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Peter Obi tackles Tinubu, says his N8,000 palliative not enough to cushion effect of subsidy removal on Nigerians



The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi has criticised the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration for approval of N8,000 as palliative about 12 million households over the period of six months to ameliorate the hardships faced by Nigerians as a result of subsidy removal.

Obi said almost every family in the country is feeling the pains of the fuel subsidy removal and almost every parent needs the N8000 because of Nigeria’s poverty level.

The former Anambra state governor stated this on Saturday, July 15, 2023, while speaking at the graduation of the Class of 2023, Pacesetters Schools, Abuja.

He added that teachers who are poorly paid and owned salaries for months in some states are included in the suffering.

He said: “I was telling my people to find a way how to enrol for this N8,000 because almost everyone needs it; both parents and teachers need the 8,000.”

While speaking on the importance of education in any nation, Obi described as alarming the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) report that more than 20 million school-age children in Nigeria are out of school, saying there was no way there could be meaningful development when such huge number of children have no access to education.

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“If you follow the 2022 World population of counties we are talking about the population of Norway, Ireland, Singapore and Dubai put together that is out of school in Nigeria. When you put together the population of these four successful countries together, it will be over 19 million and we have 20 million out of school. So, we have the population of the four thriving, successful, developed countries put together that out of school in Nigeria, so how can you talk about development in the future? So, investment in education is critical,” he said.

Obi noted that various studies have indicated the human development index, health, education and per capita income, education is about all three because health is about education.

According to him, a nation could not have a healthy society without educated people and there was no way to take people out of poverty without education.

The former Governor of Anambra state said poverty is largely responsible for the challenge of insecurity being witnessed in the country today, saying the more people are put out of poverty, the more criminality is reduced “and you can’t do that unless you invest in education.”

Obi observed that the more people are educated, the more they are able to put themselves out of poverty, stressing that there was the need for the government to invest in private schools as in the public, arguing that the children in private schools are Nigerian children.

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“Nigeria is a country that says, we have Universal basic education. What this means is that we have the budget for each child and that budget what you do is that, if Pacesetters is a private school, you will make sure that you give Pacesetters the budget we have for each child so that parents can add more; that is how to implement it.

“As a governor of Anambra State, I didn’t really know the difference between the children in public schools and private schools because the children are not private. When people talk about private schools, I say well, it does not matter to me when I am supplying computers to public schools, I gave to private schools as well.

“For me, if I have the opportunity, education will have the highest amount in our budget; that is key and teachers will be celebrated,” he said.

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