Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he foresaw and warned about Nigeria’s current recession two years ago, but said he was ignored.
Mr. Obasanjo said he was concerned about recession when he saw how “recklessly” the Goodluck Jonathan administration spent the country’s resources.
The former president spoke on Saturday in an Independence Day message at a lecture organised by the Youth Fellowship of Owu Baptist Church, Abeokuta.
“Whoever that has lived to witness the celebration of today should thank God,” he said. “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 these country and who have passed on to rest in perfect peace.”
Mr. Obasanjo said one of the major issues threatening the peace of Nigeria now is the high level of unemployment.
“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.
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 said the situation is different today in the country.
Mr. Obasanjo said the businessman, Aliko Dangote, told him that six Ph.D. holders were among applicants seeking jobs with his company as truck drivers.
Mr. Obasanjo said the high rate of unemployment was responsible for youth restiveness in the country, warning that the situation should be tackled with all the “seriousness” it deserves before it get out of hand.
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.