Former President Goodluck Jonathan has come to the defense of his former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Dasuki is presently facing trial for the embezzlement of funds meant for purchase of equipment and other logistics for the war against the insurgents, Boko Haram, in the North-East.
Speaking at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, Jonathan maintained that Dasuki didn’t steal $2.2 billion.
In a statement by his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, the former President said that he worked for next the generation during his tenure and not next election.
Defending his administration’s Transformation Agenda, he said that it was designed to engage the latent potential in the entire nation and stimulate higher productivity.
He said: “While serving as President of Nigeria, I worked for the next generation and not for the next elections. Somebody must sacrifice and work for the next generation otherwise your children’s children will suffer the same predicaments as you have.
Jonathan, who was speaking to students of Oxford University on youth entrepreneurship, also pointed out that quality education and youth empowerment were at the heart of Africa’s growth and development.
“I am excited to be in the midst of some of the World’s future leaders to discuss issues relating to youth empowerment and entrepreneurship. The issue of youth entrepreneurship in Africa is very critical, as Africa is the only continent in which we will witness a population boom.
“Most violent crises in Africa can be traced to a lack of education and opportunities among its teeming youth population. Studies have revealed that there is a symbiotic relationship between youth unemployment and youth restiveness.
“As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the youths, or face the consequences of failing to do so. The Transformation Agenda was conceived to engage the latent potential in the entire nation, and to stimulate and enable higher productivity,” he added.
He emphasized that his Administration came up with various programmes to encourage young entrepreneurs including the youth enterprise with innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN). We reformed the institutions and introduced various mechanisms to stop the problems associated with in our country without much publicity.
“We may not have been perfect, but we did our best, and our best yielded an era of unprecedented economic growth for Nigeria. A growth that proved the truism that a Nation’s wealth is not underneath the ground but between the ears of her people. Nigeria was rated as the
largest economy in Africa and the 23rd in the world by the World Bank and the IMF, with a GDP above US$570 billion.”
“We identified Nollywood as a sector that can employ many young people and provided a grant of $200 million to boost the industry. As a result, Nollywood became a major contributor to our GDP and in 2014, the industry contributed 1.4% to our GDP.
Jonathan also recalled that as Governor of Bayelsa State and later the President of Nigeria, he asked himself some critical questions:
“Why do individuals that grow up in similar circumstances end up differently, with some as successes and others as failures? Why are some nations rich and some poor? Is the wealth of nations a result of geography, weather, culture, destiny? What could a leader do to effectively lift a people out of the depths of poverty, and enable them to achieve prosperity?
“After much soul searching, I concluded that: wealth is a creation of the human mind properly prepared by education. Any nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to develop the capacity of its youth will be forced to use them to fight insecurity”
He challenged African leaders to see youth entrepreneurship as a collective project transcending national boundaries.
Despite incredible challenges, he said that Nigerian youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in the world map.