My dear friends.
I wish to appreciate all of you for your participation, scholarship and presence of mind in the forum. I also wish to identify myself with all the submissions that imply major past policy deficiencies with Africa, more so, when narrowed to Nigeria. Robert Kennedy was said, I quote. "The future is not a gift: It is an achievement. Every generation helps make its own future. This is the essential challenge of the present." Rather than concentrate our minds to the yesterday Nigeria, it might be helpful if we use this forum to proffer solutions which continues to prod our nation forward along the path of prosperity, opportunity, responsibility, accountability, and unity. Like many of you, I have high hope for Nigeria, and when measured under the current leadership of President Yar'Adua, I am most confident that we are indeed a nation, a work in progress destined to achieve and make our own future.
I wish to draw your attention to at least two areas of the 7 points initiative where President Yar'Adua has shown himself to be a tested hand in managing and guiding issues of grave national concern, meeting and exceeding Robert Kennedy's challenge above. (1) Security and (2) Economic Stability. It is important to note that the so called policy deficiencies of the yesterday Nigeria were inherited problems, which the President should be applauded for taking responsibility for its solutions. While I agree that despite good faith efforts and sincerity shown by the President, there still exist systemic difficulties which continue to hamper accelerated net positive gains in other deliverables that lend credence to the President's insistence on first achieving measurable results in security and economic stability.
(1) When it comes to Nigeria's security, President Yar'Adua has proved his ability to identify challenges to the country, while implementing policies that effectively curb those dangers. I know that the President is very proud of the recent peace accord and amnesty agreement now in effect in the Niger Delta which has restored relative calm, increased oil production, stability and security of lives and property in the area. It is a Nigerian agreement where arms are returned for jobs and where our developmental objectives within the region and Nigeria are made whole. This agreement also puts forth for the very first time in our history a measurable framework for phased-in energy security implementation and justice with a consistent and sustainable post integration development plan. Other major implementations under the administration includes the creation of the Niger Delta Ministry and policy initiatives such as the Petroleum Industry Bill [PIB], increased funding for NDDC are continued efforts to elevate the livelihoods of the peoples of the Niger Delta.
It is worthy to note that the President never flinched in using the authority of the Presidency and the full extent of his powers and ability to defend Nigeria and it's coastal sovereign integrity against the dangers posed by the criminal militant elements with superior Nigerian military force. It is well worthy of note as well that when the issue of religious militancy arose in the form of "Boko Haram," the President dealt with the uprising decisively. It is on this premise that the President now has a renewed commitment to wage war and route out all forms of Kidnapping and Armed Robbery effecting the security and economic well being of Nigerians. I also know that the President is committed to putting a stop on extra-judicial killings by sending forth proposed legislations to the National Assembly for the creation of special courts to investigate extra-judicial killings.
(2) When it comes to economic stability. The Nigerian economy under President Yar'Adua is very robust, whilst the monetary policy objectives and practices are now better coordinated through formal fiscal rules and enhanced fiscal transparency and accountability. Even the World Bank agrees with this current assessment of the Nigerian economy under President Yar'Adua. The President's recent [US] $15billion phased-in economic stimulus plan has saved or created 6.5 million new jobs almost half way to the President's 15 million jobs creation or retention aspirations. The stimulus plan also promotes infrastructure development, construction, food security; development of, and rehabilitation of power plants and public-private investment opportunities. These plans honors the President's 7 point initiatives, while keeping faith with his campaign promises to rebuild Nigeria.
It is also worthy to note that the President has guided the economy through an economic meltdown and bank crisis without a single "run on the banks" by depositors. Furthermore, I wish to draw your attention that barring the provision of gas which is clearly held back by militant activities the administration's resolute and readiness to deliver a net positive gain in power supply from what was inherited, and a phased-in strategy to achieve 20,000MW in the next 4 years.
Finally, this President has increased the welfare of, and remains proud, confident and committed to the law enforcement agencies and our brave men and women of the uniformed armed forces of Nigeria, who everyday sacrifice their lives so that we may be free. I believe under the President's leadership, Nigeria will continue assert its rightful position in the world, and to seek peaceful co-existence with it's neighbors. I know that this President also recognizes the inconsiderable difficulty of poverty in our beloved Nigeria, and on numerous occasions pledged to continue to work hard to achieve the MD-G's and to move Nigeria along the path of prosperity, opportunity, responsibility, accountability, and unity.
The average Nigerian is witness to this leadership ability and knows that the President has the experience, knowledge and clearly sound judgment to keep Nigeria Safe. I hope that while discussing our nations deficiencies, we can also have the courage to recognize the various things that work and make bold to support, and expand them for the collective benefit of Nigerians. I appreciate your time in considering my submission.