November 4, 2020

 Obasanjo blames #ENDSARS protest on Nigeria’s poor investment in youth devt

Obasanjo, Sultan, others converge for Secondary education in Abuja
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

By Victoria Ojeme

Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo has blamed the government’s inability to invest in youth development as a remote cause of the ongoing #ENDSARS protest across Nigeria.

Obasanjo was president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. He oversaw his country’s first democratic handover of power and administrative reforms that accelerated economic growth.

He spoke in Abuja today at the launch of the book entitled “Nigeria and her Diaspora Human Capital and National Development ” written by a Nigerian In Diaspora Dr John George.

According to the former President, “If our DNA as Nigerians does not change, it means that the factors hindering achievements in Nigerians are basically here in Nigeria.

“It is our collective duty to work tirelessly to eliminate those factors that constitute impediments to the empowerment of our growing population in Nigeria.

“The protest we have seen today on our streets are as a result of our poor investment in the empowerment of our youth who should posses the real capacity to be the power house of our economy.”

“Indeed our human capital must become our priority if we must accelerate to our development in all sectors of our economy. I want to challenge our Brothers and sisters in Diaspora one more time, to take a deeper look into investment that would engage our youth,” he added.

In her opening remarks, the Chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa said over the past three years, Nigerians in the Diaspora have brought in over $25 billion as home remittances to the Nigerian economy annually through official and non-formal channels.

Abike who was represented by the secretary of the Commission, Dr Sule Yakubu said the amount is about 6.0 percent of Nigeria’s GDP and upwards of 80 percent of our annual budget.

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Dabiri-Erewa said “this has impacted on the livelihood of Nigerians in terms of education, health,housing and technology and skill transfer.

According to the World Bank, the remittances to sub-Saharan Africa totalled $48 billion last year. This development is despite predictions from the World Bank of a historic 20% drop to $445 billion in remittances to poorer countries this year, as a result of a pandemic-induced global economic slump.

In terms of Diaspora home remittances, Nigeria is rated as number one in sub Sahara Africa and this still growing especially with the advocacy and mobilisation programmes of the newly established Nigerians in Diaspora Commission.

The author of the book, Dr John George said the book was dedicated to all Nigerians across the world who are making positive impact and contributing to the development of the country.