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African leaders cannot continue with the fiscal indiscipline- Obi



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Former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has called on African leaders to shun fiscal indiscipline to save the continent from economic hardship.


Obi made the call on Thursday, May 16, while speaking at the Inaugural Colloquium on Governance, Trade and African Unity, in Kenya.


While delivering a keynote address on “Fiscal Discipline in Governance: Strategies for Economic Stability and Growth in Africa”, Obi said fiscal discipline was responsible for the economic growths of India, China, Indonesia and Vietnam. “Africa must now, as a matter of priority, ensure appropriate fiscal discipline and effective management of their resources for productivity,” he said.


He advised that “African leaders cannot continue with the fiscal indiscipline that has led to unproductivity and consumption which has led to unserviceable debts, unemployment, and inflation, which has impoverished our people.


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“While progressive and rapidly growing economies like China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam have been able to pull many of their people out of poverty through fiscal discipline and prudent management of their resources, Africa has thrown more people into poverty due to fiscal indiscipline and misappropriation of funds. Consequently, sub-Saharan Africa is home to over 60% of extremely poor people, 60% of out-of-school children, and 60% of youth unemployment.”


The former governor of Anambra State said strict fiscal discipline must be followed by leaders of African countries to ensure that resources are utilized for eradication of poverty across the continent.


Obi further called for investments in production to stimulate Africa’s economy. He said investment in consumption would not help the continent grow out of its poverty trap.


“Strict fiscal discipline must now be followed to ensure that all available resources are employed towards productivity in health, and education and pulling people out of poverty through job creation.


“We must, henceforth, stop investing in consumption and start investing in production for the economic growth and development of Africa. By so doing, we will be able to build a New and better Africa that will be beneficial to every African and that will rightfully take its place among other developed continents of the world,” Obi said.