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2011: President Jonathan assures on Police

The president is not a police officer, but he should be able to give the police free hand and be able to supervise them, Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday in Abuja.

Speaking at the 16th National Economic Summit at the Transcorp Hilton, he also stated that corruption is birthed out of greed, which is innate in every human being.

“My vision is to build a Nigeria that all Nigerians would be proud of, because people are losing confidence in the nation.

To develop a nation built on unity, where we will all believe in ourselves that we are one person; a unity that can encourage sound economy, based on solid education, so that we can move further; where there the basic infrastructures, like power, roads and others are available; where the private sector is viable, and security would encourage investments locally and foreign direct investments,” he said.

Speaking on the current state of security in the country, which has become tense following the October 1 twin bomb blasts in Abuja and the continuous scare of a repeat attack, President Jonathan said security issues are a challenge to any government and Nigeria is not an exemption. He also promised to fight kidnapping and militancy.

“What is happening now is commercial and anyone doing something to make money will not stop,” he said.

“However, we are getting a special fund to fund the police in order to curb all these excesses. What we have now is no longer agitation but criminality.

Amnesty has ensured that militancy ends. Yes, we have some challenges we are addressing, but we must separate criminality from militancy.”

A former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alfa Belgore, who spoke on the issue of why corruption has thrived in Nigeria, said “most of our laws are antiquated and the procedures in which cases are tried should be looked into.” He said Nigeria needs “a simple and cheap” procedure which will speed up cases.

Generate jobs

Mr Jonathan also identified lack of consistency in planning as one of the major challenges the country is facing in its effort to achieve national development goals and objectives.

According to him, the longest period the country experienced stability in the development of the country was during the Yakubu Gowon administration, about nine years.

“The Ministry of National Planning would be made to play a key role in the capital budget process next year to ensure that the budgeting procedures tallied with the national planning objectives,” he said. “If government must follow the Vision 20-2020 document, which has been carefully articulated, government must allow its plans to follow the vision to the letter,” he said.

The president, who noted that the growth of the nation is hinged on investment in the power sector, said if his administration is able to stabilize power supply in the country, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) would flourish and create jobs for the people.

Minister of Finance, Segun Aganga, attributed the high level of poverty and unemployment underlining the country’s economic situation to the boom and bust experience in the international oil market.

He said the National Economic Management Team has been mandated to focus on job creation through wide consultations with various stakeholders to build a strong partnership between the private and public sectors to move the economy forward.

Participants in the programme included: Mr Belgore; Chairman of the Board of the NESG, Sam Ohuabunwa; Managing Director, Legacy Pensions Nigeria Limited, Bello Machido and Minister of National Planning, Shamusudeen Usman.