Jonathan visits Germany, makes case for public, private partnership to boost economic growth
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has made a case for public, private
sector collaboration in the effort to boost development and economic
growth in Africa.
Jonathan who stated this in Wiesbaden, Germany where he was hosted by
the leaders of the parliament of the state of Hessen last week, as he
continued consultations to build relationships ahead of the launch of
his foundation later this year, stressed that a private sector-led
economic growth comes with all the guarantees for sustainable
The former President who was also hosted by the top management of
Merck, the German pharmaceutical giant, at the firm's headquarters in
Darmstadt, stated that he was in Germany to explore ways of deepening
relations and ties with institutions in the European economic giant,
in line with his crusade to improve the quality of leadership and
lives of Africans.
The former President said: 'Listening to all of you, I am very
impressed with your line of thought in relation with the initiative
for government, private sector collaboration. It is a system I am very
comfortable with, as it promotes growth and development.'
'When I was serving as the President, I had my economic management
team comprising of both government officials and private sector
people. I always emphasized that for sustainable economic growth, the
government can only create the environment for a private sector-led
growth. That also reduces the issue of rent seekers and corruption in
The former President also shared with his hosts his intention to
devote his time towards promoting good governance and entrepreneurship
through his planned foundation.
Jonathan further said: 'One other area I plan to dedicate my
post-presidential life is the issue of wealth creation, encouraging
individuals to create small businesses, especially in agriculture. We
did it while I was in office by encouraging youths to take advantage
of our incentives to embrace agriculture, exploring all its value
chain. 'We called them nagropreneurs. They were young graduates of
different professionals. We encouraged them to go into pure commercial
farming and process their produce or processed products for export. We
also did that for entrepreneurs in other areas by training them in
business skills to enable them start small businesses. The greatest
problem youths face is the lack of business skills.'
Jonathan also noted that Germany and Nigeria enjoy good diplomatic,
cultural and economic relations as demonstrated by exchange of regular
top level visits and exploration of investment opportunities. 'When I
was in office the German chancellor Angela Merkel visited me and I
also visited her. I am told that the German President will soon visit
Nigeria. I believe the visit will further strengthen the good
relations between Germany in Nigeria'
In his welcome remarks, the President of the Hessen Parliament,
Norbert Kartmann emphasized that the state had been working to promote
democracy and peace in Nigeria through an annual Peace Prize it awards
to deserving Nigerians. He expressed interest in collaborating with
Goodluck Jonathan Foundation in areas that would promote youth
employment, adding that 'the state would go further to recruit good
footballers from Nigeria.'
On his own part, Stefan Oschmann, the Vice Chairman of the Executive
Board and deputy chief executive officer of Merck, said that the
pharmaceutical giant was interested in expanding its operations
Nigeria because of the advantage of the country's huge population.
According to Oschmann, Merck's business range spans health care, life
science and performance materials like groundbreaking liquid crystals,
effect pigments as well as high-tech materials for the electronic
'For instance, anybody who has a smart phone is using our product
because of the presence of liquid crystals in it, if you drive a car,
our product is in the paint and in the colour of your cosmetics,' he