Enugu 53% poverty rate worrisome – APC Chieftain, Ike-Muonso

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu State, Prof. Martin Ike-Muonso has decried what he called disturbing level of poverty in the State.

The party chieftain, who addressed journalists on Friday, claimed that the State had about 53 percent poverty rate.

He spoke after the APC guber candidate in the State, Chief Uche Nnaji held an interactive session with the business community at the ECCIMA House, Abakaliki road, GRA.

While analysing Nnaji’s presentation at the meeting, Ike-Muonso said, “Enugu State can only break away from the stranglehold of poverty and unemployment through solid collaborative governance with the organized private sector.”

He added that, “as you heard from our guber candidate today, the first concern is high rate of poverty of about 58 percent and an underlying poverty mindset, such as the admittance of Enugu State as a civil service State.

“The others are the deficient levels of industrialization and entrepreneurship, majorly responsible for the State’s high unemployment conditions, totalling approximately 53 percent, with poor governance accounting for low level of exploitation of our vast natural potentials, particularly in agriculture and agro-driven economic expansion.

“For instance, capital expenditure as a share of the State’s total budgets consistently, albeit regrettably, shrank from 65.6% in 2014 to 31.5% in 2021, while the current expenditure, which used to be 34.4% in 2014, rose to 69% in 2021.”

Ike-Muonso expressed optimism that if the APC takes over power in the State, “it will change this sad socio-economic scenario by prioritizing agriculture and agro-based industrialization, entrepreneurship growth and market access, particularly at the rural level, drastic poverty reduction and massive improvements in youth employment opportunities, highly improved water supply conditions, the revamp of the education and health sectors, sustained road infrastructure expansion and maintenance and an enhanced electricity generation.”

He said the APC guber candidate’s manifesto, which would be unveiled next week, would be hinged on seven pillars.

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