• Saturday, March 02, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

…And these were the president’s campaign promises

businessday-icon

It is difficult to describe how indulgees came by their poke-nosing character. Believe me when I say they were not born with it. Some of them started showing signs of this disease when they wandered onto this gathering and began to discover that they had, indeed, found their soul mates! You know what they say about soul mates discovery, don’t you? You either progressively age with it or it could kill you really quickly. And it wouldn’t really matter whether you truly found a final resting place or truly began to do the kicking that you always wanted to do.

Now, so many things are happening in this country that are bringing out the poke-nosing streak of indulgees today. The first is what happened the other time in Cote d’Ivoire when President Goodluck Jonathan visited the country. Right there in Abidjan, Jonathan the President was promising the people of that country that a certain road called Lagos-Abidjan road would be in top gear, if not completed, soon. Hmmm! Indulgees exclaim: “What about Lagos-Ibadan Expressway? What about Apapa-Oshodi Expressway? What about the famous East-West road in the president’s backyard? Why has our president taken what is our exclusive preserve to another country? Are empty promises not made exclusively for Nigerians?” Some of them are really angry at this development. They think they should keep their exclusive rights to our leaders’ penchant for using the phrase, “We will do… I will do…” and never “We have done… We have completed… We are now completing…”

Another thing that is happening which is making indulgees increase their poke-nosing is that they have noticed that everything appears to be going into the ‘hold’ mode in terms of government activities as attention now shifts to 2015. That means the politicians, including President Jonathan, have taken their eyes off the ball and are beginning to articulate their “I will… We will…” rhetoric of deception. It is the observation of these developments that has made indulgees to poke their nose as far as uprooting a compilation of the campaign promises of President Jonathan when he was shuttling from one part of the country to another in 2011 begging us to vote for him. As the president resumes his junketing across the country ahead of 2015 with those bags of promises, at least you have a guide to judge whether he has kept the ones he made in 2011. Here are just some of them:

Infrastructural development

To revive  the rail system in the country

To complete Lagos to Jebba rail project

To intervene and revitalise the moribund Nigeria Machine Tools and other infrastructure owned by the Federal Government

Budgeted N50 billion for job development and infrastructure

To modernise the ports

To complete the second River Niger bridge before the expiration of the tenure

To make the minister of works to immediately start repairs of the road leading to Murtala Mohammed International Airport

To transform all major routes in Damaturu to federal roads

To assist in resuscitating all the collapsed industries in Kano State

To work towards making Akanu Ibiam airport in Enugu an international airport

To seek alternative funding means to repair the Benin-Ore road

To set up a committee to review Federal Government landed properties in Lagos, hand over those that should be handed over and retain those that should be in possession of the Federal Government

To give Sokoto-Kotangora road unfettered attention.

Power

To  deliver stable, constant supply of electricity

To provide stable power supply by the year 2015 so that small and medium scale industries can thrive again

To ensure that Nigerians do not use generators more than two times in a week

To explore the coal deposits in Benue and Kogi States for improved power supply

To construct more dams to build more hydro-power stations

To reduce the importation of generators by at least 90 percent in the next four years

To raise power generation to about 4,747 megawatts by December 2011

To put an end to epileptic power supply in the country just as fuel queues at petrol stations were ended.

Economy

To work with the private sector and all the relevant agencies to stimulate industrial growth

To introduce five-year term budgeting

To diversify the economy

To strive to revive the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and Itakpe Iron-ore Company

To address the issues of unemployment through diversification of the nation’s economy to that of sustainable agricultural development across the 36 states of the federation

To reduce production cost by inviting manufacturers of high demand commodities in the country to set up production factories in the country

To get industries in Lagos up and running and also bring industries to the Niger Delta

To in the next two years create 1.5 million jobs

To transform the economy within four years

To constitute a special committee drawing experts from the MAN, NACCIMA and related bodies as well as key government officials to deliberate regularly on policies that will improve the nation’s economy; committee to be coordinated by the chief economic adviser to the president

To review importation rules and regulations to encourage local manufacturers

To create wealth through the transformation of the economy by intervening in several areas

To revitalise all the Federal Government properties that have been abandoned in Lagos State through privatisation in conjunction with the state government

To have a deliberate policy to create jobs by funding SMEs

To create an enabling environment for the transformation of the country through the creation of job opportunities for youth and empowerment of the women

To deliver Nigeria from poverty, promote agriculture, create employment, create wealth, work on irrigation farming to provide food.

Energy & Gas

To facilitate the Petroleum Industry Law with emphasis on local content such that jobs are created for Nigerians

To construct two world scale petrochemical plants, two fertiliser plants and two fertiliser blending plants

To make investment under the gas-driven economic roadmap result in foreign direct investment of about $10 billion over the next three years

To establish petrochemical plant around Koko Free Trade Zone in Delta State

To build a $3 billion central gas processing facility by 2012 to be sited in Obiaruku, Delta State

To attract $25 billion worth of investment into developing the country’s gas infrastructure

To in four years make Nigeria go beyond producing and exporting crude oil to exporting refined petroleum products because Nigeria has no reason to keep importing kerosene

To create 600,000 new jobs in the gas industry

To boost gas supply from 1.0 billion cubic feet per day to 10 billion cubic feet by the year 2020

To invest in petrol chemicals, mining, research and development.

Security

To make anyone caught breaching the public peace to face the full wrath of the law

To make sure that no part of the country is allowed to be a sanctuary for criminals anymore, be they armed robbers or kidnappers

To make a complete transformation of national security architecture

To confront headlong ethno-religious violence in the country

To ensure there is no sacred cow in the fight against corruption; all crimes will be investigated as security is key

Not to interfere with corruption cases

To strengthen EFCC and ICPC to fight crime

To eradicate kidnappings impeding entrepreneurship in Eastern zone

To pursue all bombers and terrorists

To adopt modern method to tackle the problem of political violence.

PHILLIP ISAKPA