Nigeria: Female presidential Hopeful pledges to tackle poverty

Obiageli Ezekwesili
Obiageli Ezekwesili

A female presidential candidate in Nigeria has vowed to lift at least 80 million Nigerians out of poverty if elected in the upcoming February polls.

Obiageli Ezekwesili, candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), told supporters at a political rally in Abuja on Monday that although she believed poverty cannot be completely eradicated, she would work to minimize it through inclusive economic growth and job creation for the youth. “The major emphasis of our campaign is that we want to lift over 80 million Nigerians out of poverty,” Ezekwesili said. Ezekwesili, a former vice president for Africa at the World Bank, said that being a woman is not a challenge for her to win the election, reiterating that she was keen on giving dividends of democracy to all Nigerians.

Nigeria’s growth and productivity can only happen when people have sufficient jobs and when they earn incomes that pull them out of poverty, said Ezekwesili, also a former minister of education.

She said, if elected, her administration would implement productivity and competitiveness initiatives to create new opportunities and jobs in some key sectors. She also vowed that priority would be placed on building a rapidly expanding economy, which would be powered by the private sector.

General elections which be held in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, on Feb. 16 to elect the president and the National Assembly members. Seventy-three presidential candidates, including incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari, will contest the February polls.

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