Jonathan unfolds fresh plan to boost economy
Dangote seek jobs for youths
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday 12 April, promised that he would use the
private sector and Nigerians in Diaspora to drive the nation’s economy in the next four years.
The President therefore asked key players and Nigeria’s development partners to work with
the Federal Government to work towards a rapid job creation programme in order to harness
the energy of the youth for national development.
President Jonathan, who spoke at two different meetings – Breakfast meeting with the
business community leaders and A Presidential Summit on Job Creation. He pledged to
boost the nation’s economy in the next four years, if elected into office on Saturday.
At the job summit held at the State House Banquet Hall, the President said he envisioned
a Nigeria where the youth should be gainfully employed so that politicians would find it
difficult to recruit unemployed youths as political thugs.
President of Dangote Group and Chairman of National Job Creation Committee, Aliko
Dangote, said at the event yesterday that youth unemployment should be accorded the highest
national importance and urgency.
Dangote said this was the only way Nigeria would escape the situation in the Arab countries
where unemployed youths became effective catalyst for social unrest.
He also noted that Nigeria could not grow and develop as it should if more than half of its
population was not working either because there were no jobs or because they had no skills.
According to Jonathan, “I am calling on the key players in the private sector and our
development partners; this is a beckon on you to join us because job creation cannot
be left for government alone. As a government, we need to provide an enabling
environment. I will not be happy if Nigerians elect me on Saturday to come after four
years to talk about rice importation. We must look at certain things that we import in
large quantities and see how we can produce them here.”
From all indications, rice is the most staple food in this country and we are supposed to
produce rice not just for our consumption alone but also for exportation.
“We may not take everything at the same time, but we must take a very critical area
that government and the private sector must work on. We must come up with a policy
that will enable us to improve. My vision for Nigeria is to make sure that in the next
four years or there about, we should have a country where our young men and women
should have something to do so that, those of us who are politicians will no longer have
raw materials to be used as thugs. I know by God’s grace, we will get there.”
He added that “in the next four years, Nigeria must stop importing rice. Even if we are not
exporting it, we must be able to produce for local our consumption because it will help the
economy. The money we spend on rice importation annually is huge. At the special breakfast
meeting and his endorsement by the business community, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja,
President Jonathan stated that “any leader who wants to build this country must use people.
I will use you and our sons and daughters in the Diaspora to develop this country so that the
whole world will be proud of us.”
In an address at the endorsement ceremony, Oba Otudeko, chairman of the ceremony, listed
three demands of the business community in Nigeria to include electricity (uninterrupted
power supply); education (more emphasis on vocational) and employment generation
(placing high accent on rural community through agriculture).
In addition, Otudeko also stressed the need for accountability, transparency, good governance
all anchored on the rule of law.