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Obasanjo laments over ‘frustrating’ Nigerian economy

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, berated the economic situation of the country especially for small businessmen and women in Nigeria.

The former president described the situation as ‘frustrating’.

The former President said this at the Youth Development Centre of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Credit Scheme held, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Chief Obasanjo, during the programme, presented over N1 million in cheques to beneficiaries of the centres for start-up businesses.

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While sharing his experience with some petty traders and youths, Chief Obasanjo disclosed that many people who have ideas were in need of money to start-up businesses.

He lamented that many Nigerians were frustrated over failed businesses, adding that many of them had shared their horrible experiences and information with him.

Said he, “Over the years, my own frustration which would be the same as the frustration of those that have attended the course, they found it as a very important course. I listened to those that have tried out businesses and failed and those who want to try; they called me to share experiences, share information and all that.

“But the frustration is that after the training, they yield to almost nothing and I do know that as for some of them, what they need is not millions but a few thousands of naira to start up or continue.”

Chief Obasanjo, however, shared the feeling of his long-term friend, Chief Afe Babalola, when he met with him in Ado-Ekiti, saying, the legal luminary shared his experience with two women and could not control his emotion.

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The former president continued, “I remember going to my friend, Afe Babalola, in Ado-Ekiti. He said to me that two women came to him to ask for money in their training and he asked how much they have with them. One said N20,000; the other said N15,000   and he said he left where he was sitting, he went inside and wept. He wept!

“So, I then said when we train these people, they have gone through half course and let that lead to something and that’s why the idea of the credit scheme came up.”

Earlier, the Director of Youths Development, OOPL, Ibukun Olagbemiro, in his welcome address, said the project was aimed at providing credit facilities to young business owners with the support of Chief Obasanjo.