Former vice-presidential candidate Peter Obi has wished Nigerians a more productive year, praying that the painful stories and challenges which faced the people in 2020 are conquered in 2021 with devotion and hard work.
In his New Year message released to the press, Mr Obi said that going by socio-economic review of economic indices all over the world, the year 2021 would be challenging globally, considering the fact that the world is still recovering from the harsh economic realities resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and especially for Nigeria which has suffered from years of mismanagement of resources, that ended up aggravating the current economic recession.
He said: “Nigeria found itself in many unpleasant positions in the year 2020. Nigeria overtook India as the country with highest under 5 mortality rates. Nigeria now has the highest prevalence of drug abuse in the world. We were named the most stressful country in the world, with a life expectancy ratio of 55 years. Nigeria is, today, ranked the most terrorised country in Africa and 3rd in the world.
“A recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report shows that Nigeria’s economy will shrink further by 4.3%, pushing over 11 million more Nigerians into poverty. This when added to the already 98 million people living in poverty in Nigeria, will leave more than half of the population living in poverty, a dangerous situation for any nation.”
He stated further that Nigerians must see the year 2021 as a year of correcting the mistakes of the past and contributing to build a better nation.
Obi appealed to those in authority to see the challenges nations are facing as an opportunity to approach governance from entirely different perspectives, which, according to him, should include drastic cut in the cost of governance to save money for infrastructural development.
The former Anambra State governor urged Nigerians to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship in 2021.