A former governor of Anambra State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential hopeful, Peter Obi, has revealed why the federal government is failing in its move to generate revenue through taxation.
According to Obi, the government has kept on borrowing money over the years to share among the elite in the economy, instead of investing the loans in Nigerian youths who are supposed to be taxpayers.
Obi, who spoke in Abuja, at an event to inaugurate 36 state coordinators of Nigeria Needs Peter Obi Movement (NNPO), regretted that a country that channels about 96 percent of its total revenue towards debt servicing is in total crisis.
The former Anambra state governor insisted that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country is low because the government has failed to provide an enabling environment for the youths who are the pioneers of economic growth in every country.
While stating that the Federal government had poorly performed in revenue generation, the ex-Governor noted that provision of electricity should not be seen as a favor to the Nigerian people, but a part of the federal government’s responsibility to lift the economy.
His words: “The reality is that we are not doing the youths a favor, but we’re saving ourselves today. You hear of banditry everywhere in Nigeria. Those bandits are those we refused and failed to invest in yesterday. If we had invested in them and given them a job, we would have reduced it.
“I am not saying that there won’t be crime but it will 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 when they are at 65? It is because 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 build 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, Twitter, all these were founded by the youths and they are the ones driving everything.
Youths in Nigeria lack the privilege.
“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 in, then you take out. If they have invested in those youths, they will be productive, then you tax them.”
Earlier, the national coordinator of NNPO, Dr Adeyinka Adetokunbo, drummed support for Peter Obi, stating that he is best among other presidential candidates.
Adetokunbo noted that for a governor to have exited office with over N70billion in the state’s account speaks of a man with sincerity, and a hardcore manager of finances.
“Personally, I asked myself, could this man be real? Could it be truly possible that he left N75 billion for his successor? Did he truly save $156 million for the future of his state?
“You see, when someone stirs something pleasant in you, the tendency is to investigate further. I did and confirmed that this soft-spoken man hasn’t exaggerated. In fact, he didn’t say all he did for that South Eastern state.
“From then, I started wishing for such an individual to become the president of this country. When he became the vice presidential candidate of PDP in the 2019 election, I believed we were getting closer. What followed that election is now history. But another tomorrow’s history beckons today.
“For his exquisite knowledge of how to solve our problems with practical analysis, for his humility in approach to all aspects of life, for his wisdom and honesty in approach to public life and his unbelievable transparency in calls to jettison our wrong ways that has been suffocating our nation and face reality of the tough times with us. For all these and many more, Nigeria Needs Peter Obi”, she stated.