Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has said that the greatest asset Nigeria has is located in the northern part of the country.
Mr Obi said this during his address at the just concluded interactive session with the Arewa Joint Committee held at the Arewa House in Kaduna on Monday.
Before his address, the Labour Party presidential candidate was welcomed amidst chants of his name and a standing ovation.
Acknowledging Nigeria’s territorial and economic issues in his speech, Mr Obi said that he believed they were “solvable, and they are not impossible.”
Highlighting critical issues faced by the north, Mr Obi said, “out of the ten poorest states in Nigeria, ten is in the north. Out of the out-of-school children, it is in the north that they have the highest number of out-of-school children in the global earth, currently. In terms of school kidnapping, it is the highest in the whole world.”
Using the global food security crisis to back his argument, Mr Obi said that the north had what it takes to drive Nigeria’s ailing economy.
“But when you look at what is happening globally today, the greatest need of the world, the greatest asset is food. The greatest asset of Nigeria is in the north.”
To buttress his point further, Mr Obi referred to Nigeria’s crude oil, mostly located in the south, as “an expiring and diminishing asset.”
In his argument, the Labour Party’s presidential hopeful said that the resources in Nigeria, especially in the north, are what the nation needs to ignite the economy.
“I know people will tell you about other natural resources. Those resources cannot be quantified with the physical asset God gave Nigeria, and particularly in the north,” he said.
Explaining why Nigeria needs to harness the vast uncultivated lands in the north to tackle the estimated exponential growth in the future, Mr Obi added, “if we are having this crisis when we are 200 (million), what are we going to do when we are 400 (million)?”
“The greatest asset of Nigeria is the vast uncultivated land in the north,” he reiterated.
Though criticised for sometimes mixing up wrong data to support his arguments, Mr Obi has continued to use figures to back up his claims.