FG Should Invest in SMEs, Not Infrastructure, Says Obi
Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has decried the policy of the federal government which focuses more on the provision of infrastructure while allegedly neglecting the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Obi condemned such policy yesterday while speaking on Arise News network Morning Show programme.
He said many countries that have tackled their problem did not use infrastructure as a prop to drive the economy.
The vice-presidential candidate in the 2019 Nigerian general election asserted that poverty should not be seen as a scary thing; rather, he cautioned that what should be the focus is if the country is making wise and proper investment.
According to him, “I have said it severally that SMEs drive the economy of every country. Poverty is something that is seen all over the world. It happened in China. Everybody is aware that China pulled over 400 million people out of poverty. It also happened in India, but in five years, they pulled over 200 million people out of poverty. It happened in Vietnam also.”
He used Bangladesh as a case study of how any country can successfully drive its economy by investing in education and SMEs.
Obi noted that as of 2008, the Bangladeshi GDP was $101 billion, the per capita was $753, while the debt was $50 billion, which represented 50 percent of the GDP size.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate in the 2019 elections stated that the Bangladeshi economy is presently worth over $300 billion while the per capita has jumped three-fold from $753 to over $2,000 and the national debt stands at $102 billion.
Obi said: “Their debt has actually reduced because instead of being 50 per cent of their GDP, it is now about 30 percent. What happened? Bangladesh took the money to SMEs. Today, Bangladesh is the second biggest exporter of textiles in the world.
“There are over 5,000 textiles in Bangladesh and they are making over $35 billion in textiles and textile materials, which is about what we are making from oil.
“I checked that other countries have done the same thing. They throw money into SMEs, and also invest in education. They did not go on building more infrastructures.”