President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed shock over the large number of Nigerian citizens in various prisons in South Africa.
Jonathan told the Nigerian community in South Africa on Monday in Cape Town, South Africa that the high number of Nigerians in South African prisons did not speak well about Nigeria.
“I was told that more than 250,000 Nigerians are living in South Africa and that more than 400 are in prison serving various jail terms.
“This is a bad example of what Nigerians in the Diaspora should be; there are some countries like Malawi and Uganda that no Nigerian is in prison.
“Most Nigerians are doing very well abroad in various professional callings.
“There are Nigerians living in South Africa making good name for us but a few of you are doing things in different ways.
“There is need for these few Nigerians to be good ambassadors of Nigeria so that people will not see Nigeria and Nigerians as corrupt and criminal-minded people and nation,’’ Jonathan said.
He said that Issue of corruption, security and crime were important to him and his administration.
“From my experience as deputy governor up till the time I was elected as the vice president I know those who talk more about corruption are the most corrupt.
“Peoples’ perception about corruption in Nigeria was over amplified than the corruption that happens in the country.
“The perception index is very high, we are not saying there’s no corruption in the country, all of us must work hard to fight corruption,’’ Jonathan said.
He said that the problem of insecurity in some parts of the country was being addressed by government.
“The issue of insecurity, threat to peace and stability in some parts of the country is being addressed; threat to peace and stability in the country must be stopped,’’ Jonathan said.
The president said he was totally committed to what was right for the country at all times.
“I promise Nigerians that issue of power will be solved as soon as the privatisation of power sector is completed.
“Power is key to the transformation agenda of this government; in no distance future the type of transformation in the telecommunication sector will be experienced in the power sector.
“We as government are doing everything to build a Nigeria of our dreams. Our airports are being renovated and modernisation and expansion of our railway transport system is ongoing.
“All what we request from all Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora is support and understanding.’’NAN
Jonathan assured that insecurity and molestation of Nigerians by various South African authorities would be discussed with President Jacob Zuma during the state visit.