THE President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has given firm assurance that Nigerians by December 2014, would begin to enjoy uninterrupted power supply with nothing less than 10,000 megawatts.
Addressing top members of The Guardian during his visit at the Guardian Editorial Conference room on Thursday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Publicity, Dr. Doyin Okupe said Jonathan administration inherited power crisis with its attendant problems on generation, transmission and distribution, which Nigerians would put behind them after the year 2014.
Okupe who described President Jonathan as though quiet, but intelligent who does not make noise of what he is doing, but really working to fix various problems confronting the nation, added that he is concerned about the security issues in the country.
According to Okupe, Jonathan is addressing the two major problems bordering on insecurity in the nation which include the Boko Haram insurgence as well as the issue of kidnapping. He said while Boko Haram issue was located in the Northern part of the country, the problem of kidnapping has been pronounced in the Southern part of the Country and occasionally in Lagos.
“The issue of Boko Haram has a political undertone but some elites in the North have passionately made submissions to the President that though members of the sect had gone too far with much damage done, they should consider the way out they have preferred which they believed would bring peace and an end to the sect’s incessant assault.
“A right thinking person would normally give a thought to anything that would bring peace at last which the President is considering.
“I want to assure you that the Federal Government and Security Forces have what it takes to militarily end Boko Haram, but there is no need for that,” he said.
Okupe on the issue of corruption also said that Jonathan administration was determined to fight corruption, which has become endemic in the nation, and which has been aided by the unwholesome attitude of judges in Nigeria. He also indicted Judges who unnecessarily prolong cases in court so that people accused of corruption are not punished in time. He cited the case of the recent three Judges who took bribes and placed under discipline.
Commenting on the issue of Agriculture, he relayed the president’s promise that by 2015, Nigeria would be self-sufficient in rice production.
“Nigeria has not only overtaken Indonesia in Cassava production, but today can boast of 40 million tons of the product leaving the shores of the nation on exportation while Cocoa production has also gone from 250,000 tons to 500,000 tons per annum”.
He assured Nigerians of Federal Government effort on improvement on railways system with six corridors, which include Lagos-Abuja, East-West and East North, which had begun with Lagos to Kano.
On the perceived increase of Government intolerance on the Press with reference to the arrest and detention of four Leadership newspaper journalists, Okupe said that the Federal government would not do anything to tamper with Press Freedom. He refuted the claim that the journalists were detained for four days.
The Editor of the Guardian, Mr. Martins Oloja assured Okupe that the Guardian would not renege from excellent reporting that it is known for and would remain the flagship of the media.
“We assure you of the Guardian continuous practice of responsible journalism,” he said.