This, he said, was what a former German Chancellor, the late Helmut Schmidt, who was one of his international friends, told him during a discussion about African countries.
He argued that there was no way that a President with a poor knowledge of the economy could meet the needs of the citizens, adding that even Jesus Christ understood the economy.
Obasanjo spoke in Lagos at this year’s edition of Foursquare Gospel Church annual public lecture, which held at the church’s national headquarters in Yaba.
He chaired the lecture with the theme, “The trying triangle of economy, faith and politics – Looking through the eye of the needle.”
The lecture was delivered by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr. Matthew Kukah.
Commenting on the lecture, the former President said even if Kukah was right in his description of politics as a game, politics must be the most serious game created by man.
He said he agreed with Kukah that even Jesus Christ had a good knowledge of the economy.
Obasanjo said he believed that for Nigeria to get it right, the country must strike a balance among economy, faith and politics.
He said, “There is no doubt at all that if we have to get it right the three (economy, faith and politics) must go together.
“One of my international friends, the late Helmut Schmidt, who was a former Chancellor of Germany – he died at the age of 96 about three years ago, I was at the burial – and he said if we in Africa have to make it, all our political leaders must have good grounding in economy.
“As a fact from Bishop Kukah, even Jesus Christ understood the economy and if you have a leader who does not understand economics, then you cannot have a leader that will satisfy the need of the people, the physical and the material needs of the people.”