The former Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GEJ, gave a speech at the Oxford Union Monday, October 24 and he said his goal as a leader was never to cast poverty upon Nigerians, but to spread wealth.
At event themed: ‘Fostering Youth Entrepreneurship,’ Dr. Jonathan who succeeded US Secretary of State, explained that having a paid job alone cannot eradicate poverty, but being entrepreneurial would.
Below is an excerpt from his speech:
“I once said that I was not elected President of Nigeria to spread poverty; I was elected to generate and spread wealth.
“My belief in this regard is that getting a job or being a worker cannot completely cure the disease of poverty. It is only your own business that can provide such security and give you the financial freedom you need to prosper.
“Have you ever these questions?. Why are some nations rich and some poor? Why do individuals that grow up in similar circumstances end up differently, with some as successes and others as failures?
“Is the wealth of nations a result of geography, weather, culture, destiny, etc.? What could a leader do to effectively lift a people out of the depths of poverty and enable them to achieve prosperity?”
Dr. Jonathan also spoke about the youth entrepreneurship programs his administration pioneered, one of which is the YouWIN was a major platform of his job creation efforts. He reiterated that “motivation for this program is for young people to go into SMEs, create jobs for other young people with the expectation that some would grow to large scale businesses”
GEJ’s speech was streamed live via Dr. Jonathan’s Facebook page and will be hosted on the Oxford Union’s site.
The Oxford Union is a debating society in the city of Oxford, England, whose membership is drawn primarily from the University of Oxford. The union has provided an opportunity for many budding politicians from Britain and other countries to develop their debating skills and to acquire a reputation and contacts.
So far, it has hosted speakers such as late Michael Jackson, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, author of 48 laws of power, Robert Greene, the Dalai Lama, former British prime ministers Winston Churchill, Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher and John Major, Mother Teresa and former US presidents Richard Nixon (November 1978), Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, etc.