We are sitting on a keg of gun powder – Obasanjo warns on African youth unemployment

Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo

Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo has warned the country and other African countries are on the hazards of the lingering and increasing youth unemployment.

Olusegun Obasanjo made this call while receiving the newly appointed President of ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alain de Souza at his Abeokuta residence.

Obasanjo during the visit said: “On the issue of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, I have maintained that all of us in West Africa, in our different countries and indeed in Africa, we are sitting on a keg of gun powder for as long as we do not pay adequate attention to youth unemployment.”

He further added: “A situation where more than 50 per cent of our youths are unemployed is extremely dangerous. We now have a situation in part of West Africa where people now are dying of starvation.

“Is it that we are not producing enough food or if we are producing what we produced evenly, whatever it is it is shameful, it has led us to be begging international community for supply of food to any part of West Africa, it is not right‎?”

Obasanjo who is also a special envoy of ECOWAS to Guinea-Bissau while playing host to Souza and other delegates noted that the sub-regional body was yet to meet the goals for which it was constituted 41 years ago.

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He said: “So the attention that we should have paid to the original objectives which is economic integration, economic development, socio economic, economic progress, we have been diverted.

“Of course peace and security is the foundation of any socio-economic development and growth. Of necessity we have to pay attention to base on security.”


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