President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday in New York urged politician to put the nation’s interest first in all their activities to ensure progress and speedy development of the country.
Jonathan made the remark at a meeting with Nigerian living in the U.S.
“Politicians should consider the interest of the country first before their own and as patriots they should not burn the building down because as stakeholders they have the interest of living there.
Jonathan said the constitution provides for a four year term and a maximum of eight years term limit for elected executive office holders in the country.
The president noted that the governors like other executive office holders have an eight years limit, explaining that at the end of an election, the elected person or persons should be given the opportunity to do the work assigned to them by the constitution.
“You must allow the person that emerges to work,” he said, ‘
He, however, stressed that a situation where some voters did not vote for the winner or winners should not give them the impetus to impede the work of the administration in power.
“You must allow the person that emerges to do work in an atmosphere of peace for the growth of the country,” the said,
On security, Jonathan said that before now, the major security challenge facing the nation was armed robbery, but that with time terrorism had emerged as the major challenge taking the nation by surprise.
He, however, stressed that the challenge of terrorism is being seriously tackled by the government.
“I appreciate that we have a serious security challenge with Boko Haram insurgency. This is the area where the government is being blackmailed, but by the grace of God this will soon be a thing of the past .
“Before now it was robbery, until terrorism took us by surprise. Soon it will be a thing of the past,” Jonathan stressed.
Jonathan, noted that the privatisation of public facilities under the administration is carried out transparently adding that so far three billion dollars has been realised without any form of corruption compared to the privatisation that took place in the past.
“In the country’s past privatisation, we know what happened there and yet those who sat over the exercise are the same people who are opening their mouth wide to attack this administration,” the president told the gathering.
On Nigerians in Diaspora, the president acknowledged that they had excelled in their respective professions in the U.S., stressing “Nigerians in Diaspora are an important group particularly those in the U.S.”.
According to him, the administration needs them to work in different areas of Nigerian economy.
” You do not have to relocate to Nigeria to make the necessary impact, you can come and establish businesses to create jobs for your brothers and sisters at home,” Jonathan said.
The coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her remarks said that
the country’s economy was growing stronger, noting that the Jonathan’s transformation agenda is helping the economy.
She said that government had created jobs to reduce the unemployment rate in the country since its assumption of office about two and half years ago and will continue to expand the drive.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, noted that the nation’s budget deficit was less than two per cent, explaining that the government had embraced fiscal discipline to manage the economy better.
Aganga also said that Nigeria is a high growth and high return nation, indicating that Nigeria is ranked fourth as an investment destination nation.
Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S., Prof. Ade Adefuye said that election of the president was God’s intervention in the affairs of the country.
Adefuye added that Jonathan’s administration had brought a paradigm shift in Nigeria, by putting the right people in key positions in driving the affairs of the country in the right direction and internationally acceptable standards.
The ambassador also commended the president for ensuring that Nigerians abroad who have done well are brought back into the system.
“This is the first government that has made it possible for Nigerians abroad to tap into governance,” he said.
“It is thoughtful of President Goodluck Jonathan to seek the inputs of Nigerian professionals from various fields on how to facilitate and speed up development in Nigeria.
“I thank him for recognising the fact that those of us in the Diaspora have enormous skills that we can employ to enhance development in the country.
“President Jonathan’s pledge to involve Nigerians in the Diaspora, particularly those in the U.S., in nation-building is highly commendable,” Dr Acho Orabuchi, an educationist living in the U.S.said.
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