Ex-Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, declared that his tenure as President produced 25 billionaires among whom is Africa’s richest woman, Mrs Forunsho Alakija.
DailyPost reports that Obasanjo made the remark on Saturday at the 2016 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos.
The former President was reacting to Alakija’s claim that his administration frustrated her when she ventured into the oil sector.
Alakija who spoke at the same event had earlier accused the Obasanjo’s government of illegally taking an oil block allocated to her company.
She said, “This oil block is in 5000 feet depth of water and was extremely difficult to explore.
“It took 15 years from the time that we were awarded the licence in 1993 till 2008 when we struck the first oil
“When this event happened, 60 per cent out of our 60 per cent equity in the business, was forcefully taken from us by the government of the day without due process.
“We had to fight back by going to court to seek redress and it took another 12 years for justice to be served in our favour.
“In all those years it was my trust in God, my perseverance and the support of my family that got me going.”
But, Obasanjo when delivering his speech explained that his government back then acted in line with the Mining Act, which regulates oil prospection and exploration.
According to the former President, “There is a saying in my part of the world that when a proverb touches you and you failed to reply, then you are a coward.
“For you to come here and say that, for no cause whatsoever, you were denied what was rightfully yours, is not fair.
“I do not know you from Adam and there is no reason I would have denied you what rightfully belonged to you.
“So, you have struggled, and you have struck oil. God bless your heart. My delight is to be able to create Nigerian billionaire and I always say it that my aim, when I was in government was to create 50 Nigerian billionaires.
“Unfortunately I failed. I created only 25 and Madam, you are one of them.”