Why poli­cies suf­fer set­backs in Africa – Obasanjo

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

For­mer Pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo yes­ter­day iden­ti­fied poor im­ple­men­ta­tion of de­vel­op­ment poli­cies by African gov­ern­ments as a big im­ped­i­ment to the pros­per­ity of the con­ti­nent.

The for­mer pres­i­dent spoke in Lagos at the pub­lic pre­sen­ta­tion of the book ‘Mak­ing Africa Work’.

The book was co-au­thored by Obasanjo, Greg Mills, Jef­frey Herbst and Davies Dickie, all of the Bren­thurst Foun­da­tion.

Obasanjo, who chairs the foun­da­tion, said African gov­ern­ments were never in want of sound de­vel­op­ment poli­cies, but most of them suf­fered set­backs ow­ing to lit­tle or no im­ple­men­ta­tion.

He blamed the sit­u­a­tion on lack of po­lit­i­cal will by lead­ers, poor fund­ing and lack of con­ti­nu­ity in gov­er­nance.

The ex-pres­i­dent said the pen­chant of African lead­ers to re­verse the work­ing poli­cies of their pre­de­ces­sors was an­other prob­lem.

He re­called that some of the re­forms of his last ad­min­is­tra­tion, as good as they were, were re­versed by suc­ces­sive ad­min­is­tra­tions, which af­fected the course of de­vel­op­ment.

Obasanjo said oth­ers like pen­sion re­forms could not be re­versed be­cause they had be­come so en­trenched in the sys­tem.

“Let me give you spe­cific ex­am­ples in Nigeria. We came up with some­thing called NEEDS.

“The idea is to fast-track the de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try: po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, in­fras­truc­tural and so on.

“It con­tained ideas that the states could take from to fa­cil­i­tate their own de­vel­op­ment.

“So what hap­pened? We have done the first phase but the ad­min­is­tra­tion com­ing af­ter us dis­con­tin­ued with­out re­ally un­der­stand­ing what it meant. So, lack of con­ti­nu­ity cou­pled with fi­nance and lack of po­lit­i­cal will are some of the prob­lems,” he said.

The for­mer pres­i­dent urged African coun­tries to fight poverty and cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties through wealth cre­ation and em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion.

Gov Ak­in­wunmi Am­bode of Lagos com­mended Obasanjo and his co-au­thors for the piece.

Am­bode, rep­re­sented by his Deputy, Mrs Idiat Ade­bule, said the book con­tained points that could pro­pel the con­ti­nent’s de­vel­op­ment, if at­ten­tion was paid to it.

Jef­frey, in a speech, said Nigeria could wit­ness great de­vel­op­ment if it ad­dressed some of the bar­ri­ers to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. (NAN)

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