Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that his administration fought corruption in the country without making noise about it. Jonathan said this while speaking at the Oxford Union of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom on Monday.
While speaking to a packed crowd of students and intellectuals, on the theme “Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship”, Jonathan responded to inquiries by some of the students regarding his administration’s fight against corruption.
Mr. Jonathan said he would not like to “interfere with the legal processes” because “several matters are pending in court”. However, he said his administration did its best to reform the anti-corruption agencies to enable them function effectively.
“We reformed the institutions and introduced various mechanisms to stop the corruption problems in our country without publicity,” he said.
Using his Twitter handle, the former president paid glowing tributes to Nigerian youth and said “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.
“As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the youth, or face the consequences of failing to do so.”
Mr. Jonathan also said his administration put in place some youth related policies, which, he said, helped grow the Nigerian economy.
“Despite incredible challenges, Nigerian youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in the world map. They inspire us,” he said.
He also said his administration increased the allowances due to Youth Corps members by more than 100% in 2011.
Mr. Jonathan added that the PDP administration that he led “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,” he said.
“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.
“Under my watch, Nigeria was projected by CNN Money to be the third fastest growing economy in the world for the year 2015.
“While serving as President of Nigeria, I worked for the next generation and not for the next elections. I have no regrets for what I did,” Mr. Jonathan said.
The former president also called on contemporary African leaders to see youth entrepreneurship as a collective project transcending national boundaries.