Benin – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said in Benin on Thursday that he launched his foundation in London so that the 54 African countries would have access to its progammes and activities.
Obasanjo made the remark when he visited the Governor of Edo State, Mr Adams Ohiomhole, adding that another reason was to enable the foundation “to tap resources from outside Africa to be able to do good to Africa’’.
He commended Obasanjo for being part of the launch of Obasanjo Foundation in London.
Obasanjo used the opportunity to explain why he opted for a private sector driven economy during tenure as president.
He said, “ When I was Head of State and I saw that there was no way to manage Nigerian economy except by indigenisation and we went for indigenisation.
“But the truth is that indigenisation did not succeed the way we wanted.
“I became an apostle of genuine private sector-driven market economy.”
Obasanjo said that when God gave him a second chance to become president, he drew from his past experience.
“I hope the governor is learning the lessons I have learnt so that this state, I can see the signs, which was run down, is now being run up.”
Obasanjo said Oshiomhole had started facing reality and commended him for turning things around in Edo.
Responding, Oshiomhole said he learnt from Obasanjo’s style as well as courage when it came to taking major decisions which every leadership needed to change things for the better .
The governor said his administration was re-focusing and re-inventing governance to give the people confidence and show that democracy could work in the state.
“And indeed, it is working and we are able to deliver on some critical areas of infrastructure,’’ he said.
Oshiomhole said the launch of Obasanjo Foundation had demonstrated that as an elder statesman, “he can continue to contribute to national and international efforts in dealing with the basic needs of the under-privileged.’’
He said the foundation was a platform for sustaining constructive engagement on development options and strategies to lift the level of development in Africa.
Also addressing newsmen, Obasanjo said he had been able to tackle corruption internally and externally to the satisfaction of some people and disenchantment of others.
“Some people do all sorts of things but the point is that when you have a problem and you attempt to cover it, you are not solving the problem. If anything, you are complicating the problem,’’ he said.
On security, Obasanjo said “even security, I have talked about it,(but) I have been called names.