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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo gives reason why Nigeria is not making progress

Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday, said that the reason why Nigeria has not made progress so far is because new government’s always fails to continue with good policies put in place by their predecessors.

Obasanjo spoke at a panel discussion on the 10 years of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) operations at the Infrastructure Summit in Abuja.

According to the former president, the continent has been unable to develop due to the penchant of its leaders to discontinue the few things that had been done right by previous governments.

He added that AFC had a rough beginning because of lack of understanding by political leaders who came after him.

“I remember taking 40 young and up-coming Africans to Singapore some years back. Lee Kuan Yew hadn’t written his book “from Third World to First World,” and we wanted him to tell us how he did it. We wanted to know the magic and Yew told us there was no magic.

“He said: There is no magic. We did a few things right and we continue to do them right. We in Africa have done a few things right. Our problem is that we don’t continue to do them right.

“Many things are wrong about Africa but a few are right. We should continue to do those things that are right.” Obasanjo stated

A former Central Bank Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, at the same panel said that about 40% of Africa’s non landed assets are held outside the African continent. According to him, Africa must bring back such funds.

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Prof. Soludo noted that “The Sub-Saharan Africa is just the size of Belgium in economic terms. You can imagine Belgium being divided into 54 isolated countries.
Second, several studies have shown that about 40 per cent of non-land private Africa’s wealth happened to be outside of Africa and the missing link, really, is creating the kind of platform to unleash African capital to be able to move across borders, to mobilize African capital.

“Because in my view, it’s only the African capital that can form the fulcrum. If African capital doesn’t move, is it the domestic capital that will say to the foreign capital, here is the place to make money?

“So AFC is to provide that kind of platform, to mobilize African capital to move across borders where African capitals infrastructure which has been the missing link, can begin to fill in the missing dots in terms of linking this small, if you like, these disarticulated Belgiums, as it were.”

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo who was also present at the panel urged AFC to do more in providing necessary leadership.

“We will be relying on AFCs, especially our own DFIs to do much more; we will be relying on them to show much more leadership and to take greater risks.”
“There is no question at all that all of what we required, all of what is needed will not be provided just by government.
Osinbajo added

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