- Posted September 14, 2011 by
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PRESIDENT JONATHAN’S 100 DAYS IN OFFICE
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria reached his hundredth day in office on September 6, 2011 having resumed office on the 29th of May. The milestone was celebrated in style in official and outside official circles with trappings close to that of a national holiday or festival.
Jonathan, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which has been in the centre since 1999, was a former deputy governor, he later became governor of his state, Bayelsa and went on to be elected as Vice President alon with Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua before eventually winning federal elections to the Presidency in April. His kinsmen in Otuoke, Bayelsa State and other nIger Delta nationals were the loudest merrymakers during the week-long celebrations
In this period, President Jonathan has had to grapple with more unforeseen than he had bargained for. The economy and other development indicators have continued in their crawling state since he inherited office from himself in May.
The most significant worry of his administration is security which has almost overtaken power as the most critically-ill sector of the country. No thanks to the activities of kidnappers and suicide bombers of the Boko Haram sect.
In 100 days, the malicious sect has claimed responsibility for two suicide attacks on the Police Headquarters on June6 and the UN House on August 26. These are beside the many other bombings at police stations , barracks and churches. Last week, the country’s National Security Adviser (NSA), General Andrew Azazi, admitted that the country was unprepared for the group’s onslaught and citizens had to warm up to an elongated affront.
In 100 days, the banking sector, powered by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has continued to witness ups and downs such that 3 ailing banks were nationalised against the initial promise of the apex bank at the start of the recue process. Within this period, Nigeria’s foreign reserves dipped by $3.6 billion to a low of $32.92 billion- a result of the apex bank’s effort to cushion the Naira against the dollar. The reserves as at August 8 stood at $35.9 billion.
Meanwhile on September 6, a Wikileaks report named a former first lady, highly placed Nigerians, military officials and collaborating foreigners as oil thieves who stole about 91 million barrels of oil annually from Nigeria. Still on Oil and Gas, Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trades and Investments noted at the briefing on the 100 days of the administration that the country which is the sixth largest exporter of oil in the world loses $5 billion (N750 billion) to non-metering of oil wells.
Although, according to some experts, 100 days is insufficient to gauge the success of an administration, it might be too early to celebrate on the scale witnessed around the country last week.
Roads, unemployment, health, education are some of the many areas that still need government’s attention. A few Nigerians believe that power is beginning to improve although on a shaky note.
In 100 days, about two months after inception, the president appointed 42 ministers, about 5 in excess of the constitutionally-stipulated 37. The president also established new portfolios for special advisers and legislators still earn huge salaries and perks that have been identified as deleterious to the economy.
A former World Bank Vice President, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was re-appointed in this period to the Ministry of Finance. Definitely, more is expected in the days ahead as Nigerians say they are yet to feel the action.
Jonathan is the fourth democratically-elected president in Nigeria’s 16 years of democratic rule. He is the 15th man at the helm since independence in 1960.