“Poverty, insecurity, youth restiveness are the choices of Nigerian leaders” — Obasanjo

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[Abuja]–Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has said that Nigeria’s poverty, insecurity, lack of unity and cohesion, youth restiveness and seeming directionless are conscious and unconscious choices made by Nigerian leaders.

He made this statement while delivering a lecture titled, “ Leadership, Governance and the Challenges of Development in Nigeria: The Way Forward,” at the Olusegun Obasanjo Good Governance and Development Research Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Obasanjo said, “Nigeria’s poverty, insecurity, lack of unity and cohesion, youth restiveness and seeming directionless are conscious and unconscious choices made by Nigerian leaders.

“The impact of corruption on the Nigerian society and economy has been devastating.

“It continues to affect the government’s ability to provide basic services and has negatively impacted on the wellbeing of the population,” he added.

The former president regretted that in spite efforts by successive governments, corruption still posed a big challenge to the progress and development of the Nigerian project.

“The lack of successful prosecution of high-profile corruption cases involving some Politically-Exposed Persons is giving a serious cause for concern both for Nigerians and the international community.

“We must take away the proceeds of illicit enrichment and remove negative role models in our society,” he advised.

The former president further advised that we must invest as a nation in areas that can improve human security including food, education, and health and that our budget must reflect a genuine commitment for the development of infrastructure such as roads, rails, power, ports and housing.
“When we spend 70 to 80 per cent of our revenue on recurrent expenditure, we have very little left for capital and infrastructural development. We should move to 50 per cent of our revenue being spent on capital development,” he added.

Other officials including, the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, the immediate past President of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama and a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Alooma Muktar, all commended the choice of Obasanjo to speak on good governance and development in Nigeria, because of his track record in governance in the past three decades.

Present at the occasion were the two former Vice Chancellors of NOUN, Profs. Olugbemiro Jegede and Vicent Ado Tenebe as well as a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola.




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