Monday, January 26, 2015 9:53 am
President Goodluck Jonathan said on Sunday in Lagos that his administration remained very resolute in the fight against corruption in the country.
He said this while responding to questions at an interactive session he held with the organised private sector and leaders of professional bodies in Nigeria.
The president said his administration did not believe that only jailing people would end corruption but that eliminating the avenues used by corrupt individuals to enrich themselves would go far.
“Our position on fighting corruption is very clear and that is we are bent on fighting it from different angles.
“Fighting corruption is not about jailing people.
“Our commitment is that we suppress corruption but we are applying the English maxim not to punish an innocent person unless convicted.”
Jonathan said that his administration had ended the over 40 years of fertilizer fraud through e-wallet thereby removing the middle men that had in the past cheated farmers.
He said that in the past only about 10 per cent of farmers actually got the fertilizers which previous administrations said they provided but under the present administration all farmers who needed the commodity were supplied directly.
He also said that the administration, through the Integrated Payroll Payment System (IPPIS), saved billions of Naira that were hitherto paid to ghost workers as well as stopped completely the diversion of pension funds.
He also said that under his administration the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had prosecuted more people and secured more convictions than during any other administration.
The president also said that government was fighting insecurity and expressed optimism that the Boko Haram threat would soon be over.
He said his administration embarked on massive infrastructure development leading to the complete rehabilitation of 20,000 km of the existing 35,000 km of roads, while 5,000 km are under various stages of completion.
The president said the administration provided no fewer that 1.4 million jobs annually in the last three years to close the unemployment gap and had empowered many in the informal sector, such as the Nollywood.
The president said that if returned in 2015 Nigeria would be totally transformed through the on-going diversification in various sectors.
At the event, the finance minster Dr Ngozi okonjo-Iweala said the transformation agenda of the administration “is a diversification agenda’’.
She said that Nigeria remained the largest economy in Africa which was achieved by the Jonathan administration.
She said agriculture, housing and other economic activities had been diversified to generate higher income than oil adding that the focus now was to diversify the income sector.
The minister noted that the 2015 would be a tough year for Nigeria in view of the fall in global oil price but that the administration was looking inward to cushion the effects.
She said the rail transportation had been revived successfully and attempts were being made to open all rail corridors in the country for easy haulage of goods and services.
The Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, added that the local content drive in the oil industry had added over 30,000 jobs in the last three years.
She said while achievement was made in the supply of petroleum products and gas to the power sector, vandalism had dealt much blow on the economy.
“This administration has however reduced pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering from a loss of 200,000 bpd to 60,000 bpd.”
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said the nation had attained 4,400mw of power in 2015 from a dismal 2,800 in 1999 and more would be added before the end of the year.
Nebo added that one million electricity meters would soon be provided to consumers to eliminate estimated billing.