Friday, September 9, 2011

The President GoodLuck Jonathan Administration: 100 Days of Promising Less and Delivering More

Highlights of the achievements of the President and his team in a continuing fulfillment of Mr. President's promise to "never let" Nigerians down.

NATIONAL COHESIVENESS:

After his victory at the April polls, President Jonathan was magnanimous in victory, sending emissaries nation-wide to get the buy in from all stake holders in the Nigeria Project. As a result of president Jonathan's commitment to electoral reform, the April Elections were adjudged the freest and fairest elections in Nigeria since the return to civil rule in 1999 as attested to by local and international observers a fact so apparent that all major opposition parties with the exception of one have publicly accepted President Jonathan’s victory.

Reduction in Election Disputes: By close of submission of election petitions it was established they had dropped by almost 80% from the 2007 figures.

RULE OF LAW:

In the last 100 days this administration has obeyed all court judgments and respected the doctrine of Separation of Powers by not interfering in other arms of government.


TRADE & INVESTMENT:

The National Automobile Council established an Automotive Development Fund to provide long term loans to resuscitate the automobile industry and generate jobs.

A machinery is now in place for the establishment of 37 Skills Acquisition Centers nationwide.

Approval for genuine foreign investors to obtain visas at the point of entry to facilitate FDI investments.

Completion of Model Skills Training Centers in Abuja-a collaboration between the Industrial Training Fund and the Institute for Technical Education, Singapore, first of its kind in Nigeria

Establishment of the Nigerian Vehicle Credit Purchase scheme.

Began process of establishing a World Trade & International Business Center in Lagos.

Commencement of the process for backward integration in Sugar & Rice Production to ensure self sufficiency.

Launch of the Campaign Against the Importation of  Sub Standard Products.

THE ECONOMY:

Boosted by the overwhelming success of the Amnesty Programme of the current administration, Nigeria's oil production expanded by 20% and she reclaimed her former position as Africa's largest oil exporter which she had hitherto lost to Angola.

Nigeria set a new record by being recognized by OPEC in the month of July as the second largest oil exporter in the cartel second only to Saudi Arabia. It is the first time Nigeria has recorded such a feat.

Inflation rate has been reducing as the administration enforces tighter fiscal policies. In June the Consumer Price Index revealed an inflation rate of 10.2% which dropped to 9.4% in July being the lowest rate in the last four years.

Foreign Reserves Rises by 10% to $34 Billion

Nigeria's GDP growth rate month over month has continued to grow from 6.7% in May to 6.9% in July of 2011.

Nigeria has been declared one of the top three investment destinations of choice in Africa (number 2) by the independent Africa Business Panel in The Netherlands.

INFRASTRUCTURE:

The President approved the pioneer board for the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NEBT) Plc, in an effort to stabilize power supply by facilitating smooth operations between independent power producers and distribution companies.

Nigeria now generates power at her highest level ever.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation has commenced Mass Transit Train Services in five out of the six geo-political zones with the sixth zone coming on stream before the end of the year.

With the establishment of the NSIA, the President facilitated direct investments into infrastructure with the priority areas being Power and Roads.

The current administration approved funds for the rehabilitation of the   East – West road in Nigeria in order to facilitate transportation of goods and services around the country.

The Federal Government also awarded contracts for various road projects across the country whose impact will soon be felt nation wide.

Nigeria launched two satellites in August 2011. These satellites were designed and built by Nigerian Engineers/Scientists in conjunction with British Scientists and will help expand Internet Bandwidth

ACCESS TO JUSTICE:

Setting up of a 12-man Justice Sector Reform Implementation Committee to ensure the implementation of various reform that have been articulated and widen access to justice.

Mr. President assented to several bills to increase access to justice including; The Human Rights Amendment Act, 2011; Legal Aid Amendment Act, 2011; The Evidence Act (which has simplified the process of collating evidence in our legal system)

Ensured compliance with court judgments, especially with regard to payment of judgment debts.

Repatriation of looted funds to the country. The sum of 22.5 million Pounds sterling were recovered from the Isle of Jersey, U.K.

Increased focus on Legislative Advocacy via a host of pending bills designed to enhance the welfare of Nigerians

Freedom of Information Bill. The President signed the FOI Bill, thereby showing his commitment to lifting the veil covering governance and deepening participatory democracy. Already there have been tangible benefits with the first FOI case instituted in court and the recent declassification of hitherto classified information. The framework for compliance of the FOI Act has been prepared by the Office of the AGF for gazetting, after inputs from critical stakeholders.


PRO-YOUTH AND PEOPLE POLICY:

The President introduced the unique policy of intervening in the pricing of kerosene by engaging with the Private Sector and the price reduced within the first 100 days between May and September, 2011.

He also introduced the KeroDirect policy of selling kerosene direct to end users essentially cutting out the bottlenecks in the distribution system. This successful scheme has reduced the artificial scarcity of the product hitherto faced by the Nigerian masses.

A POSITIVE GENDER AGENDA:

President Jonathan took the unique step of proactively reserving 35% of cabinet positions for women. Despite immense pressures, Mr. President held firm and has so far given women  31% slot as far as Ministerial positions are concerned.  As a man of his words, when you add female Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Assistants to be appointed, that figure will certainly rise to 35%.  This is more than the recommended gender representation ratio of 30% in the Beijing document. Merit was the yard-stick in filling these slots with President Jonathan appointing only the best.

SECURITY:

Peace has been sustained in the Niger Delta, Militants are in training or engaging in worthwhile ventures.

Drastic reduction in kidnapping in the South East with the implementation of President Jonathan’s order on the establishment of the 14 Brigade of the Nigerian army in Ohafia, Abia state.

Investments in Facilities for an Intelligence-Based Security Approach.

Maritime Safety has been ensured and stabilized in the last 100 days.

PLANNING:

Retreats and workshops were organized for the cabinet to rub minds and enhance synergy within the administration.

To give effect to Mr. President’s statement that improving the economy and creating jobs is of the highest priority to this administration, a 15-man Economic Implementation Team was put in place under the Chairmanship of President Jonathan to include a coordinating minister for the economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, two governors including opposition party governor, Peter Obi of Anambra (Honorary Presidential Adviser on Finance) and Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa (Honorary Presidential Adviser on Agriculture). Another innovation was the inclusion of the Private sector with the membership of Captains of Industry including Alh. Aliko Dangote, Mr. Atedo Peterside as well as the President of the Nigerian Economic Society.

FOREIGN POLICY:

Nigeria’s foreign policy was reviewed to reflect a “citizen-focused” foreign policy designed in the      words of President Jonathan to “accord this vision of defending the dignity of humanity the     highest priority" and link foreign policy to domestic  policy while placing a greater emphasis on  economic diplomacy.

A STRONG TEAM:

Although it took some time principally because of the recesses declared by the Senate (President Jonathan respects the doctrine of Separation of Powers) Mr. President came up with a stellar cabinet.

The cabinet includes tested hands like:

Former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, immediate past Managing Director of the World Bank and former Finance Minister who superintended Nigeria's exit from the Paris and London Club of debtors.

Dr. Olusegun Aganga, a former Managing Director at Goldman Sachs International.

Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, a former Vice President  at the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (established by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the goal of bringing a green revolution to Africa).

Prof. Bart Nnaji, a former World Bank consultant and professor of Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Robotics amongst others.

Dr. Mohammed Ali Pate, former Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA); and

Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Former Chair Person and Country Director Accenture Nigeria.

In the history of Nigerian cabinets from pre-independence to date, no cabinet has had the quantum of stellar appointments as President Jonathan has in his first cabinet post election.

It is early days yet, but with such a team armed with a transformational agenda, Nigeria is set to fulfill the potential in the Morgan Stanley report from last July to the effect that Nigeria is set to overtake South Africa's economy as the largest economy in Africa.

Facts of President Goodluck Jonathan's 100 Days in Office!

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