I cannot defend FG’s strategy on Boko Haram – OBJ

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Written by Olawale Rasheed
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Saturday, described the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency as very serious but declined to defend the approach of the Federal Government to resolving the crisis.
Delivering a keynote address at the 2012 Cambridge Africa Business Network in the United Kingdom, Obasanjo described the security challenges facing Nigeria as surmountable, affirming that the nation had had a civil war which was more serious than Boko Haram.
“All these security problems pooled together are nothing compared to the civil war from which the nation pulled through,” the former president said.
“Is there insecurity? Yes. Are we doing something about it? Yes. Are we doing enough about the problem? Well, that is up to you to decide,” Obasanjo told the gathering drawn from all over the world.
Obasanjo, who described himself as a chicken farmer, expressed his sadness over the attacks on media houses, describing it as a dangerous turn in the conflict.
On subsidy controversy, the former leader was hesitant in dealing with the issue even as he said he prefered to use the word support rather than subsidy
The former leader was, however, emphatic that current leaders of Nigeria were only struggling to correct mistakes of the past which he blamed on wrong advice given to the nation.
According to him, “cold war at independence, bad advice from World Bank, import substitution strategies, Structural Adjustment Programme messed us up in the beginning.
“They came up with Structural Adjustment Programme when you have no structure. With due respect to the World Bank, you misadvised us,” Obasanjo said.
Obasanjo, however, noted that Nigeria was doing a lot to provide enabling environment to attract foreign investment, adding that “Nigeria has created a one-stop shop for getting business perfectly acting as senior advisor to New World Capital Limited, an advisory firm that aims to provide investors with access to Africa both through direct investments and a private-equity fund.”
Other speakers at the conference include Dr Guy Scott, Vice President of the Republic of Zambia; Razia Khan, He illivray, Head of Private Sector Department at the Department for International Development; Wadzanai Madziva, Head of Business Development at Google Africa; Karima Ola, Managing Director of the African Development Corporation; and Zain Latif, Principal at TLG Capital.
The Cambridge Africa Business Network conference has as its theme ‘Unlocking Value in Frontier Africa’ with a focus on exploring how Sub-Saharan African countries are quickly becoming the world’s next frontier markets for business and investment.

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