Obasanjo: I Warned Jonathan About Recession, ‘Reckless’ Spending But He Ignored Me

OLUSEGUN OBASANJOFormer President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday disclosed that he warned immediate past president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan about a looming recession and the consequences of the ‘reckless’ spending of his government.

Obasanjo said in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital that two years ago when he saw signs that Nigeria was walking down the path of recession and the way the powers that be were expending the nation’s resources, he drew the former president’s attention to the danger ahead, but was ignored.

The former president spoke yesterday during a lecture organised by the Youth Fellowship of Owu Baptist Church, Abeokuta to mark Nigeria’s 56th Independence Day anniversary.

He said the economic situation in the country has turned development upside down as “things are not what they should be”.

Obasanjo, who said he will not stop lamenting about the state of things in Nigeria, however, added that Nigerians have reasons to be grateful to God.

He said: “Whoever that has lived to witness the celebration of today should thank God. Things are not what they should be, but we should pray that next year will be better than this year.”

“We thank God for those who are alive, we prayed for the souls of those who have laboured for this country and who have passed on to rest in perfect peace”.

The former president recalled how he got five job offers immediately he completed his secondary school education at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta.

He said he received offers from the United Africa Company (UAC) and Moore Plantation, Ibadan, among others. He, however, said the situation is different today in the country.

Mr. Obasanjo said business tycoon, Aliko Dangote, told him that six Ph.D. holders were among applicants seeking jobs with his company as truck drivers.

The former president warned that the high level of unemployment was unacceptable and unless something was done about it, it will consume the nation.

“Unemployment is a major problem in the country today and if we don’t take care, it will consume all of us. In fact, the rising unemployment is a time bomb”, he said, adding that the high rate of unemployment was responsible for youth restiveness in the country.

The former president said the country cannot develop if it pays no attention to agriculture.

“That is why we have to take it as a key of our development else the many educated Nigerians who have no job are like time bomb, sooner than later, it will explode”, he said.

Obasanjo added that development of the country must not be by Nigerians alone, that it should include foreigners.

He also said all those interested in assisting the country in its developmental efforts must be encouraged to do so.