The presidential candidate for the Nigerian Labour Party, Peter Obi, has outlined his plan for addressing poverty in the country.
During a recent townhall event, the former Governor of Anambra State presented a comprehensive agenda focused on job creation, education and dismantling the current political structure he believes currently perpetuates poverty in Nigeria.
If elected at the upcoming general elections scheduled for 25 February, Obi vows to work closely with the educational sector, farmers, and the workforce, and to create a stable environment to establish the foundation for sustainable economic growth.
He reassured that his administration would cooperate with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to prevent strikes and ensure that universities remain open.
Obi emphasised the importance of investing heavily in the education sector, stating that “the future of any serious country is dependent on its education sector.”
In his call to action, the presidential candidate urged the audience to shift their perspective on education from a mere cost to a vital investment.
“Education is an investment, not an expense, because the more your country is educated, the greater the development,” Obi said.
“So, if you look at it as an investment… that’s why I said you’ll get more out of it if you fund critical social investment.”
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In a scathing assessment of Nigeria’s education sector, ASUU recently declared the state of the country’s schools in 2022 as nothing short of catastrophic.
President of the Union, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, spoke exclusively to the Nigerian Tribune, stating that the state of the sector was dire across all levels, from primary to tertiary.
“Our education sector was nothing to write home about from the primary to tertiary level in the last one year,” he stressed.
“Though things had been bad in the sector over the years, it was the worst last year in all ramifications.”
The ASUU leader criticised the government at both the federal and state levels, noting that those in power had failed to give the sector the attention it deserved.
Last October, the union finally ended the eight-month strike over pay that has rampaged through Nigeria’s universities.
Osodeke said the government has failed to provide any meaningful intervention to ongoing issues and noted how this was a clear indication of its “anti-people and anti-development” position.