15m out of school children, Nigeria’s major problem – Obasanjo


By Aaron Ossai
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that unless those in leadership position in the country do something to address the situation of the over 15 million out of school children in the country, the problems facing the nation will remain.
He said this category of persons that must be taken on board as ignoring them will always create a drag in the society irrespective of the leaves of leadership training offered by leadership development centres.
Obasanjo who spoke at the GOTNI Leadership Centre in Abuja yesterday also said that the problem of leadership facing the country can be addressed when all steps are taken to do so.
The former President admitted that that leadership question has been bane of development on the African continent saying that while addressing the issue of leadership training and development, concurrent efforts must be made to ensure that those who are supposed to be in school receiving education are in school.
“You see, whatever anybody may say about Africa, we use accept it, especially if they are genuinely about what we need to do or what we do wrong. When people come to me and say you are doing well, I say no, that is not what I want because I am in a place to do well.
“Don’t come and tell me that I am doing well. I want you to tell me what I need to do and to do better. That is what I want to hear and not for you to come and tell me, I am doing well.
“The truth is that there is nobody that is born without some amount of innate leadership capacity and it is development that is needed. By the time we come to GOTNI Leadership Center, a bit of it is late.
“We should not forget that a lot starts from home, a lot in the school, a lot in the Church and the Mosque; a lot within the community itself. If we fail in all those areas, you won’t even get them to come here.
“This is one aspect of our life. The other aspect is what we do. I am worried because no matter what we do here, as long as we have the type of situation we have now of 15 million children that should be in school that are not in school.
“If all those of us in school are graduates of GOTNI Leadership Centre, there will still be that gap of those who should be in school and educated that are not educated. There will be a drag and there is nothing we can do about it. We must take that on board.
“I have said that when you talk about the problem of an African country and particularly of Nigeria, they will say, it is leadership. Leadership deficit and leadership deficiency, and both can be taken care of in this GOTNI Leadership Centre.
“Leadership can be taught. Leadership can be acquired. Anything that can be taught can be learnt. So, if leadership can be taught, it can be learnt. So people must be ready to teach and learn leadership”, added.