We Did Our Best, We Were Not Perfect-Jonathan

Source: pointblanknews.com

Former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan yesterday defended his

administration's Transformation Agenda stressing that it was designed

to engage the latent potential in the entire nation, as well as

stimulate and enable higher productivity.
Jonathan who stated this yesterday in a lecture at the Oxford Union of

the Oxford University in the United Kingdom, also said that while

serving as President of Nigeria, he worked for the next generation and

not for the next elections, as a means of ensuring that Nigerian

children had a promising future.
He said: “While serving as President of Nigeria, I worked for the next

generation and not for the next elections. Somebody must sacrifice and

work for the next generation otherwise your children’s children will

suffer the same predicaments as you have.
Jonathan who was speaking to students of Oxford University on youth

entrepreneurship, further pointed out that quality education and youth

empowerment were at the heart of Africa's growth and development.

He said further: “I am excited to be in the midst of some of the

World’s future leaders to discuss issues relating to youth empowerment

and entrepreneurship. The issue of youth entrepreneurship in Africa is

very critical, as Africa is the only continent in which we will

witness a population boom. Most violent crises in Africa can be traced

to a lack of education and opportunities among its teeming youth

population. Studies have revealed that there is a symbiotic

relationship between youth unemployment and youth restiveness.”

“As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the

youths, or face the consequences of failing to do so. The

Transformation Agenda was conceived to engage the latent potential in

the entire nation, and to stimulate and enable higher productivity.”

The former President emphasised that his Administration came up with

various programmes to encourage young entrepreneurs including the

youth enterprise with innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN). We reformed the

institutions and introduced various mechanisms to stop the problems

associated with in our country without much publicity.

“We may not have been perfect, but we did our best, and our best

yielded an era of unprecedented economic growth for Nigeria. A growth

that proved the truism that a Nation’s wealth is not underneath the

ground but between the ears of her people. Nigeria was rated as the

largest economy in Africa and the 23rd in the world by the World Bank

and the IMF, with a GDP above US$570 billion.”
He stated further: “We identified Nollywood as a sector that can

employ many young people and provided a grant of $200 million to boost

the industry. As a result, Nollywood became a major contributor to our

GDP and in 2014, the industry contributed 1.4% to our GDP.

Jonathan also recalled that as Governor of Bayelsa State and later the

President of Nigeria, he asked himself some critical questions:

“Why do individuals that grow up in similar circumstances end up

differently, with some as successes and others as failures? Why are

some nations rich and some poor? Is the wealth of nations a result of

geography, weather, culture, destiny? What could a leader do to

effectively lift a people out of the depths of poverty, and enable

them to achieve prosperity?
“After much soul searching, I concluded that: wealth is a creation of

the human mind properly prepared by education. Any nation that does

not spend its wealth and resources to develop the capacity of its

youth will be forced to use them to fight insecurity”

He challenged “contemporary African leaders to see youth

entrepreneurship as a collective project transcending national

boundaries, adding that “despite incredible challenges, Nigerian

youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in

the world map. They inspire us.”
Ikechukwu Eze
Media Adviser to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
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