Giving advice on the best way to spur growth and economic advancement in the country, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that Nigerians shouldn't blame God for the situation the country is in but "we have to blame ourselves".
He stated that the country would not move forward with hard work and that payers must go hand-in-hand with work.
The former president gave his advice in his New Year message delivered at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He said, “When we do the right thing; We are not doing the right thing now. When we do the right thing, the economy will be what it should be.
“I like the motto of a school which says ‘work and pray.’ Some people say it should be ‘pray and work’, but it doesn’t matter to me in what order I put it, but prayer must go with work and work must go with prayer.
“And I believe we need to work hard in this country as we pray hard so that the coming year, the year 2021 will be a glorious year for us. But it will not happen unless we work to make it happen.
“We do not have to blame God for our situation. We have to blame ourselves. Nigeria does not have to be poor; no Nigerian must go to bed hungry. That we have a situation like that is a choice by our leaders and followers alike. My prayer is that God will make year 2021 a better year for all of us, but it will not happen without work.
“We have gone from one form of insecurity to bad economy and on the top of it is the COVID-19. Some people, either for insecurity or for bad economy or for COVID-19 have gone to the great beyond, I will say those who have departed, particularly in this year of challenges, may their souls rest in perfect peace.”
This comes as President Muhammadu Buhari outlined plans for the stimulation of the country's economy that was described by the president as "fragile".
He said, “Going back to the land is the way out. We depend on petroleum at the expense of agriculture. Now the oil industry is in turmoil. We are being squeezed to produce at 1.5 million barrels a day as against a capacity to produce 2.3 million.
“At the same time, the technical cost of our production per barrel is high, compared to the Middle East production.
“We will continue to encourage our people to go back to the land. Our elite are indoctrinated in the idea that we are rich in oil, leaving the land for the city for oil riches.
“We are back to the land now. We must not lose the opportunity to make life easier for our people. Imagine what would have happened if we didn’t encourage agriculture and closed the borders. We would have been in trouble.”