Former Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, speaking on Tuesday about the present economic uncertainties passed the bulk of the blame to former Governors who opposed the idea of saving for a rainy day.
The Former President, who spoke at the 2016 World Pension Summit in Abuja, lamented that many of the former state executives were opposed to the idea of savings during a period when the nation was accumulating excess oil revenues.
Obasanjo spoke at the event attended by global pension players and top government officials:
“I remember when I was in government and I told, particularly, the governors, ‘please let us save for the rainy days.’ They said no!”
“There was no rain at that time, now that the rain has come; there is nothing we can fall back on to cushion us.”
Obasanjo, however, commended the secured nature of the pension scheme, stating that despite the many years of sleaze in the Nigerian polity, the pension funds were not touched.
“One of the things that makes me very happy in the pension scheme is that in the last five years, when almost everything goes, concerning public funds, pension funds remain sacrosanct. I believe that the pension funds are something we must preserve, no matter what we do.”
Obasanjo however called for caution in introducing innovations into the pension scheme, he expressed corncerns bordering on the ability of retirees to access and keep up with their pensions in the ever evolving world of technology.
He urged pension administrators to ensure that the ability of people to access their pension funds when they retire is not jeopardized.