Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday blamed the Structural Adjustment Programme of the former military president General Ibrahim Babangida administration for the problems of food production in the country.
He also accused African leaders of conniving with international agencies to impoverish their peoples.
Obasanjo said this at the public presentation of the Africa Human Development Report 2012 in Abuja.
He said, “I don’t like that word, Structural Adjustment, because it was one of the things that killed our agriculture, when the World Bank said we should be structurally adjusted even when we had no structure to adjust.”
He also explained that the report re-echoed what was already public knowledge among Africans.
Obasanjo said, “This report is a damning condemnation of decades of governance in sub-Saharan Africa.
“It tells us what we know that the poverty of Africa is the making of African leaders over the years.
“African leaders have made the option of taking us along the route or path of poverty; we don’t need to be told.”
The former President added, “It also repeats what many of us have said over and over again that the prescription given to us by the International Community is like force feeding a diabetic patient in coma with concentrated liquid sugar.
“I know that because I am a diabetic patient and I run away from sugar.
“In short, this report is an indictment of African and International leadership in the area of African economic development generally but particularly in the area of food production and food and nutrition security in Africa.”
He said for too long, Africa seemed to have encouraged laziness, inefficiency, waste, corruption and leaders at all levels “have got away with murder through poor, inadequate and incompetent performance, what this report is saying is enough is enough Africa”.
Earlier, in his address of welcome, the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Daouda Toure, said the report pointed out two disturbing paradoxes in sub-saharan Africa.
He said, “The paradox is that Africa is not predestined to hunger and malnutrition. Our continent has the lowest occupation of arable land, yet one quarter of the African population is affected by hunger.”