BY DAPO AKINREFON
The Presidency said, Sunday, that the opposition party, All Progressives Congress, APC, is destined to sink in 2015 as it parades all those who constitute Nigeria’s problems.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who addressed a press conference, Sunday, in Lagos on the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, said the government was not bothered about the chances of the opposition in 2015.
He said: “We are unperturbed by the parade of so-called political giants by the opposition. I have said it before that APC cannot stand unless they fish in PDP waters.
“But the APC boat is bound to sink because it is a collection of the problems of Nigeria.
“How else do you want God to save Nigeria if all those who are the problems of the country are not packed in one boat and the boat sink under their weight?
“When we went to Israel, we prayed that all those who are the problems of Nigeria should all perish and this is how our prayer will be answered.”
Okupe said though critics have continued to lampoon the President, his administration is keeping faith with the transformation pact he had with Nigerians.
He said the Federal Government has been able to, among other things, “bridge infrastructural gap for economic growth and wealth creation, optimise sources of growth to increase productivity and competitiveness; build a productive, competitive and functional human resource base for economic growth and social advancement and develop a knowledge-based economy.”
He said President Jonathan “is conscious of his pact with the people and will not deviate from the spirit and letters of his social contract as encapsulated in the transformation agenda as he is determined to continue to serve the Nigeria people conscientiously, diligently and accountably.”
He added that the President Jonathan-led administration has “improved governance, security, law and order and also engendering more efficient and effective use of resources and promoting social harmony as well as providing a conducive environment for growing the economy.”
He reeled out the Federal Government’s achievements in various sectors to include roads infrastructural restoration, rail transportation, aviation reforms and upgrade, power sector reforms, education, agriculture, medical and health services, economic growth and stability, sports development and security.
According to him, “the President and his team have worked assiduously to implement reforms in key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“These are reforms which had hitherto been neglected or abandoned and which had unfortunately led to our retarded growth as a nation.”
He added that the transformation agenda “is not a slogan but a well articulated vision of a Nigeria where policies and programmes are designed, implemented and followed through for the greater good of the greater number of citizens.”
Stating the government’s efforts on roads infrastructural restoration, Okupe said the Federal Government “generally and consistently made significance progress in the construction, rehabilitation, expansion and maintenance of key arterial roads across the six geo-political zones of the country.”
The presidential aide said as part of efforts to “revamping the Nigerian rail transportation system, which has been comatose and decrepit for almost two decades, the various projects and programmes initiated in 2012 were carried through in 2013.
“The initiative has provided alternate and cheaper mode of transportation for persons, good and services in various parts of the country. It has improved economic activities in communities and created jobs for a good number of young Nigerians.”
On the aviation sector, Okupe noted that the sector in 2013 broke new grounds, adding that “the radical transformation of the sector under the Jonathan administration has impacted positively on Nigeria’s global image, guaranteed greater safety and enhanced investors’ confidence in the sector.”
Besides, he said the on-going remodelling of “our airports achieved tremendous success with phase one of the exercise fully completed.
“Generally speaking, the aviation sector under the Jonathan administration has witnessed tremendous turn around with major strides.”
Health, economy, security
Stating that new initiatives and programmes to deliver goals have been witnessed in the agricultural sector, Okupe said the sector, since independence, is “attracting unprecedented foreign direct investment.”
Aside this, he said that the administration has “kept faith with interventions in all tiers of health care, but with major focus on tertiary health care in line with best global practices.
“Major surgeries, which had not been done in most of our federal tertiary hospitals for quite a while, were revitalised in 2013.”
On the state of the nation’s economy, he said: “The Nigerian economy remains robust and very promising as the GDP growth rate is sustained at 6.7 per cent, making it the fastest growing economy in Africa.”
To ensure security of lives and property, he said the government has left no stone unturned “in ensuring that cases of violent crimes and insurgency, especially in the Northern part of the country are nipped in the bud.”