Peter Obi, vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says corruption can be fought aggressively while at the same time attention is paid to the economy.
Taking on Yemi Osinbajo, vice-presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at a debate organised by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Obi faulted the government’s economic policy.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
On Wednesday, the former Anambra governor had also described the government’s fight against corruption as a disaster and not an economic policy.
Responding, Osinbajo said government would not be able to do all it wants if corruption is not eradicated.
“If you allow criminals to steal all the inventories in the shop, there will be no shop,” he said.
“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 do.”
Obi, Osinbajo debated alongside Ganiyu Galadima of ACPN, Khadijah Abdullahi of ANN and Umma Abdullahi-Getso of YPP.
The event held at the congress hall of the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.