Opinion: Who Says Uncle Jonah Isn’t Working?

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

By Olamuyiwa Adedotun

Amidst a time such as this, it is increasingly becoming a Herculean task to sieve the truths from falsehoods. Propaganda and outright lies now fill our airwaves. Politicians and their sympathizers have perfected the act of throwing dirt to the faces of the electorate in the bid to win over votes and loyalty at the polls.

One of the main casualties of this dirt being thrown around is the public perception of the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan. Opposition politicians have been trying hard to make us feel like President Jonathan is the worst president this country has ever produced, whereas the achievements of President Jonathan dwarf everything all the former presidents and Head of States could pinpoint as their achievements put together.

The achievements of President Jonathan are worthy of note. The achievements are highly commendable. The achievements are there for everyone to see and appreciate. This article will dwell extensively on the glaring achievements of President Jonathan in the last four years.

These are achievements that have been waved aside by those eager to seize power at the centre. These are achievements that the opposition will turn blind eyes to because to acknowledge these achievements would be to admit that the president has been working for the good of this nation. However, those who strive night and day to ensure that we have no knowledge of these huge achievements have lost the battle.

In the past three years, President Jonathan’s administration has produced an average of about 1.4 million jobs each year. This was made possible by ensuring quality growth in the Agricultural, Housing, Manufacturing, Financial Services, and Entertainment sectors.

In the creative sector more than 200,000 direct jobs and approximately 1 million direct jobs have been created during the tenure of President Jonathan.

In addition to the above, the agricultural sector has experienced tremendous growth and created numerous jobs. Agriculture in Nigeria is now a job that goes with pride. Young and old are now proud to be called farmers. Farming under President Jonathan comes with prestige and glory.

As a result of the interest of Mr. President in Agriculture, over 6 million farmers now have access to inputs like fertilizers and seeds through an e-wallet system, which is more than the 403,222 that had access in 2011. Rice paddy production took off for the first time in our history, adding about 7 million MT to rice supply. An additional 1.3 million MT of Cassava has also been produced and as a result, the rate of food price increase has slowed considerably, according to the NBS.

Determined to ensure that the Nigerian youths find agriculture appealing, President Jonathan encouraged entrepreneurship among the youth through the “Nagropreneurs” program which has supported over 750,000 youth farmers with grants and training.
Need I mention the widely acclaimed YouWin program which has created a wave of young and creative entrepreneurs across the nation? The program has created massive jobs across this great country. Young people who have no godfather and connections in high places have had their business ideas funded and promoted. Over 5,400 young entrepreneurs have been given grants, training, and mentorship. This has resulted in the creation of an average of 9 jobs each for the entrepreneurs and others. More than 22,000 jobs have been created by the first 2,400 youwinwinners.

Still concerned about the rate of unemployment in the nation, the administration established what is known as Graduate Internship Scheme. The Scheme targets up to 50,000 unemployed graduates in the 36 states of the Federation and FCT and about 22,000 graduates have so far been placed by the program.

Further, during the Jonathan’s time in the driver’s seat, the waning infrastructure across the nation got massive facelifts. Various road and bridge projects have either been completed or are under construction. Those completed include the Enugu – Abaliki road in Enugu/Ebonyi States, the Oturkpo – Oweto road in Benue State, the Benin – Ore – Shagamu highway, and the Abuja – Abaji – Lokoja dualization, and the Kano – Maiduguri dualization. The Lagos – Ibadan expressway and the Second Niger Bridge are under construction.
The 22 airport terminals across the nation are experiencing the transformation touch. Five new international airport terminals are under construction in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Abuja, and Enugu.

Prior to the coming of President Jonathan, the rail was in a state of comatose. Now, the rail has brought relief to numerous Nigerian citizens. Rail from Lagos to Kano is now functional. So also is the rail link between Port Harcourt and Maiduguri.

The Jonathan automobile policy is making waves across the African continent. Automobile giants like Nissan, Kia and Toyota now have their plants in the nation.

With all these achievements, who says our president is not working? Facts don’t lie. Indeed, our president is working and delivering the dividends of democracy for the Nigerian people.

Olamuyiwa Adedotun is a management consultant based in Ibadan.

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