria’s history, describing her core campaign pledge of lifting over 80 million Nigerians out of poverty through human capital development and technological innovation as unprecedented.