Posted by Acho Orabuchi | 12 February 2015 | 5,662 times
The Association of Nigerian-American Professionals strongly endorses President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for a second term. In the face of global terror, the international community prefers Jonathan. Despite restive electorate and voters who are angry and want change, the change is President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. He is the change we can trust at this time. Therefore, the Nigerian community in the United States under the auspices of various organizations, including the Association of Nigerian-American Professionals, Inc. (ANAP, INC.) has chosen to strongly endorse President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term.
We strongly believe that President Jonathan is the best candidate for president of Nigeria at this time. He has been tested and has the strong leadership qualities to lead Nigeria to the next level. A case in point is President Jonathan’s recent leadership in curbing Ebola prompting the World Health Organization declaring Nigeria “Ebola free.” The country cannot afford to elect an inexperienced and an undemocratic individual, who does not possess democratic principles to direct the affairs of the country.
Despite sabotage, President Jonathan’s Transformational Agenda and Vision 2020 have truly transformed the country’s economy. Since President Jonathan took office, various international rating agencies have rated the Nigeria’s economic outlook from stable to positive. This is possible because President Jonathan has the vision and the people, who are capable of executing his program with fidelity. Thus, under his administration, Nigeria’s GDP grew consistently registered a record growth since last quarter of 2010 placing the country to be the fourth fastest growing economy in the world.
In 2011, based on the improvement of economic indices of Nigeria, Fitch Rating Agency revised Nigeria’s economic outlook to stable. However, The Standard and Poor’s, a rating agency, generously revised “Nigeria's ratings from stable to positive.” Also, recently, Jim O’Neill, a former Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, a consulting firm, said: “What you are seeing today is the list of the 15 largest economies by 2050 and Nigeria is there. This means that Nigeria can be the 15th largest economy by 2050,” referring to Nigeria.
Some of the noticeable reforms and policies have yielded results that warrant Nigerians to take a second on Nigeria as an investment heaven. For instance, not only that signing into law the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Bill 2010 (Local Content Bill), which has increased Local Content in the Oil and Gas sector, but has also resulted to the Royal Dutch Shell awarding about N7.8 billion ($49.9 million) contract to a Nigerian firm, S.C.C Limited, for the manufacture of high pressure line pipes that would otherwise have been awarded to a foreign firm. Similarly, Exxon Mobil awarded an off shore platform contract to a local firm, Niger Dock Nig PLC, that would otherwise have been awarded to a foreign firm, as a result of the law. Your policies have elevated the country and I’m personally proud of your achievements.
Also, we took note of the initiation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) with a seed capital of $1 billion, and the three sub-funds: the Nigeria Infrastructure Fund, the Future Generations Fund, and the Stabilization Fund serving as the pillars of the SWF, was palatable to economic growth. This has enormous potential to spur economic growth in some vital sectors of the economy.
Similarly, the Public Works Women and Youth Empowerment Programme, an intervention programme designed to employ thousands of youths in the year 2012 with about 30% of those jobs reserved for women would help reduce poverty and assure a healthy workforce from a segment of the population must vulnerable. The quest to diversify the economy by revival of textile industry through “the 150 billion Naira Textile Industry Bailout” added growth to the economy. It is noted that the policy has resulted in rising exports from non-oil industry, which stands at $2.3 billion. This in part aided Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves to consistently rise faster than in the pasts. Thus, Nigeria’s GDP grew consistently registered a record growth since last quarter of 2010 placing the country to be the fourth fastest growing economy in the world.
We have also taken note of the Youth Enterprise with innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN) initiative, which you launched a few years ago. The initiative saw 1,200 Nigerian youths in 2012 emerging winners of the competition following a transparent process. Each winner was glad to receive a business startup grant of between 1 to 10 million Naira. Without a doubt, due to Jonathan’s vision that led to power sector deregulation and privatization, future sufficient and uninterrupted power supply will be assured as your policies continue to address and rectify the poor state of the country’s power transmission network, the recurring obstacles in the supply of gas to power plants and the lack of intervention fund for banks that are supporting the sector. The implementation of the power sector reforms are being religiously and efficiently carried out under your leadership to achieve sufficiency in power supply, which will spur sustainable industrialization and greater economic growth in the country. Due to your vision and power sector reform, the human capital development will continue to accrue. We noted that “about 4,000 craftsmen, technicians and cable jointers have to be trained to man the power sector” and “about 7,400 young men and women would receive training to revolutionize the Nigerian electricity market, after officially flagging off the skills acquisition and entrepreneurship scheme for the power sector.
Again, here is a summary of President Goodluck Joathan’s accomplishments among plethora of giant achievements that informed our decision to strongly endorse him:
i. The establishment of over 100 Almajiri Islamic/Western education schools;
ii. The establishment of over 12 new universities thereby giving every state, at least, one tertiary Federal institution;
iii. Privatization of the power sector in a courageous move to improve power supply in Nigeria today and tomorrow;
iv. The completion of the Niger Delta power plants;
v. The award of contract of the building of the Zungeru and Mambila power plants;
vi. Construction and revival of dams for improvement in water supplies, agricultural production and tourism;
vii. Construction of over thousands of kilometer of roads in all six geopolitical zones nation-wide;
viii. The commencement of the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge;
ix. The ongoing reconstruction of the Lagos/Ibadan expressway;
x. The revamping of the Nigeria Railway system such that rails now run between Lagos and Kano and Lagos Abeokuta, while construction work goes on at the Eastern corridor between Port Harcourt and Maiduguri as well as a new line between Abuja and Kaduna;
xi. The ongoing construction of the Abuja light rail;
xii. The completion of the dredging of the lower River Niger and establishment of Ports and other complementary infrastructure;
xiii. Transformation of the agricultural sector such that Nigeria’s food import of $11bn has started declining; several rice mills have been established; dry season rice farming has created thousands of jobs, while corruption has been reduced through the electronic wallet system for distribution of fertilizers to real farmers;
xiv. One could also mention the new Industrial Revolution Policy being embarked upon as well as the new Automotive Policy aimed at reversing Nigeria’s expenditure of $4bn import of vehicles per year;
xv. On the macro-economic level, Nigeria is now the biggest economy in Africa with a GDP of over $510bn and the 26th biggest economy in the world;
xiv. The economy is among the 10 fastest growing economies in the world with a growth rate of nearly 7%;
xv. Also, inflation is at a single digit of about 8%;
xvi. Foreign exchange reserve at $40bn;
xvii. Nigeria has graduated from a low income country to a middle income country by the classification of the World Bank, IMF and international other financial institutions;
xviii. President Jonathan is a true democrat who upholds the principle of one man, one vote and does not interfere with the electoral system;
xix. Through the wise execution of the Amnesty Policy, Peace has been sustained in the Niger Delta region;
xx. According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s poverty figure under President Jonathan has reduced from 56% to 33.1%;
xxi. Construction work on the Airport remodeling projects in over eleven airports are on-going; and
xxii. The Enugu airport has been made an international airport.
Again, we commend President Jonathan’s party for adopting him as its consensus candidate based on his superlative performance to avoid any rancorous primary that may potentially degenerate to instability in the nation. While President Jonathan has grown the economy as well as preventing the disintegration of the country, his leadership to control and contain the outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria is highly commendable. We strongly support President Jonathan and we beckon all well-meaning Nigerians to support him in order that our nation, Nigeria, will be preserved. In the same token, we strongly encourage President Jonathan to engage in grassroots campaign so that masses will be reached as he touts his accomplishments.
Nigeria needs President Goodluck Jonathan at this time. President Jonathan is the change we need and trust; he has changed lives in Nigeria for better as demonstrates democratic principles. Thus, we will like to use the opportunity to honor President Jonathan as well with the Excellence in Leadership Award for his outstanding accomplishments in Nigeria.
•Iheanacho (Acho) Orabuchi, Ph.D., National Board Certified Award-Winning Accomplished Teacher, is National Chairman of the Association of Nigerian-American Professionals, Inc. (ANAP, INC.)
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