The Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 general election, Peter Obi, has stated that Nigeria needs wealth creators as leaders, if the country desired any integrated economic growth.
Obi explained that Nigeria currently operates what can be described as a “consumption economy” that encouraged states, bodies and agencies to always depend on the Federal Government for revenue sharing.
Obi made this call when he spoke at an event to mark Anaedoonline’s Second Anniversary lecture.
He said if wealth creators were elected into political leadership positions at all levels of government, different sectors of the economy would come alive with sustainable growth and development.
Obi lamented the culture of wealth consumption that had eaten deep into the nation.
He said the total dependence on oil revenues had done more harm than good to Nigeria.
He said it was the over-dependence on oil that had stagnated other non-oil sectors of the economy because people always hoped to share and consume oil proceeds.
He stated that crash in oil prices, which was occasioned by the global pandemic, should have “taught us a lesson as a people that total dependence on oil will not save us”.
The ex-VP candidate believes that if Nigeria had wealth creators as leaders, every sector of the economy would become productive to achieve sustainable growth.
This, he said, will whittle down the dependence on oil revenues and thus erase the “consumption mindset” from the people.
Obi cited example with non-oil producing countries like United States, whose economies were very productive.
He said: “Apple Inc. in the United States had an annual GDP of $260.17 billion as a company in 2019, while Nigeria as a country generated about $448.12 billion in 2019.
“So just a company in the United States generated almost half of what the whole Nigeria generated in 2019.
“The reason is that they have wealth creators, as leaders, that we do not have.”