Ex-president Jonathan Defends His Govt’s ‘Transformation Agenda’
Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday defended his administration’s Transformation Agenda stressing that it was designed to engage the latent potential in the entire nation, as well as stimulate and enable higher productivity.
Jonathan also said that while serving as President of Nigeria, he worked for the next generation and not for the next elections, as a means of ensuring that Nigerian children had a promising future.
“As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the youths, or face the consequences of failing to do so. The Transformation Agenda was conceived to engage the latent potential in the entire nation, and to stimulate and enable higher productivity.”
The former President emphasised that his Administration came up with various programmes to encourage young entrepreneurs including the youth enterprise with innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN). We reformed the institutions and introduced various mechanisms to stop the problems associated with in our country without much publicity.
“We may not have been perfect, but we did our best, and our best yielded an era of unprecedented economic growth for Nigeria. A growth that proved the truism that a Nation’s wealth is not underneath the ground but between the ears of her people. Nigeria was rated as the largest economy in Africa and the 23rd in the world by the World Bank and the IMF, with a GDP above US$570 billion.”
He stated further: “We identified Nollywood as a sector that can employ many young people and provided a grant of $200 million to boost the industry. As a result, Nollywood became a major contributor to our GDP and in 2014, the industry contributed 1.4% to our GDP.
Jonathan also recalled that as Governor of Bayelsa State and later the President of Nigeria, he asked himself some critical questions:
“Why do individuals that grow up in similar circumstances end up differently, with some as successes and others as failures? Why are some nations rich and some poor? Is the wealth of nations a result of geography, weather, culture, destiny? What could a leader do to
effectively lift a people out of the depths of poverty, and enable them to achieve prosperity?
“After much soul searching, I concluded that: wealth is a creation of the human mind properly prepared by education. Any nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to develop the capacity of its youth will be forced to use them to fight insecurity”
He challenged “contemporary African leaders to see youth entrepreneurship as a collective project transcending national boundaries, adding that “despite incredible challenges, Nigerian youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in the world map. They inspire us.”