Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday described the economic situation for many small businessmen and women in Nigeria as frustrating.
Obasanjo said the situation had made his friend, a legal luminary, Afe Babalola, to weep.
The former President said this at the Youth Development Centre of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Credit Scheme held in Abeokuta.
Obasanjo, during the programme, presented over N1m cheques to beneficiaries of the centres for start-up businesses.
While sharing his experience with some petty traders and youths, Obasanjo disclosed that many people who have ideas are in need of money to start-up businesses.
He lamented that many Nigerians are frustrated over failed businesses, adding that many of them had shared their horrible experiences and information with him.
He said, “Over the years, my own frustration which would be the same as the frustration of those that have attended the course, they found it as a very important course. I listened to those that have tried out businesses and failed and those who want to try; they called me to share experiences, share information and all that.
“But the frustration is that after the training, they yield to almost nothing and I do know that as for some of them, what they need is not millions but a few thousands of naira to start up or continue.”
Obasanjo however shared the feeling of his friend when he met with him in Ado-Ekiti, saying, the legal luminary shared his experience with two women and could not control his emotion.
He said, “I remember going to my friend, Afe Babalola, in Ado-Ekiti. He said to me that two women came to him to ask for money in their training and he asked how much they have with them. One said N20,000; the other said N15,000 and he said he left where he was sitting, he went inside and wept. He wept!
“So, I then said when we train these people, they have gone through half course and let that lead to something and that’s why the idea of the credit scheme came up.”
Earlier, the Director of Youths Development, OOPL, Ibukun Olagbemiro, in his welcome address, said the project aimed at providing credit facilities to young business owners with the support of Obasanjo.