President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday faulted the World Bank report, which placed Nigeria among the countries with the highest level of poverty in the world, saying, “The nation is not poor.”
Addressing workers at the May Day rally held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, the president said: “The challenges of the country is not poverty, but redistribution of wealth.”
The president pointed out that his administration was working assiduously and putting policies in place to ensure that Nigerians had access to financial resources to create wealth for themselves.
“Nigeria is not a poor country. Nigerians are the most travelled people. There is no country you go that you will not see Nigerians. The GDP of Nigeria is over half a trillion dollars and the economy is growing at close to 7 per cent.
“Aliko Dangote was recently classified among the 25 richest people in the world. I visited Kenya recently on a state visit and there was a programme for Nigerian and Kenyan businessmen to interact and the number of private jets that landed in Nairobi that day was the subject of discussion in Kenyan media for over a week.
“If you talk about ownership of private jets, Nigeria will be among the first 10 countries, yet they are saying that Nigeria is among the five poorest countries.
“Some of you would have observed that there is an amount of money you will give to a Nigerian who needs help and he will not even regard it and thank you. But if you travel to other countries and give the same amount, the person will celebrate.
“But the World Bank statistics shows that Nigeria is among the five poorest countries. Our problem is not poverty, our problem is redistribution of wealth,” he said.
The president noted that the problem is wealth in the country is concentrated in a few hands and a number of Nigerians do not have access to it.
“That is why my administration is committed in terms of financial inclusiveness and we are working very hard to achieve this,” he explained.