Tag Archive for Goodluck

FULL TEXT: Democracy Day 2014 broadcast by President Goodluck Jonathan

Fellow Nigerians,
1. I greet and felicitate with you all, today, as we mark 15 years of uninterrupted democratic governance in our beloved country.

2. Our dear nation, Nigeria, has certainly come a long way and made notable progress since our first Democracy Day on May 29, 1999 when the military finally relinquished power and handed over to a democratically-elected government, marking the true beginning of a government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

3. Although I have ordered a low-key commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day in deference to the current mood of the nation, there can be no doubt that the past 15 years, the longest period of sustained democratic governance in our country, have been a blessing to us, as a people.

4. As we commemorate 15 years of our Fourth Republic today therefore, I believe that it is fitting that we pay tribute once again to all those who played a part in restoring our nation to the true path of democratic governance, built on the foundations of rule of law and freedom of expression.

5. As a result of our collective efforts since 1999, democratic governance is now entrenched in our nation and institutions. I wholeheartedly believe that our people are the better for it. The scope of fundamental rights and liberties enjoyed by our people over the past 15 years has been expanded beyond measure. Read more

#NationalConference2014: President Goodluck Jonathan’s remarks at the Inauguration of the National Conference

Remarks by His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR

At the Inauguration of the National Conference » Monday, 17th March, 2014

PROTOCOLS

1.  I am delighted to welcome you all to the inauguration of this historic National Conference which promises to be another significant landmark in our efforts to strengthen national unity and consolidate democratic governance in our beloved country.

2.  I also believe that this National Conference is coming at a very appropriate time. Having just celebrated the first centenary of our country, the most compelling task before us, as we move ahead and contemplate what our nation will be at the end of its second century, is to lay a much stronger foundation for faster development.

3.  This we can achieve by building a more inclusive national consensus on the structure and guiding principles of state that will guarantee our emergence as a more united, progressive and prosperous nation.

4. In our history as a political entity, we have experienced highs and lows but have always forged ahead. To my mind, the fact that we have weathered   all storms and continued with the mission of evolving a truly national identity signifies that we are going in the right direction. Read more

Mandela’s indefatigable spirit will continue to inspire present & future generations of Africans ~President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed immense sadness over the death of former South African President, Dr. Nelson Mandela.

In a condolence message to President Jacob Zuma, President Jonathan conveyed the sympathy and solidarity of the Federal Government and people of Nigeria to him and all South Africans as they mourn Dr. Mandela.

“I write to commiserate with you, the Government and people of South Africa and the family of Dr. Nelson Mandela on the death of one of the greatest sons of Africa.

“Although it has come at the advanced age of 95, Madiba’s death will create a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill in our continent.  He will be sorely missed by all who cherish love, peace and freedom the world over and will be eternally honoured for his immense contribution to the dismantling of the apartheid policy, one of the world’s most obnoxious systems whose under-pining philosophy was the degradation of man by man. Read more

President Jonathan’s speech at the inauguration of the national dialogue advisory committee.

Remarks by His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR

On the Occasion of the Inauguration of the National Advisory Committee

On our Country’s Conversation towards a Greater Nigeria

State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja

Monday October 7th 2013

PROTOCOLS

 

1.            Today, we are taking historic and concrete steps that will further strengthen our understanding, expand the frontiers of our inclusiveness and deepen our bond as one people under God.

 

2.            In my address to the Nation on the occasion of our 53rdIndependence and Golden Anniversary as a Republic, I announced that in response to the yearnings of our people, we had decided to take on the responsibility of decisively and genuinely exploring the option of a National Conversation.

3.            In furtherance of this objective, Government announced the names of some Nigerians, with wide experience from various disciplines, to form membership of an Advisory Committee to facilitate a most acceptable process that will bring our aspirations to fruition. Our gathering here today is to formally inaugurate this child of necessity, the Advisory Committee to midwife this Conversation.

4.            Permit me to very quickly review the foundational principles that drive our action, and also address a few matters arising. Firstly, let me emphasize that this is a National Project, a sincere and fundamental undertaking, aimed at realistically examining and genuinely resolving, longstanding impediments to our cohesion and harmonious development as a trulyunited Nation. Read more

Address to the UN general assembly 68th session delivered by President Goodluck Jonathan

 

GEJ at UN September 2013The President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly;

Heads of State and Government;

The Secretary-General;

Distinguished Delegates;

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

Mr President,

1. On behalf of the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I salute you as you preside over the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I assure you of the full support and cooperation of the Nigerian delegation.

 

2. I also wish to extend our commendation to the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and place on record, Nigeria’s appreciation for his focused and committed leadership of the United Nations system. Read more

Open Letter To The First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan by Bukky Shonibare

Your Excellency,

bukky-shonibare.jpg

Bukky Shonibare

All protocols duly observed. Permit me to go straight to the crux of this letter.

I hope information that gets to you are not so filtered that you are not aware of the many cases of rape and molestation in Nigeria, which is currently too rampant to be ignored.

For the benefit of hindsight, I believe you are aware of some of these many cases, including that of the grandfather who raped his granddaughter; and the father who constantly raped his daughter since she was just 12. I hope you are aware of the Orphanage owner who habitually rapes girls he is meant to nurture, yet he was granted bail – released, permitted, and licensed to commit more havoc. I hope you know of the filmed and circulated gang rape of a young lady; the 4-year-old girl who was raped by an uncle; the 23-year-old young man who raped a 53-year-old woman; and the man who tied a female victim, raped, and buried her alive! Or what do we say about ‘masters’ who rape house helps, husbands who engage in forceful non-consensual sex with their wives (which is also rape); uncles/aunts who rape nieces/nephews; teachers who molest pupils; rich men who rape those they promise to sponsor through school; bosses who abuse staff; doctors who molest patients; and those placed in positions of authority who abuse their subordinates. Ma, it is not just male to female, it also happens vice versa. The cases are endless ma; and I am unable to ascertain if these news really get to you because it is unfathomable that nothing is being done by your office to tackle this menace; hence my open letter to you.

Your Excellency, I like to unashamedly let you know that I am one of these victims. I am a survivor! Many of us have been silent for fear of injustice, stigmatization, not been believed, and in a bid to protect our reputation; but enough is enough!!! No more silence!!! Not even with its recent reported and unreported rampancy, especially the classes of victims, as children and older women are not left out. Read more

President Goodluck Jonathan declares state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states

ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

ON THE DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN BORNO, YOBE AND ADAMAWA STATES IN ORDER TO RESTORE PUBLIC ORDER, PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY IN THE AFFECTED STATES OF THE FEDERATION

MAY 14, 2013

Dear compatriots,

1. It has become necessary for me to address you on the recent spate of terrorist activities and protracted security challenges in some parts of the country, particularly in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Plateau and most recently Bayelsa, Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states. These unfortunate events have led to needless loss of lives and property of many innocent Nigerians including members of our security forces.

2. The recent killing of security operatives by a cult group in Nasarawa state is particularly condemnable. I have directed that no effort or expense be spared in identifying and bringing to justice all those who had a hand in the killing of the operatives.

3. The activities of insurgents and terrorists have been reprehensible, causing fear among our citizens and a near-breakdown of law and order in parts of the country, especially the North. We have taken robust steps to unravel and address the root causes of these crises, but it would appear that there is a systematic effort by insurgents and terrorists to destabilize the Nigerian state and test our collective resolve.

4. Since I returned to the country after cutting short my visit to South Africa and aborting a planned state visit to Namibia, I have received detailed briefings from our security agencies. These briefings indicate that what we are facing is not just militancy or criminality, but a rebellion and insurgency by terrorist groups which pose a very serious threat to national unity and territorial integrity. Already, some northern parts of Borno state have been taken over by groups whose allegiance is to different flags and ideologies.

5. These terrorists and insurgents seem determined to establish control and authority over parts of our beloved nation and to progressively overwhelm the rest of the country. In many places, they have destroyed the Nigerian flag and other symbols of state authority and in their place, hoisted strange flags suggesting the exercise of alternative sovereignty.

6. They have attacked government buildings and facilities. They have murdered innocent citizens and state officials. They have set houses ablaze, and taken women and children as hostages. These actions amount to a declaration of war and a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Nigerian state and threaten her territorial integrity. As a responsible government, we will not tolerate this.

7. Previously, we adopted a multi-track approach to the resolution of this problem through actions which included persuasion, dialogue and widespread consultation with the political, religious and community leaders in the affected states.

8. We exercised restraint to allow for all efforts by both State Governors and well-meaning Nigerians to stop the repeated cases of mindless violence.

9. Yet, the insurgents and terrorists seek to prevent government from fulfilling its constitutional obligations to the people as they pursue their fanatical agenda of mayhem, mass murder, division and separatism.

10. While the efforts at persuasion and dialogue will continue, let me reiterate that we have a sacred duty to ensure the security and well-being of all our people and protect the sovereign integrity of our country. Therefore, we shall, on no account, shy away from doing whatever becomes necessary to provide the fullest possible security for the citizens of this country in any part of the country they choose to reside.

11. We have a duty to stand firm against those who threaten the sovereign integrity of the Nigerian state. Our will is strong, because our faith lies in the indivisibility of Nigeria.

12. Following recent developments in the affected states, it has become necessary for Government to take extraordinary measures to restore normalcy. After wide consultations, and in exercise of the powers conferred on me by the provisions of Section 305, sub-section 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, I hereby declare a State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

13. Accordingly, the Chief of Defence Staff has been directed to immediately deploy more troops to these states for more effective internal security operations. The troops and other security agencies involved in these operations have orders to take all necessary action, within the ambit of their rules of engagement, to put an end to the impunity of insurgents and terrorists.

14. This will include the authority to arrest and detain suspects, the taking of possession and control of any building or structure used for terrorist purposes, the lock-down of any area of terrorist operation, the conduct of searches, and the apprehension of persons in illegal possession of weapons. Read more

President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign promises

President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

Sources: February & March 2011 editions of Daily Trust, Champion, Punch, Thisday, Vanguard & The Guardian newspapers; February & March 2011 editions of The News, Tell and Newswatch magazines; transcript of Goodluck Jonathan lone TV debate [1] as obtained from African Independent Television (AIT); Inaugural Presidential address of Goodluck Jonathan.

><>This was released by the International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria                           

 

Infrastructural development

  • To revive  the rail system in the country
  • To complete Lagos to Jebba rail project
  • To intervene and revitalize the moribund Nigeria Machine Tools and other infrastructure owned by the federal government.
  • Government has budgeted N50b for job development and infrastructure
    • To modernize 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 and retain those that should be in possession of the Federal Government.
  • To give Sokoto-Kotangora road unfettered attention Read more

52nd Independence Day Speech by President Goodluck Jonathan

An Address by His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, on the Occasion of the Independence Day Anniversary on Monday, 1st october, 2012

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

1. Beloved countrymen and women, on this day, fifty-two years ago, our founding fathers brought joy and hope to the hearts of our people when they won independence for our great country. Nigeria made a clean break with more than six decades of colonial rule, and emerged as a truly independent nation. That turning point was a new beginning for our nation.

2. Those who witnessed the lowering of the Union Jack and the emergence of the Green White Green flag continue to relish the memory, because that ceremony was not just about the destiny of a nation, but the future of a people.

3. That future is here; we are the inheritors of a great legacy that goes even much farther into the past.

4. The worthy patriots who made this possible were young men and women in their twenties and thirties. They worked together to restore dignity and honour to the Nigerian people. Their resolve united a multicultural and multilingual nation of diverse peoples, with more than 250 distinct languages and ethnic groups.

5. In 1960, our diversity became a source of strength, and the new leaders resolved to carry the flag of independence for the benefit of future generations. They had their differences, but they placed a greater premium on the need to come together to build a new nation.

6. It is that resolve, and that glorious moment that we celebrate today. We also celebrate the patriotism of our heroes past: Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Michael Okpara, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Herbert Macaulay, and several others who made the case for our independence.

7. We remember as always, their contributions to the making of the Nigerian nation, and the efforts of their successors since 1960. We also celebrate the unfailing optimism and resilience of Nigerians who remain proud of our national identity.

8. On this special day, I call on every Nigerian to remain steadfast, because our nation is indeed making progress. I call on every Nigerian to rediscover that special spirit that enables us to triumph over every adversity as a people:

9. We weathered the storm of the civil war, we have refused to be broken by sectarian crises; we have remained a strong nation.  I bring to you today, a message of renewed hope and faith in the immense possibilities that lie ahead.

10. Fellow citizens, I have an unshaken belief in the future of our great Country. I consider it a priority and sacred duty to continue to strengthen the bond of unity that holds our nation together and to promote and nourish the creative energies of our people. This is a central objective of our administration’s Transformation Agenda.  Nigeria, I assure you, will continue to grow from strength to strength.

11. Since I assumed office as President of our dear country on the 6th of May 2010, I have continued to work with our countrymen and women to enhance our nation’s growth and development.

12. Our vision is encapsulated in the Transformation Agenda. We are working hard and making progress on many fronts. We have cleaned up our electoral process; our elections are now globally acclaimed to be free and fair. Nigeria is now on a higher pedestal regarding elections.

13. Over the past five years, the global economy has been going through a weak and uncertain recovery. During the same period and particularly in the last two years, the Nigerian economy has done appreciably well despite the global financial crisis. Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown by 7.1 per cent on average.

14. It is also significant that the GDP growth has been driven largely by the non-oil sector. In pursuance of the main goals of the Transformation Agenda, a number of reforms and initiatives are being pursued in key sectors of the economy with a view to consolidating the gains of the economic growth.

15. Our country’s power supply situation is improving gradually. We are successfully implementing a well-integrated power sector reform programme which includes institutional arrangements to facilitate and strengthen private-sector-led power generation, transmission and distribution.

16. We have also put in place a cost-reflective tariff structure that reduces the cost of power for a majority of electricity consumers. I am pleased with the feedback from across the country, of improvements in power supply.

17. We are continuing to improve and stabilize on our crude production volumes; our 12-month gas supply emergency plan, put in place earlier this year, has produced more than the targeted volumes of gas for power generation. A robust Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has been placed before the National Assembly. Its passage into law will ensure far-reaching reforms, transparency, accountability, increased government revenue and predictability for investors in the Oil and Gas sector.

Read more

VIDEO: Unilag students protest renaming institution after MKO Abiola

National Address by President Goodluck Jonathan on Democracy Day, May 29, 2012

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

Fellow Nigerians,

1.  One year ago, I was privileged to stand before you, to take the oath of office as President of our dear country, the third to serve you as President since the return to democratic rule in 1999. Today, I remember that day and the processes leading to it with profound gratitude to God Almighty and to all Nigerians who have worked very hard to enrich our journey from military dictatorship to inclusive democratic governance.

2.   For the past 13 years, we have remained a stable democracy. We have together demonstrated that the government of the people is an ideal that the people of Nigeria cherish. We have our differences as individuals and as politicians, but we have shown great faith in democracy and its institutions. We have refused to be limited by our differences. Despite reservations about some of our institutions, we have refused to submit to despair. This achievement is a testament to the courage and optimism of the Nigerian people.

3.   As we celebrate this year’s Democracy Day, I pay tribute to all the men and women who have made our democratic experience meaningful: the ordinary people who resisted military rule, and have remained resolute in their embrace of democracy; the army of Nigerian voters who, at every election season, troop out in large numbers to exercise their right of franchise; the change agents in civil society who have remained ever watchful and vigilant.

4.   I pay special tribute also to all patriots who are the pillars of our collective journey, most especially, our armed forces who have steadfastly subordinated themselves to civil authority in the past 13 years. They have continued to demonstrate a great sense of professionalism. They have discharged their duties to the nation with honour and valour.  In a sub-region that has witnessed instances of political instability, authored by restless soldiers, the Nigerian Armed Forces have remained professional in their support of democracy.

5.   When General Abdusalami Abubakar handed over the baton of authority to President Olusegun Obasanjo, in 1999, it was a turning point for Nigeria. We did not arrive at that turning point by accident. Many Nigerians laid down their lives for the transition to democracy to occur.  Some were jailed. Media houses were attacked and shut down. But the people’s resolve was firm and unshakeable.  This is what we remember. This is what we celebrate. On this day, I recall especially the martyrdom of Chief M. K. O.  Abiola, whose presumed victory in the 1993 Presidential election, and death, while in custody, proved to be the catalyst for the people’s pro-democracy uprising. The greatest tribute that we can pay to him, and other departed heroes of Nigeria’s democracy, is to ensure that we continue to sustain and consolidate our democratic institutions and processes, and keep Hope alive. Read more

President Jonathan congratulates Pastor Enoch Adeboye on the occasion of his 70th birthday

Dr. Enoch Adejare Adeboye

General Overseer,

Redeemed Christian Church of God,

Kilometre 46, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway,

Ogun State

 

Your Grace,

 
BIRTHDAY GREETINGS

As you attain the highly symbolic landmark age of three-score-and-ten on Friday, March 2nd 2012, it is with profound joy that I write on behalf of my family, the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and on my own behalf, to express very warm felicitations to you.

You have lived a truly inspirational and inspiring life of dedicated service in the vineyard of the Lord. Rising above the limitations of a background of deprivation to thrive in academics before going into full time ministry, the phenomenal growth of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, of which you are the General Overseer, clearly testifies to God’s hand upon your life and your productive leadership qualities.

In these critical times in Nigeria’s developmental history, we need, more than ever before, to seek the face of the Lord. Your readiness at all times to offer spiritual and prayerful support to the nation’s leadership at all levels deserves special commendation.

As your celebrate this historic day with your nuclear family, your numerous children-in the-Lord, friends and well-wishers, I would like to paraphrase Apostle Paul in his second letter to Timothy by praying that Almighty God continues to empower you to successfully fight the good fight, fruitfully run the course, and continue to keep the faith, until that day when you shall receive the crown of righteousness laid up for you.

 

Happy Birthday!

Yours Sincerely

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

The pump price of petrol now N97 per litre says President Goodluck Jonathan #occupynigeria

Presidential Address On The Implementation Of The Deregulation Policy In The Downstream Sector Of The Petroleum Industry, Monday, January 16, 2012

 

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

Dear Compatriots,

1.   This is the second time in two weeks I will address you on the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. In the last seven days, the nation has witnessed a disruption of economic activities.  Although, the economic imperatives for the policy have been well articulated by government, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) went ahead to declare a nationwide strike.

 

2.    There was also near-breakdown of law and order in certain parts of the country as a result of the activities of some persons or groups of persons who took advantage of the situation to further their narrow interests by engaging in acts of intimidation, harassment and outright subversion of the Nigerian state. I express my sympathy to those who were adversely affected by the protests.

3.    At the inception of the deregulation policy, Government had set up the Justice Alfa Belgore Committee to liaise with Labour and other stakeholders to address likely grey areas in the policy, but despite all our efforts, Labour refused the option of dialogue and also disobeyed a restraining order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

 

4.    However, following the intervention of the Leadership of the National Assembly, and other well-meaning Nigerians, Labour accepted to meet with government, but this yielded no tangible result.

 

 

5.    It has become clear to government and all well-meaning Nigerians that other interests beyond the implementation of the deregulation policy have hijacked the protest. This has prevented an objective assessment and consideration of all the contending issues for which dialogue was initiated by government. These same interests seek to promote discord, anarchy, and insecurity to the detriment of public peace.

 

6.    Government appreciates that the implementation of the deregulation policy would cause initial hardships and commends Nigerians who have put forth suggestions and credible alternatives in this regard. Government also salutes Nigerians who by and large, conducted themselves peacefully while expressing their grievances. Let me assure you that government will continue to respect the people’s right to express themselves within the confines of the law and in accordance with the dictates of our democratic space.

 

7.    Government will continue to pursue full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. However, given the hardships being suffered by Nigerians, and after due consideration and consultations with state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly, government has approved the reduction of the pump price of petrol to N97 per litre. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has been directed to ensure compliance with this new pump price.

 

8.    Government is working hard to reduce recurrent expenditure in line with current realities and to cut down on the cost of governance. In the meantime, government has commenced the implementation of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment projects: including the Federal Government- assisted mass transit programme which is already in place, and job creation for the youth.

 

9.     Furthermore, the legal and regulatory regime for the petroleum industry will be reviewed to address accountability issues and current lapses in the Industry. In this regard, the Petroleum Industry Bill will be given accelerated attention. The report of the forensic audit carried out on the NNPC is being studied with a view to implementing the recommendations and sanctioning proven acts of corruption in the industry.

 

10.  Let me assure Nigerians that this administration is irrevocably committed to tackling corruption in the petroleum industry as well as other sectors of the economy. Consequently, all those found to have contributed one way or the other to the economic adversity of the country will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

 

11.  My dear compatriots, I urge you to show understanding for the imperatives of the adjustment in the pump price of petrol and give government your full support to ensure its successful implementation. I further appeal to Nigerians to go back to work and go about their normal duties as government has made adequate arrangements for the protection of life and property throughout the federation.

 

12.  Government will not condone brazen acts of criminality and subversion. As President, I have sworn to uphold the unity, peace and order of the Nigerian State and by the grace of God, I intend to fully and effectively discharge that responsibility.  Let me add that we are desirous of further engagements with Labour. I urge our Labour leaders to call off their strike, and go back to work.

 

13.  Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must collectively safeguard its unity.

 

14.  Thank you. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR

 

President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Subsidy removal: President Goodluck Jonathan address – January 7, 2012

Dear Compatriots:

A week ago, I had cause to address Nigerians on the security challenges we are facing in parts of the country, which necessitated the declaration of a state of emergency in 15 Local Government Areas in four states of the Federation. That course of action attracted widespread support and a demonstration of understanding. With that declaration, government had again signaled its intention to combat terrorism with renewed vigour and to assure every Nigerian of safety.
 
The support that we have received in the fight against terrorism from concerned Nigerians at home and abroad has been remarkable. We believe that it is with such continued support that progress can be made on national issues. Let me express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has expressed a commitment to support us as we strive to improve on the country’s security situation, and build a stronger foundation for the future.  The recent mindless acts of violence in Gombe, Potiskum, Jimeta-Yola and Mubi are unfortunate. I urge all Nigerians to eschew bitterness and acrimony and live together in harmony and peace. Wherever there is any threat to public peace, our security agencies will enforce the law, without fear or favour.

This evening, I address you, again, with much concern over an issue that borders on the national economy, the oil industry and national progress.  As part of our efforts to transform the economy and guarantee prosperity for all Nigerians, Government, a few days ago, announced further deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. The immediate effect of this has been the removal of the subsidy on petrol.

Since the announcement, there have been mixed reactions to the policy. Let me seize this opportunity to assure all Nigerians that I feel the pain that you all feel.  I personally feel pained to see the sharp increase in transport fares and the prices of goods and services. I share the anguish of all persons who had travelled out of their stations, who had to pay more on the return leg of their journeys.

If I were not here to lead the process of national renewal, if I were in your shoes at this moment, I probably would have reacted in the same manner as some of our compatriots, or hold the same critical views about government.  But I need to use this opportunity as your President to address Nigerians on the realities on the ground, and why we chose to act as we did. I know that these are not easy times. But tough choices have to be made to safeguard the economy and our collective survival as a nation.

My fellow Nigerians, the truth is that we are all faced with two basic choices with regard to the management of the downstream petroleum sector: either we deregulate and survive economically, or we continue with a subsidy regime that will continue to undermine our economy and potential for growth, and face serious consequences.

As you all know, the subject of deregulation is not new, we have been grappling with it for more than two decades. Previous administrations tinkered with the pump price of petroleum products, and were unable to effect complete deregulation of the downstream sector. This approach has not worked.  If it did, we would not be here talking about deregulation today. I understand fully well that deregulation is not a magic formula that will address every economic challenge, but it provides a good entry point for transforming the economy, and for ensuring transparency and competitiveness in the oil industry, which is the mainstay of our economy. 

As a President, elected and supported by ordinary Nigerians, and the vast majority of our people, I have a duty to bring up policies and programmes that will grow the economy and bring about greater benefits for the people.  Let me assure you that as your President, I have no intention to inflict pain on Nigerians.

The deregulation of the petroleum sector is a necessary step that we had to take. Should we continue to do things the same way, and face more serious economic challenges? Or deregulate, endure the initial discomfort and reap better benefits later? I want to assure every Nigerian that whatever pain you may feel at the moment, will be temporary.

The interest of the ordinary people of this country will always remain topmost in my priorities as a leader. I remain passionately committed to achieving significant and enduring improvements in our economy that will lead to sustained improvement in the lives of our people.

I am determined to leave behind a better Nigeria, which we all can be proud of. To do so, I must make sure that we have the resources and the means to grow our economy to be resilient, and to sustain improved livelihood for our people. We must act in the public interest, no matter how tough, for the pains of today cannot be compared to the benefits of tomorrow.  On assumption of office as President, I swore to an oath to always act in the best interest of the people. I remain faithful to that undertaking.

To save Nigeria, we must all be prepared to make sacrifices.  On the part of Government, we are taking several measures aimed at cutting the size and cost of governance, including on-going and continuous effort to reduce the size of our recurrent expenditure and increase capital spending. In this regard, I have directed that overseas travels by all political office holders, including the President, should be reduced to the barest minimum. The size of delegations on foreign trips will also be drastically reduced; only trips that are absolutely necessary will be approved. 

For the year 2012, the basic salaries of all political office holders in the Executive arm of government will be reduced by 25%. Government is also currently reviewing the number of committees, commissions and parastatals with overlapping responsibilities. The Report on this will be submitted shortly and the recommendations will be promptly implemented. In the meantime, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies must reduce their overhead expenses.
 
We are all greatly concerned about the issue of corruption. The deregulation policy is the strongest measure to tackle this challenge in the downstream sector. In addition, government is taking other steps to further sanitize the oil industry. 

To ensure that the funds from petroleum subsidy removal are spent prudently on projects that will build a greater Nigeria, I have established a committee to oversee the implementation of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme. I sincerely believe that the reinvestment of the petroleum subsidy funds, to ensure improvement in national infrastructure, power supply, transportation, irrigation and agriculture, education, healthcare, and other social services, is in the best interest of our people.

Fellow Nigerians, I know that the removal of the petroleum subsidy imposes an initial burden on our people, especially the rising cost of transportation.  Government will be vigilant and act decisively to curb the excesses of those that want to exploit the current situation for selfish gains.  I plead for the understanding of all Nigerians.  I appeal to our youth not to allow mischief-makers to exploit present circumstances to mislead or incite them to disturb public peace.

To address the immediate challenges that have been identified, I have directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to embark immediately on all projects, which have been designed to cushion the impact of the subsidy removal in the short, medium and long-term, as outlined in the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme Document.

Tomorrow, 8th January, I will formally launch a robust mass transit intervention programme to bring down the cost of transportation across the country. The programme will be implemented in partnership with state and local governments, labour unions, transport owners, and banking institutions, and supported with the provision of funding at zero interest rate as well as import duty waiver on all needed parts for locally-made mass transit vehicles, which will create additional jobs in the economy.

We will keep these incentives in place for as long as it takes. I want to assure you that Government will not rest until we bring down the cost of transportation for our people.  Let me thank the transporters’ associations that have agreed to reduce transport fares. I have directed the Minister of Labour and Productivity to work with these associations to come up with a sustainable plan to guarantee this within the shortest possible time.

In addition, I have ordered the mobilization of contractors for the full rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt –Maiduguri Railway Line and the completion of the Lagos-Kano Railway Line. I have also directed the immediate commencement of a Public Works programme that will engage the services of about 10, 000 youths in every state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. This will create an additional 370, 000 jobs.

Government has taken these decisions in the best interest of our economy, so that we not only have benefits today, but to ensure that we bequeath even greater benefits to our children and grandchildren.

Let me assure Nigerians that every possible effort will be made to ensure that we march forward, with a collective resolve to build a Nigeria that can generate greater economic growth, create and sustain new jobs, and secure the future of our children. 

This Administration will aggressively implement its programme to reposition and strengthen our economy, while paying adequate attention to the immediate needs of our citizens.

I assure you all that we will work towards achieving full domestic refining of petroleum products with the attendant benefits.

As I ask for the full understanding of all Nigerians, I also promise that I will keep my word.

Thank you. May God bless you; and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
President
Federal Republic of Nigeria
January 7, 2012

President Jonathan declares a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe , Plateau and Niger states

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

Fellow Nigerians, it has become necessary to address you on recent events in some parts of the country that have threatened our collective security and shaken the foundations of our corporate existence as a nation.

 

You are all aware of the security challenges which the activities of the Boko Haram sect have foisted on the country. What began as sectarian crises in the North Eastern parts of the country has gradually evolved into terrorist activities in different parts of the country with attendant negative consequences on our national security.

 

Government in an effort to find a lasting solution to the security threats occasioned by the activities of the Boko Haram sect, constituted a Presidential Committee under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari, to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the crises. While efforts are being made to implement the recommendations of the Committee, the crises have assumed a terrorist dimension with vital institutions of government including the United Nations Building and places of worship becoming targets of terrorist attacks.

 

While the search for lasting solutions is ongoing, it has become imperative to take some decisive measures necessary to restore normalcy in the country especially within the affected communities. Consequently, I have in the exercise of the powers conferred on me by the provisions of section 305(1) of the Constitution, declared a state of emergency in the following parts of the federation, namely:

 

(i)  Borno State

 

a)  Maidugiri Metropolitan LGA

 

b)  Gamboru Ngala LGA

 

c)   Banki Bama LGA

 

d)  Biu LGA

 

e)   Jere LGA

 

(ii)  Yobe State

 

a)  Damaturu LGA

 

b)  Geidam LGA

 

c)   Potiskum LGA

 

d)  Buniyadi-Gujba LGA

 

e)   Gasua-Bade LGA

 

(iii) Plateau State

 

a)  Jos North LGA

 

b)  Jos South LGA

 

c)   Barkin-Ladi LGA

 

d)  Riyom LGA

 

(iv) Niger State

 

a)  Suleja LGA

 

The details of this proclamation will be transmitted to the National Assembly as soon as they reconvene from their current recess, for their necessary action.

 

The Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector-General of Police have been directed to put appropriate measures in place to ensure the protection of lives and properties of residents in the affected parts of the country. I therefore urge the political leadership in the affected states and Local Government Areas to give maximum cooperation to the law enforcement agencies deployed to their respective communities to ensure that the situation is brought under control within the shortest possible time.

 

The Chief of Defence Staff, in collaboration with other Service Chiefs, has also been directed to set up a special force unit within the Armed Forces, with dedicated counter terrorism responsibilities.

 

As part of the overall strategy to overcome the current security challenges, I have directed the closure of the land borders contiguous to the affected Local Government Areas so as to control incidences of cross boarder terrorist activities as terrorists have taken advantage of the present situation to strike at targets in Nigeria and retreat beyond the reach of our law enforcement personnel.

 

Let me assure our neighbours, especially within the ECOWAS sub-region, of Nigeria’s commitment to its international obligations as provided by the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons. The temporary closure of our borders in the affected areas is only an interim measure designed to address the current security challenges and will be reviewed as soon as normalcy is restored.

 

I commend the efforts of our political leaders at various levels as well as our traditional and religious leaders for their support for the various conflict resolution mechanisms and peace building measures that have been initiated by this administration. We call on the citizenry to continue to provide useful information to our law enforcement agencies to enable us arrest the situation.

 

Terrorism is a war against all of us. I call on all Nigerians to join hands with government to fight these terrorists.

 

I wish all Nigerians a very happy New Year.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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