The Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Oby Ezekwesili has said that her promise of lifting 80 million Nigerians out of poverty if she is voted as President in the 2019 election is not a fluke.
Ezekwesili, who was Vice-President of World Bank, told news men in Lagos today, Monday that Nigeria is blessed with great people, and a country with great potential like Nigeria should not be associated with high poverty rate.
She said that the poverty narrative has been predominant owing to the consistent dearth of the leadership to build the right capacities to empower the people.
The candidate identified inequality, infrastructural deficit, high rate of illiteracy and poor economic focus as some of the causes of high poverty rate.
Ezekwesili gave the details of her blueprint for achieving her campaign promises, saying that she would massively invest in human capital development of more educated citizens who would be economically empowered.
She promised to pursue a robust housing programme to deliver affording homes to most Nigerians in order to increase access.
“Education and skills development of healthy Nigerian people shall be my number one priority.
“No matter what we do, we would never win the war on poverty without investing massively in human capital development.
“That is why in our ACPN government, education will be the new oil. Education will be the new economy.
“My vision for education is one that will nourish the mind and create a progressive society that competes globally.
“ If our current and future human capital are not educated, they will most likely end up in poverty and our economy will lose the productivity that they would have added.
“We shall launch a root and branch reform of all the levels and phases of education. Early Childcare Education, Basic Education, Secondary Education.
“Special Needs Education and Adult/Informal Education will all be systemically reformed to achieve universal access to quality and relevant education by all Nigerians.
“Education, training and skills development remain the most potent tools of economic and social mobility in all progressive societies.
“Breaking the vicious circle of poor education is crucial for promoting inclusive economic growth and decent jobs for all,” she said.
Ezekwesili promised a national housing programme to reduce the cost of a starter home for families.
“In partnership with the private sector, we will reduce cost of these homes by 50% while increasing quality.
“Within my first 100 days, I would launch a Naija Home Competition that will call for the design of a standard, affordable Nigerian home design which will include two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom and toilet, and a kitchen.
“At least 80 percent of the homes we will build will be low-cost housing whereby allocation is based on income.
“The recipients will be selected from a pool of qualified applicants through lottery.”
Ezekwesili said that she would drive prosperity in the country by giving the necessary support to start-ups and small-scale enterprises for massive job creation.
The candidate promised to embark on total oil industry and power reforms to stimulate efficiency in both sectors for economic development.
“Also we will pursue a Produce More, Earn More vision that will result in higher productivity, greater competitiveness, higher income, more diversified export earnings from wider sources of economic growth in the economy.”
The ex-minister of education said that she would invest massively in agriculture to diversify the economy and provide more jobs, while health care would receive the needed attention.
Ezekwesili urged Nigerians to trust in her capacity to deliver, saying she had the track record and experience to make the country an economic giant.