Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, has stated that increased access to education remains a critical key strategy that could be employed to reduce poverty in the country. Obi said that Nigeria would successfully move millions of people out of poverty if ‘we invest more in education which remains a key sector of economic growth”.
Obi, who made this known in a message to celebrate the International Literacy Day 2020, said that access to high quality basic education was a globally recognised solution to breaking the chains of poverty, especially in developing countries like Nigeria.
The former Anambra State governor explained that the International Literacy Day celebration provided Nigerian leaders another opportunity to reflect on their contributions towards educational provisions to Nigerian children who had no access to good education. He stated that consequent upon the changing nature of the global economy, driven by technological advancements and globalisation, it is now more important than ever to invest in human capital and ensure that everyone has access to basic education to ensure success in life.
Maintaining that investment in human capital through investment in education not only reduces poverty level, Obi said that it also reduces income inequality and promotes economic growth and national development. He asserted that a developing country, like Nigeria, truly desirous of lifting millions of her citizens out of poverty, must invest in education, especially at the basic level.
“We are once again provided with another opportunity to reflect on our commitments to education, which remains the easiest and surest way of reducing poverty and fostering economic growth and development. Every Nigerian child deserves access to quality education that will equip him with the knowledge and skills required for the future. Nigerian leaders must therefore encourage education with substantial financial commitment to the sector,” Obi said.
He lamented that over 13 million children were out of school in Nigeria, describing such as a recipe not just for economic stagnancy but also for national disaster. He opined that unless Nigerian leaders committed substantial resources to accommodating a greater number of out of school children in education, Nigeria’s economy would continue to limp and national peace and security might continue to elude the nation.
The International Literacy Day is celebrated on September 8 every year.