President Jonathan deserves a pass mark

I JUST read Mr. Remi Adekoya’s piece in the Guardian of the U.K. entitled ‘Goodluck Jonathan’s report card for Nigeria? Must try harder’ in which he praised President Jonathan for a booming economy but came down hard on him for failing to help Nigeria’s poor. When Adekoya says “Infrastructure also remains a problem. Without a modern road network, doing business in Nigeria will remain prohibitively expensive and logistically challenging”, he betrays a surface understanding of recent events in Nigeria. For example, before the Jonathan administration if you wanted to travel from Lagos to Kano you had two choices, you either went by road or by air. Today, under President Jonathan’s direction, Nigeria’s railways have been revived and a traveller planning the same journey has a third alternative. He can travel from Lagos to Kano by rail at a cost of N1,500 which is less than $10.

But perhaps, the greatest testimonial to the administration’s efforts in roads comes from an advert from the privately owned luxury bus operator, ABC Transport, which reads ‘The Roads are Getting Better’. This is from an end user of the product. Those words carry more weight than the words of a pundit who writes about Nigeria from the comforts of London.

Still on infrastructure, Mr. Adekoya forgot to tell his British audience that while it may be true that Nigeria still does not generate enough electricity for its population, the Jonathan administration has nonetheless increased generation from the 2800 MWs it met on ground to the present 4500 MWs Nigeria generates today a 35% improvement.

But that is not even the main story. This administration has kept faith with the Roadmap to Power Sector Reforms that the President launched on August 22,2010 which in summary charted a course for the privatization of the nation’s power sector. In keeping with that Roadmap, Nigeria has successfully privatized many of her power generation stations and on April 22nd this year, a Presidential Power Reform Transactions Signing Ceremony was held at the Presidential Villa where the five power generation companies that emerged successful in the bidding process of the privatization of the sector received their certificates.


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