Jonathan Mid-term Score Card

Jonathan
Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan makes history by being the first Nigerian leader to present a documented mid-term score-card to the nation on Democracy Day

|  By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Jun. 10, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

TWO years into his administration, President Goodluck Jonathan gave himself a pass mark. The president said while presenting his mid-term performance report on May 29 that his administration had done well in the last two years. He described the mid-term report as creditable and implored Nigerians to assess his administration based on individual scorecards. The president said that all the achievements had been enumerated by the ministers in his cabinet and therefore, urged anyone willing to assess the government to develop a marking scheme.

“Today, we are marking the end of the first 24 months, which is our mid-term review and my duty is to formally present a document that all Nigerians will be able to read and assess us. So, I am not meant to talk and, of course, you have heard from the planning minister, the finance minister and the secretary to the government; that will give you an idea of what we have done. The idea is to formally present a document to all Nigerians about the activities of government in the past two years. I plead with all of us, especially those who want to assess and write about it, to develop criteria because without a marking scheme, you cannot mark any student’s paper. Two years of a government, this is what we have done, develop your marking scheme and score us,” President Jonathan said.

The president also faulted a recent assessment of his ministers by a national newspaper, wondering the kind of criteria that were used for the assessment. “I noticed that some ministers, like national planning, trade and investment were scored average. From 2007, I have worked with two ministers of national planning and two ministers of trade and investment; they have never done what has been done today.”

Dignitaries at the event
Dignitaries at the event

In her report on the economic policy framework of the administration, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance, said that a remarkable progress had been made in the country’s economy. She said Nigeria’s economy was strong and growing, adding that foreign reserve had risen from $32.08 billion, in May 2011 to $50 billion, in May 2013. According to her, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, is one of the fastest growing in the world. The GDP growth in 2013 is expected to be 6.5 percent. She said that the inflation rate had slowed down to 9.1 percent from 12.4 percent in May 2011. “Our economy has been growing. Inflation has been coming down. Our focus is to complete on-going projects. The government is concerned about keeping our debts low. We have started retiring existing debts. We want to keep our debts at very manageable level,” she said.

Okonjo-Iweala listed the achievements of the government in the last two years in some key sectors like power, aviation, agriculture, education and works. She stated that the power, aviation and agriculture sectors now import materials at zero import duty and that government is working to ensure that the banks lend to individuals, real estate developers at lower interest rates. According to her, money has been directed to roads too and the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line will be completed in 2013. More rail line will go live by the end of 2013.

On his part, Shamsudeen Usman, minister of national planning, who gave an overview of the transformation agenda of the government, said the president has set a record in the country by being the first to document and publish his mid-term score-card. He said part of the president’s reward for his good works in the past two years would be in heaven. According to him, about eight of the 14 key objectives set by the administration in 2011 have been achieved by the government. “Eight out of 14 strategic targets set by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 have been achieved. Home remittances are now higher than foreign direct investments in Nigeria. Even if you doubt the macro-economic figure, you cannot deny the huge investments flowing into Nigeria. There are figures to show remarkable improvements in infrastructure in the last two years. You cannot deny that there have been improvements in power supply,” he said.

Presenting the governance report, Anyim Pius Anyim, secretary to the government of the federation, highlighted the achievements of the government in promoting the rule of law, integrity of state institutions and human rights. He said it was the presidents’ deliberate policy to listen and respect the views of Nigerians that made him the most criticised president in the world today.

On corruption, Anyim noted that the usual emphasis on the hunters’ approach is not productive, so the government has adopted a different approach, to tighten loose ends and eliminate all opportunities of corruption, amongst others. He urged Nigerians to expect a greener corruption perception index in future because the government is recording success in the fight against corruption. He, however, did not mention any specific case of success.

Anyim stated that government should not only be assessed by the physical infrastructure in place now but that there are many intangible achievements that have been recorded in the past two years, stressing that there have been stability and no interference with the legislature. He pointed out that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had been receiving enough funds towards procuring permanent electoral materials, like permanent voters’ cards, among other things.

The Democracy Day celebration held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, was attended by many dignitaries. Those in attendance include: Yakubu Gowon, former head of state, Shehu Shagari, former president, Ernest Shonekan, former head of Interim National Government, David Mark, senate president, Amos Sawyer, former Liberian President, Jesse Jackson former United States presidential aspirant and Tony Blair, former British prime minister. Others were Dame Patience Jonathan, first lady, Emeka Ihedioha, deputy speaker, House of Representatives, Mariam Aloma-Mukhtar, Chief Justice of Nigeria, state governors, service chiefs, traditional rulers among other personalities in the country.

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