We Did Our Best, We Were Not Perfect-Jonathan
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.”
Media Adviser to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
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