A presidential hopeful of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and a former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has blasted the Federal Government for not investing in youth which has resulted in insecurity in the country.
He stated this at the weekend, during the unveiling and inauguration of ambassadors of one of his support movements: Nigeria Needs Peter Obi, NNPO, in Abuja.
The former Governor noted that the Federal Government also failed to provide a business-enabling environment for the youths as they are the engine of economic growth.
Obi also blasted the Federal government had not performed well in revenue generation. He stressed that the provision of electricity should not be seen as a favour to the Nigerian people but as a part of the federal government’s responsibility to lift the economy.
According to him: “The reality is that we are not doing the youths a favour, but we’re saving ourselves today. You hear of bandits everywhere in Nigeria. Those bandits are those we refused and failed to invest in yesterday. If we had invested in them, if we had given them a job, we would have reduced it.
“I am not saying that there won’t be a crime, but it would be reduced. Yes, people say most of them are foreigners, I agree. But if we had invested on our own, they wouldn’t allow foreigners to come in.
“So, we need to invest in the youths. Do you know why people retire when they are in their 60s or 65? They’re no longer as productive as they were in their youth. So, investing in the youths is investing in the engine of growth of your country. They are the ones that will produce the stability of the country. They are the ones who have the energy, the talent and everything to move on.
“Every company we are celebrating in the world today is built by the youths. People hardly make any company when they are old. Those who founded the biggest corporations in the world did it in their youth: the Amazons, the Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. The youths founded all these, and they are the ones driving everything. Youths in Nigeria lack the privilege.
“Again, on power, you are not doing anybody a favour. You have to provide it because it helps the engine of your growth. Governments always complain that they don’t have enough revenue.
“They don’t say they have a debt problem but a revenue problem. They also say tax to GDP is low. All these are because they have people who are not working. Will they pay you tax from where? Are they going to tax unemployed people? Taxation is like a bank account. You first have to put it in, then take it out. If they have invested in those youths, they will be productive, and then you tax them.
“But because you did not invest in them, you can’t tax them. I can show you 20 countries what the youths have been able to do, with empirical evidence to verify. So, that’s where we are. The country has collapsed. There is nothing again for them to share. Sharing has finished. What they have been sharing is your future because they are borrowing money and sharing it.”