# Tags
#Lead Story

Obasanjo Criticizes FG’s Economic Policies, Says They Are Not Working

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has criticized President Bola Tinubu’s handling of the fuel subsidy removal and the unification of the exchange rate, despite acknowledging their necessity. In a statement released on Sunday by his spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo shared his views during a colloquium titled “Nigeria’s Development: Navigating the Way Out of the Current Economic Crisis and Insecurity” held at the Paul Aje Colloquium (tPAC) in Abuja on Saturday.

Obasanjo stated, “Today, the government has made three decisions, two of which are necessary but wrongly implemented, leading to the impoverishment of the economy and Nigerians. These include the removal of subsidy, closing the gap between the black market and official exchange rates, and addressing the military coup in Niger Republic. The way forward is production and productivity, which belief and trust in government leadership will engender. There is no shortcut to economic progress, only hard work and sweat.”

Obasanjo also criticized those who opposed his stance on the refurbished refinery in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, calling them “sycophants and spin doctors.” He noted that the decision to partly privatize the refineries in 2007 was based on a thorough study of the situation, emphasizing his informed perspective.

Reflecting on President Tinubu’s first year in office, Obasanjo outlined potential solutions to Nigeria’s current challenges, including a 25-year development agenda. He remarked, “The economy does not obey orders, not even military orders. If we get it right, in two years, we will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It requires a change in characteristics, attributes, and attitudes by the leadership at all levels to gain the confidence and trust of investors who have alternatives.”

Obasanjo cited Total Energy’s decision to invest $6 billion in Angola instead of Nigeria as evidence of the current administration’s failure to inspire investor confidence. He stressed the need for Nigeria to present itself seriously to attract and retain investors, advocating for a shift from transactional to transformational and genuine servant leadership.

He emphasized, “With change by us, investors will give us the benefit of the doubt, and security will be addressed on a sustainable long-term basis. They will start to test the water. With the right economic policies, integrity, and honesty of purpose, all should be well with all hands on deck. The government should become a catalyst for development, growth, and progress.”

Obasanjo argued that merely tinkering with the exchange rate is not the solution. He called for consistency and continuity in policy to ensure stability and predictability, which would incentivize both domestic and foreign investment. He urged for honesty and transparency in government dealings, stating that when the government pursues the right policy, the private sector will focus on production and productivity. “Change is possible, but it must begin with the leadership,” he concluded.

His comments on the refinery issue came six months after claims that the refinery would begin operations in January. He noted that to resolve the current situation, both the government and the people must reflect on the past and present, asking: How did we get here?

“Looking at today’s topic, the question is, how do we navigate our way out of these crises and pave the path towards a more secure and prosperous Nigeria? The answer requires a multi-faceted approach addressing the root causes of these challenges,” he said. “The central questions are: where were we? And how did we get to where we are today?”

Obasanjo concluded, “Firstly, we must understand our history. Our economy has consistently suffered from poor policies, lack of long-term sustainable strategies, discontinuity, ad hoc measures, and corruption driven by personal greed, avarice, incompetence, lack of knowledge and understanding, and lack of patriotism.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *