Obasanjo warns investors against undermining economy

Aerial view of buildings and markets on Lagos Island.

Says recession will end soon
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has warned companies doing business in Nigeria, foreign and local, against engaging in acts that could undermine Nigeria’s economy.

Obasanjo said the emphasis today must be making Nigeria to be self-sustaining in production and consumption, insisting that he would fight against firms, whether indigenous or foreign, that want to use unwholesome business practices to sabotage the self-reliance drive of the nation.

He spoke at the weekend during an interactive session with chief executives of Indian companies operating in the country. They met Obasanjo under the aegis of Indian Professionals’ Forum (IPF).

The President of IPF, Mr. Dinesh Rathi, said the aim of the session was to share ideas with the former President, who had part of his military training in India on how the country and Nigeria could complement each other’s efforts to the mutual benefits of both countries’ economy.

Obasanjo said it was regrettable that some Indian companies operating in the country “are doing things they will not dare do in their country,” adding that activities of such few firms give bad name to those doing genuine businesses in the country.

He recalled that his administration had had cause to expel some Indians from the country because of unethical business practices.

Obasanjo said: “There are ugly faces, there are Indian companies that have been doing what they will not do in India and that is unfortunate.”

He assured that he would make sure that the bad eggs are flushed out while “those of you who are doing the right thing, who really make us proud with our association with India, are encouraged.”

He added: “A situation where jollof rice is allegedly being prepared and shipped to Nigeria is ridiculous and bad. That is not what the country needs today.

“There are Indians who are in partnership with Nigerians and they are doing well. We have some even here in Abeokuta. They are doing very well and it is very encouraging.

“But woe betides that person, be it Nigerian, non-Nigerian or Indian who believes that he will live and corrupt this country. Whatever power I have, I will kick against it and that is what we did when I was in government.

“If that is done by an Indian company, that Indian company should be condemned. Whatever company that is doing that, if it is a Nigerian or an Indian who owns that company, they should have their heads examined.”

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