Saturday, November 22, 2014 7:33 am
President Goodluck Jonathan in an address to an investment council in London said that the media were blowing the security situation in the north eastern part of the country out of proportion.
He said that the impression being created by sections of the media that the situation was worsening was not true.
Jonathan said this at the opening of the meeting of Nigeria’s Honorary International Investment Council (HIIC).
The president told the international community that the Federal Government was working very hard to curtail the ability of Boko Haram to capture and hold any Nigerian territory.
He said the Armed Forces and security agencies were making steady gains in recovering areas recently taken by the sect.
“We are improving on security. For about a week now there have been no reports of Boko Haram seizing more territory. Rather, we are steadily pushing them back.
“The impression being created by sections of the media that the situation is worsening is not true. I can assure you that it will never get worse,’’ he said.
The statement stated that Jonathan also seized the opportunity to call for greater support from the National Assembly to curb terrorism, insurgency and insecurity in the country.
Jonathan also told members of the council headed by Baroness Lynda Chalker, why he decided to offer himself for re-election in the 2015 general elections.
The president was quoted as saying that with four more years in office, he would be able to further consolidate the positive gains of national reforms initiated by his administration.
This, according to him, will ensure that the reforms are taken to a point of irreversibility for the good of all Nigerians.
“As you already know, I have indicated my willingness to carry on for another four years if I am given the opportunity.
“This will enable us to carry forward some of the reforms we have been talking about,’’ he said.
The president cited the expansion of transportation infrastructure, improvement of local content in Nigeria’s oil industry, more inclusive economic growth, job creation and national security, among others.
According to the statement, all those are on the agenda of the meeting as some of the areas in which his administration still hopes to achieve further improvements.
“We cannot move the economy forward without good infrastructure. We have been working very hard in that area.
“We have improved our road network significantly. In the next three to four years, we should be able to resurface almost all federal roads in the country and begin new ones.
“We are improving our airport terminals and aviation security. Reforms are also ongoing at our ports to drastically reduce the time required for import clearance formalities.
“In the rail sector, we may require private sector funds to quicken the pace of development. Our goal is to link all state capitals by rail.
“It may not be an objective that can be achieved by a single administration, but we want to lay a solid foundation that others can build on.
“We are also promoting the increased of local content in our oil industry because that is the only way in which our people will benefit more from the industry.
“With that they will begin to see themselves as true stakeholders who need to protect and help in the development of our oil and gas resources,” Jonathan said.
He thanked Chalker and other members of the council for their valuable advice to the Federal Government over the years.
“To be successful, leaders must take decisions based on adequate information and sound advice.
“Having had the personal benefit of interacting with you all as vice president and president since 2007 has helped me a lot,” the president said.
The meeting later went into a closed door session to receive briefings, updates and presentations from relevant ministers and council members, the statement stated.