The vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, has criticised the Federal Government for its approach to anti-corruption fight in the country.
Responding to a question at a debate organised by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), he said corruption can be tackled aggressively while rebuilding the economy.
“You are not creating jobs, you are not doing the right thing, and you are just fighting corruption. You can’t shut down your shop and be chasing criminals,” Obi said on Friday.
He added, “In 2015, unemployment and underemployment was 24%, today it’s 40. In 2015, we were attracting N21 billion in foreign direct investments, we attracted only 12 last year.
“That means it’s going low. Our GDP was 520 in 2015, and per capital was 2, 500, today it’s under 1, 900. If you look at our stock market, it has lost over N2 trillion in one year.”
The PDP vice-presidential candidate advised the government to focus more on improving the nation’s economy.
He, however, warned that there might be a crisis in the country if the government fails to address the issue of unemployment, especially among the youths.
The vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Professor Yemi Osinbajo responded swiftly to Obi.
According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari administration will not be able to achieve its goals if corruption is not eradicated.
He said, “If you allow criminals to steal all the inventories in the shop, there will be no shop. And what has happened in Nigeria in the past 16 years is what the World Bank told us that the major cause of our poverty is corruption.”
“So, let me say that there is no way we can minimise what has happened. You can’t minimise corruption. If you minimise it, we run the risk of completely… in fact, the argument is lost.
“We cannot do what we want to do unless we are able to minimise corruption or eradicate it completely. This is what we are trying to do,” Osinbajo added.