By Jude Atupulazi
The Vice presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Peter Obi, has advised Nigerians to look beyond for the economic salvation of Nigeria. Obi said this while delivering the keynote address to over 2000 youths of the Centre for Strategic Leadership and Youth Orientation at Sen. Uche Ekwunife Centre, Awka, last weekend.
Using facts and figures, Obi said that countries that had recorded quantum leaps on development did so through paying attention to their education sector that helped to build the necessary knowledge germane to building a new economy.
Emphasizing the fact that economic salvation went beyond oil, Obi said that all Arab countries that had oil were trying to expand their industrial bases as well as investing in their people – looking beyond oil.
In Obi’s words: ‘let’s use empirical evidence to buttress our point. Venezuela, a small South-American country with a population of just 31 million people, has over 300 billion barrels of oil reserves, bigger than Saudi-Arabia’s 297 billion; and yet Venezuela is in crisis. Nigeria has only 35.3 billion reserves and every day you see our people falling over one another because of oil. It is important you know that the greatest revenue earners come from marketing our intellectual output. In 2018, for instance, Nigeria’s total earning from oil was about 18 billion dollars, when Facebook revenue within the same period earned over 55 billion Dollars. This shows you that future survival of countries lies beyond oil.’
Obi, who decried the castigation of the youth as unproductive, described such as uncharitable, challenging the government to first of all do for them what other countries did for their own youth before denigrating them.
One of the organizers, Mr. Umahi Felix Emeka, who said that the invitation to Obi to speak was based on popular demand, said that he, as well as other members, were fulfilled that he did not disappoint. He described Obi’s lecture as apposite and challenging to the youth on how to contribute to the betterment of humanity.
Obi was accompanied to the event by Prof. Stella Chinyere Okunna, who previously spoke to the youth on the principles of success in a globalized world, which she said, lay on hard work, honesty and other positive, ennobling virtues.