Three major factors hinder Nigeria’s development – Obasanjo

FROM LEFT: A retired Maj.-Gen. in the British Army, Dickie Davis; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Idiat Adebile; Formal President Olusegun Obasanjo; and Director of Brenthurst Foundation, MR Greg Mills, at the launch of a book titled: “Making Africa Work”, in Lagos on Wednesday (2/8/17).
03984/2/8/2017/Dapo Kayode/BJO/NAN
FROM LEFT: A retired Maj.-Gen. in the British Army, Dickie Davis; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Idiat Adebile; Formal President Olusegun Obasanjo; and Director of Brenthurst Foundation, MR Greg Mills, at the launch of a book titled: “Making Africa Work”, in Lagos on Wednesday (2/8/17). 03984/2/8/2017/Dapo Kayode/BJO/NAN

A former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday gave insight into how the Umaru Yar’Adua administration allegedly jettisoned his administration’s reforms.

Mr. Obasanjo made this revelation at the launch of a book titled, “Making Africa Work”, co-authored by the former president and three other authors.

The book, which was unveiled in Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday, was co-authored by other writers including Greg Mills, Director of Brenthurst Foundation; Jeffrey Herbst, President of NEWSEUM and Dickie Davis, a retired major general.

The former president said the real problem bedevilling Nigeria and the African continent is not the shortage of policies and economic roadmaps, but what he called ‘leadership problem.’

“We are not short of policies; In fact, go to any government office or some international organisations, you’d find hundreds of policies and recommendations,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

“So what is the problem? I’d say three major things and if you like the three major problems confluence in one: Leadership, Continuity, and Finance.”

Mr. Obasanjo was succeeded as Nigeria’s president by Mr. Yar’Adua, who rode to victory in the 2007 presidential elections on the platform of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, a party to which Mr. Obasanjo belonged.

But the former president said the then incoming government jettisoned the reforms put in place by his government.

“Let me give specific example here in Nigeria. We came up with something we called NEEDS – National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy; and we had national, state and local,” he said.

“The idea is that we will have what will relief us in every aspect – political, social, infrastructural etc. And each state will have something they can buy and bite into. When we were planning, we went round the country and we bring traditional rulers, private sector, everybody. Even, we brought in the (then) incoming administration – we consulted with them.

“And we had had the first phase of NEEDS which was supposed to be a continuation (but) the administration that succeeded our administration which campaigned on the basis of continuity came and discontinued.”

The former president, who was instrumental in the emergence of Mr. Yar’Adua as the nation’s president, said the then ‘leadership’, whom he refused to name, never understood the reforms.

He said, “And without being immodest, the leadership just didn’t understand what it takes and what it should take.

“When the leader was going to make his first statement on energy for instance, he said in four years, they will generate 30,000 megawatts of electricity. That time the highest we generated was 4,000.

“In four years, how will they do it?” he asked, rhetorically.

“So it means that he didn’t know; he just didn’t even understand. So, I sent somebody, I said ‘look, go and educate him’. And he went but what happened? We had a process to be able to generate 10, 000 (megawatts), the administration that succeeded us did not even generate 3,750 (megawatts) that we were able to generate in four years. They came down to 1,500.

“And the one that we had in the pipeline, they stopped it. And that was ten years ago. Up till today, our power generation has not gone beyond where I left it ten years ago.”

The former president explained further that leadership and continuity remained the bane of Nigeria’s -and indeed Africa’s – progress, saying the leadership must define its priorities properly.

“So, (the problems are) leadership, continuity and finance. When even power has been privatised, there is no money for those to whom it has been privatised…, ” he said.

“So that simply is the problem – leadership to understand, to do the right reform…to show integrity and to make the right choices…and, of course, continuity.”

Mr. Obasanjo has always been known to be vocal in criticisms of policies of his predecessors, a trait that has not endeared him to a section of the political class.

In December 2013, he, in an acerbic attack, accused immediate former President Goodluck Jonathan of lying, promoting corruption and ‘destroying Nigeria.


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  • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

    We cannot throw away the baby with water,therefore, we believe that Jonathan was a taboo and a a curse placed on Nigeria by you grandpa! Just like you placed on Nigeria the then shagari of 1979,which led to the military takeover.


      You have a terrorist’s name, therefore, you are forever precluded from giving a constructive criticism; you will always be assumed to be engaged in assassination (character ), whereas your brethren, Boko Haram are engaged otherwise.

      • Seagull2000


        General Obasanjo’s leadership deficiency

        General Olusegun Obasanjo made a mess
        of everything he touched. He was deployed to relieve Brigadier Benjamin
        Adekunle in 1969 for just six months to the end of the Biafran civil war.
        Biafra by then was shrunken to Owerri and some nearby towns because Brigadier
        Adekunle had fought valiantly for two years and liberated most Biafran outposts
        from Calabar to Port Harcourt. General Obasanjo’s first military order during
        the war was the worst blunder recorded in Nigeria’s history.

        Without a war plan and without reconnaissance, in effect, with total
        ignorance of military tactics, General Obasanjo ordered that Nigerian troops
        should attack Ohoba town nearby Owerri inside the Biafran territory. Biafran
        soldiers killed over one thousand (1,000) of those Nigerian soldiers deployed by
        General Obasanjo in just one hour, to mark the highest battle casualty rate in
        the civil war as a result of General Olusegun Obasanjo’s leadership deficiency.

        • Julius

          Tell us what your father did during the war . Abeg !

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        I was expecting to come and read an Intelligent response but got disappointed when I saw an idiotic right up you just placed at me. The usual frustrated igbo ranting.

  • Garba Danyabu

    Baba Iyabo, Yar’adua remains the political albatross you will continue to carry for the rest of your life.

    • Foreign Seer


      General Obasanjo’s proclivity to corruption lately became a stench abroad,
      as the British government got numerous complaints from around the world
      that Obasanjo used a bogus foundation he set up disguisedly for charity as
      a front for collecting bribes and commission from massive loot stolen by other
      African heads of government and Ministers who needed to take their looted
      cash out of their own countries, and, a cover to launder their loot in Europe.

      General Obasanjo allegedly took 10% of each tranche of loot and helped them
      launder the remainder 90% under cover of donations made to his OBASANJO
      FOUNDATION. The British Police have just lately pounced on the dubious and
      likely criminal Obasanjo Foundation, and also on General Obasanjo himself, for
      international moneylaundering. U.K’s criminal investigation is live and ongoing.

      • Julius

        He comes and goes anywhere in the world at anytime he wants. He still has meetings with members of those foreign governments when he visit or attend meetings at their capitals. We are waiting to receive him here soon with some members of the Present government. . Keep talking nonsense, running your life crazy over him. He has no ideal you are in existence. You will never have anybody in your clownish tribe to equal HIM OR ACHIEVE HALF OF WHAT HE HAD ACHIEVED IN HIS LIFE ! Like he always say..he still dey laff ooo. I love how he drives you losers crazy each time he has something to say. una go kill unaself.

  • Dazmillion

    If the problems of Nigeria could be molded into a man, he will be a carbon copy of Obasanjo.

  • FreeNigeria

    Very true, leadership is the greatest problem facing Nigeria, thus Nigeria has been cursed with devils like OBJ to rule this good country.

  • Olatubosun

    Nigeria has been sanitized

  • Gabriel Oga

    President Matthew OBJ is a talkertive.

  • Riot50000