Buttom-top economy will reduce poverty



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From Gideon Arinze and Odigbo Chidinma, Enugu

A former Governor of Cross  River State and presidential aspirant, Donald Duke has said that the country must begin to run a button-top economy if poverty rate in the country must be reduced.

Duke said that the bottom top approach will enable the government to depend on the well being of the citizens through the payment of tax as they will be gainfully employed.

Speaking at the Big Ideas Podium organized by African Heritage Institution with the theme: Ending poverty In Nigeria: Using what we have to get what we want, Duke said that the reason for widespread poverty in the country is due to government inability to properly distribute wealth.

According to him, the problems which have befallen us as a nation is a result of the lack of the will and strategy on the part of the leaders to accomplish their vision.

He stated that Nigeria operates a wacko economy which is designed to create jobs and other opportunities in foreign countries.

"Our elites do go for medical vacations in foreign countries and take their children to school aboard instead of acculturating them with our environment.

He regretted that Nigeria is a country where everything goes. Our leaders do not represent our interest well. Yet there are no consequences for their actions" he said.

He observed that we have not come to terms with the level of poverty in the nation adding that as citizens we have a role to play by way of electing good leaders who will take us out of poverty.

On the calls for restructuring, he said "every restructuring argument in Nigeria boils down to revenue sharing. Every section of the country wants to be financially autonomous" he said.

He also said that Nigeria must begin to use the grace it has in its population and material resources to fast-track progress in the country.

"Our population can create a vibrant market if we utilize it well as a large chunk of the population depends largely on the goodwill of others which dislocates us as human beings,"  he said.

He observed that the leadership in the country must have the requisite will and strategy in order to get the citizens out of poverty as according to him, the country is economically irrelevant.

Earlier in his address, the Executive Director, African Heritage Foundation, Prof. Ufo Uzodike said that the dysfunctionalities in the country can be blamed on bad leadership while noting that the bad leaders are products of our societies.

"As citizens, we have the responsibility to use our democratic rights to recall leaders who fail to deliver on their mandate," he said.

He also regretted that the rule of law which should be a guiding principle has been largely neglected adding that the politicization of ethnicity and religion further contributes to the problems the nation is facing.
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