From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The former Gubernatorial candidate of Labour Party in Kwara state Comrade Issa Aremu has called for drastic monetary and fiscal measures to overcome inequality income and opportunities, failing which the country would be in perpetual underdevelopment.
He stated this in a statement made available to the media in kaduna yesterday.
Comrade Aremu said the “down side” of Nigeria at 60 years of independence is what he called “worsening inequality pandemic”.
According to him, it was regrettable that Nigeria at 2020 was “increasingly more unequal” than it was at independence in 1960, adding that while the ranks the poor are swelling by the hour, the rich are getting richer in minutes, but in fewer.
The Labour leader who is Member of National Institute, Kuru Jos and Vice President Industriall Global union, faulted the global report that Nigeria was the global capital of poverty.
“Yes as many as 100 million .. are living bellow poverty level, but we should also not forget that Nigeria is the home of few richest men and women of the world”. Citing Forbes reports , he observed that Nigeria after Egypt and South Africa are listed as few of Africa’s 54 nations with citizens in Global billionaires club
. “Nigeria parades 4 of the global billionaires. Yes you can also say Nigeria is indeed capital of prosperity for a tiny few”!
Comrade Aremu said it was time Nigeria and Africa worked for “all citizens not for just for the few”, adding that there was the need for conscious monetary and fiscal policies to overcome widening income inequality.
He said it was unacceptable that President Buhari did not mention the issue of widening inequality in his anniversary speech. “ If you don’t name it (i.e. inequality pandemic) you can hardly tame it”.
He said the current income inequality in Nigeria cannot drive growth and development.
Recalling a UK OXFARM report which says combined wealth of Nigeria’s five richest men – $29.9 billion – could end extreme poverty in Nigeria,