27-28 SEPTEMBER 2016

WorldPensionSummit Africa Special

The only platform 'for and by' Pension Professionals, exchanging knowledge and innovative ideas on securing sufficient pension provision. 


Read more about Africa Special

His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR

His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR

Retired Army General and Former President of Nigeria

His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR is a retired army General and a onetime Military Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  With the return of democracy in 1999, he was elected President, an office he held for two consecutive terms. The laudable achievements of Chief Obasanjo in the socio-political and economic sphere of Nigeria, Africa and indeed the world, sets him apart for global recognition.

He began his early education at the Baptist Boy’s High School Abeokuta from 1952 to 1956 and later enlisted in the Nigerian Army in March 1958, after a stint as a teacher. His first formal military training was at the Regular Officers’ Special Training School, Teshi, Ghana and later at Mons Officers’ Cadet School, Aldershot, England (1958-59). He further trained at the Royal College of Military Engineering, Chatham, England; School of Survey, Newbury, England; Indian Defence College; Indian Army School of Engineering, Poona; and Royal Defense Studies, London, among other military institutions.

As a soldier, Chief Obasanjo held several command positions including service with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in the then Congo DRC.  His outstanding military moment, however, came in 1969 when he took over as commander of the 3rd Marine Commando Division where he conceived and launched “Operation Tail Wind” which quelled the ravaging Nigeria Civil War of 1967.

After the war in 1970, Chief Obasanjo took on a Senior Officers’ Course at Britain’s College of Defense Studies and upon return in 1974 as a Brigadier in the Nigerian Army, was appointed Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing. On July 29 1975, based on his dedication to the service of Nigeria, Chief Obasanjo was appointed the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Lagos. In 1976, General Obasanjo reluctantly took over the mantle of leadership as the Military Head of State following the assassination of General Murtala Mohammed. Chief Obasanjo resolutely pursued the idea of handing over the reins of political power to a democratically elected government and on 1 October 1979, he became the first military ruler in Africa to voluntarily relinquish power to a democratically elected president and this won him global respect. Upon leaving office, Chief Obasanjo became a successful farmer and writer.  He has authored several books notable amongst which are the African bestsellers, My Command, Africa in Perspective, Africa Embattled, Africa Through the Eyes of A Patriot and most recently, My Watch.  These endeavours did not deter him from offering his services both nationally and internationally. 

Chief Obasanjo was elected civilian president of Nigeria in 1999, during which he presided over large scale reforms in several spheres of national life, notable among which was the pension reform in Nigeria, which gave birth to the contributory pension scheme in 2004. He is indeed referred to in many circles as the father of the pension reform in Nigeria. Following his hand over of office in 2007, Chief Obasanjo continued to play a pivotal role in the regeneration and repositioning of the African Union. He has consistently supported the deepening and widening of regional cooperation through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the co-prosperity of Alliance Zone incorporating Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo. 

Chief Obasanjo has also been involved in international mediation efforts in Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Mozambique and Burundi. In 2008, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed Chief Obasanjo as Special Envoy on the Great Lakes region, and is integral in the ongoing mediation efforts in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC.

Obasanjo is a member of Club de Madrid, an independent non-profit organization created to promote democracy and change in the international community. Its membership includes over 100 former democratically elected Presidents and Prime Ministers from more than 60 countries. He is also a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who advocate, at the highest levels, for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. 

A great Pan-Africanist par excellence and an author of repute, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has touched the lives of, not only Nigerians, but Africans as a whole. 

Back to speakers


Media Partners