President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria met with select representatives of top Nigerian media organizations this evening at 7pm (WAT). During the media chat, he discussed various issues facing Nigeria ranging from Boko Haram to the renaming of University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University.
President Jonathan emphasized his government determination to quell the Boko Haram scourge and increase the level of security in the country. When quizzed on his recent trip to Brazil despite several on-going bomb attacks around the country, he emphasised that his government was determined to continue with its day to day activities and obligations despite Boko Haram’s efforts at crippling his government.
In his own words:
Nigeria will continue to move forward, Boko Haram or no Boko Haram. Boko Haram cannot stop Nigeria. We must stop Boko Haram.
He maintained that his Government will continue to function despite the attacks as doing otherwise might send wrong signals on the state of affairs in Nigeria to investors.
Bomb attacks in Damaturu should not prevent the Government from travelling and sends a negative signal to the international community, he said.
When quizzed on the oil subsidy probe, President Jonathan maintained that his government is determined to keep the process as transparent as possible which is why he brought in people like Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to oversee the process.
On power, he encouraged Nigerians to be patient and that his government is currently in on-going discussions with top foreign companies. He assured Nigerians that the power tariff is designed to benefit poorer members of the society and that they will actually pay less under the new tariff system. Poorer citizens will be subsidized by charging wealthier citizens more, he explained. He noted that the power sector is particularly important to him as it affects other crucial sectors such as information technology. “You cannot talk about Internet penetration in the country without power. If care is not taken, we would lose out of the IT revolution. For one to have IT, we must have power,” he said. He also emphasized that his Government is making significant strides in other sectors, particularly transportation where they have made progress in laying rails to kickstart the national railway project.
On the declaration of his assets, President Jonathan maintained that he would not do so as a matter of principal as he did not see it as an area of priority given the nation’s current challenges.
It is not the President declaring his assets that will cure Boko Haram, he said.
“Most of the top universities in the world are named after people…Harvard and others. The change was made in line with Nigerian laws especially the ones relating to naming and change of name of an Institution”
On youth and jobs, President Jonathan asserted that his government will continue to institute programs that will provide opportunities for the nation’s youths such as the Al Majiri Education program in the North and You Win.
Government is working hard. We have a young population. We must stimulate the economic environment for growth to take place. Some of our YouWin youths can become the Dangotes and Otedolas of tomorrow, he said.