Rebuilding the North, routing Boko Haram top list
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and a team of top northern strategists, who are part of the team that met with him last week, have adopted a nine-point agenda that would drive the second term if the president wins the March 28 election.
The document, obtained by the Nigerian Tribune onSunday, listed issues, including rebuilding the North, routing of Boko Haram, inclusion of the best materials from the North in his government, completion of power projects that would lift power supply; commercialisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), reduction of out-of-school children in the North and across the country; strengthening the health sector, as well as more strategic appointment of women in the cabinet.
The agenda also touched on strategic reforms in the oil and gas sector and a direct war on corruption.
On the new anti-corruption war, the document stated that contrary to the misinformation in the polity, the administration had achieved a lot on the anti-corruption front and the Transparency International Rating for Nigeria is better that it was a decade ago.
It, however, indicated that the country still needed to improve on the war because it was far from where the country should be.
“We have fought oil subsidy fraud, pension fraud, fertiliser fraud and cleaned these up. We are using technology to build electronic platforms to manage our finances and our personnel rolls and stopped leakages. This is the way we must go for the future,” the document read.
It indicated that the president would put in place institutions and systems that would block leakages as well as rein in impunity.
The document acknowldeged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had made more arrestes and convictions in the current administration than ever before, adding, however, that the president would continue to respect the rule of law, while only the guilty would be punished certified by the law court.
On oil and gas, the document indicated that the president had achieved a lot in the sector by supporting local content, adding that more Nigerians were becoming owners of businesses in the sector.
The document further stated that the president would, in his second term, commercialise the NNPC.
“My plan is to commercialise the NNPC and have it operate in a more open, transparent and accountable manner. I shall bring new blood into the management of this sector,” the president was quoted in the document.
It indicated that while some strides had been attained on the education front, there was still the need to support young people to acquire skills.
The document further indicated that the president had, in his first term, established 12 universities to ensure every state has a federal university.
It stated that the president had built dozens of Almajiri schools and sent dozens of Nigeria’s best brains to study abroad.
“I plan to continue and strengthen my support for our tertiary institutions, to ensure our children and their lecturers live and study in a conducive environment.
“I care about thousands of our young children out of school,” the document read further, adding that though primary and secondary education are in the hands of state governments, the president would work closely with the states to improve education.
The document indicated that the president in his second term would inject new blood into the administration and ensure new people joined the government, including those currently criticising him.
On the North, the document read: “I understand the poverty problem of the North. I see the destruction of lives and property caused by Boko Haram. Once we drive out Boko Haram, I shall personally take charge of a rebuilding programme for the North East.
“I have already put instruments in place and will use them. I have PINE, Safe School Initiative, GreenBelt, Victims Funds, etc, I shall use these instruments to improve lives and livelihood and give our citizens in this area a better future.”
On Boko Haram, the document acknowledged that the president lost time on the issue because he listened to advice to try several tracks and not just the military option.
“We tried the political and negotiation track, it didn’t work. Now I am going for an all out assault, in conjuction with our neighbouring countries and other helpers. We shall hound them down so that we can provide a more secured future for our citizens in these areas,” the statement read.
On power, the agenda indicated that the government had pushed further on power than any other before it, adding that it had successfully privatised the sector to ensure efficiency.
It indicated that power had not improved to the expected level due to pipeline vadalism.
“My plan is to tackle this through employment of technology to help deter and detect vandals and punish them. I am also diversifying power sources so we are not only dependent on one source,” the document read, adding that the government was building several dams, including Kashimbila, Zungeru and Mambila, to help the diversification process apart from improvement in coal power.
Rebuilding the North, routing Boko Haram top list