Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has used the occasion of his first anniversary as President and Commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to respond to the waves of criticisms about his performance so far. In a press release titled Major Achievements of the Jonathan Administration, the president listed over 100 accomplishments by his administration in various sectors of the economy in just one year in office.
Contrary to widespread beliefs that he’s been slack in fighting corruption, the president listed his anti-corruption credentials, including granting “complete independence to the EFCC,” unlike in the past and cleaning its “Augean stable” by appointing Ibrahim Lamorde as chairman. He also touted the reconstitution of the ICPC board and the committees and task force he set up like the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force as notable achievements.
The release also listed as achievements the opening of the “books of the petroleum sector to the EFCC”, reviving of “previously untouchable cases including the Siemens and Halliburton bribe cases,” charging former U.S Vice President Dick Cheney for the Halliburton bribe scandal, and reaching a plea bargain that brought funds and displayed that Nigeria was “no banana republic.”
The release also listed achievements in the power sector. Nigeria now produces power at the highest level at almost 4,500MW according to the statement; a new national super grid, turbines and new power stations are being built; a coherent power sector reform roadmap was launched; and experienced Nigerians were appointed to drive the power sector reform.
Curiously, even though the president’s ardent supporters would argue that his tenure in office began on May 29, 2012, some of the achievements listed happened before then. For instance, under electoral reforms, the new electoral act was signed in August 2010, and the “free, fair and credible elections” touted was conducted in April 2011, a month before he was sworn in, yet they were listed as achievements.
In education, nine new universities as well as 400 state-of-the-art almajiri schools are being built. The education sector also received the highest sectoral allocation in the 2011 budget, for the first time in two decades. The administration has also “upheld the rule of law by obeying every court order bar none.”
Under security there are a bunch of achievements including the establishment of anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism units, arrests and trial of people involved in bombing “unlike past incidences of bombing in Nigeria”, and the registration of all sim cards in the country into a central database.
Other achievements listed in the release include:
- Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) project completed in 2010, as a result no commercial airline crashes under the Present administration
- Improvement in economic indices and initiating the Sovereign Wealth Fund
- Launching of YOU WIN initiative
- Revival of the textile industry through the N150 billion bailout
- Inauguration of Petroleum Industry Bill Task Force
- Highest increase in life expectancy in Nigeria to 51.9 years
- Successful outing at CHOGM, satisfactory engagement with South Africa and hosting of Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron
- Second most popular leader on Facebook
- Mr. President listened to Nigerian youths and rescinded his order for the NFF to withdraw from international football after Nigerians made passionate appeals on his Facebook page.