Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been appointed an adviser to New World Capital, a private equity firm which is raising money internationally to invest in Africa.
Obasanjo, who is currently on a trip to the UK to promote investment in Nigeria, is expected to facilitate the firm’s entry into Nigeria and other African countries.
Reacting to the issue of corruption as an impediment to attracting foreign direct investment in Nigeria, Obasanjo said that progress was being made in the fight against corruption, adding that “it is not a one night affair”.
“There is no part of the world where corruption is absolutely eliminated,” he said. “But in other countries, corruption has not been a way of life. When you are found, you are dealt with. And that’s what we need. The givers of most of the corruption in Africa are from outside Africa. They do in Africa things they would not do in their own countries.
In my part of the world, we have a saying that the man who carries a pot of palm oil from the ceiling is not the only thief. He has an accomplice in the man who helps him to bring it down. The giver and the taker are criminals; and they should be treated as such.”
The former president extolled the immense opportunities in the continent and urged foreign investors to take advantage of the rush. “I still believe in the opportunities that Africa affords to make legitimate money,” he said. “Africa is one place I believe that if you are courageous enough, you can invest and get 25 per cent return on your investment annually. There aren’t many places in the world where you can get that return.”
*This article has been amended to reflect corrections. The former president was appointed advisor for New World Capital and not New World Oil and Gas as we earlier stated. We apologise for the mix-up.