14th September, 2011
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have urged Nigerians to expect less from the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. The President recently clocked 100 days in office but the complaint is that there is nothing to celebrate and that he has not given Nigerians any opportunity to believe that his government can make the much-needed change within the time frame of his administration.
The lawmakers were further provoked by a statement recently linked to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that there is no single evidence in the country to show that the 2011 budget of the Federal Government was performing. Below are their opinions.
The President’s first 100 days in office is nothing to write home about. He made promises that have become unfulfilled. Donâ€™t forget that he told us he would hit the ground running. It is unfortunate that the country was looking for goodluck rather than better programmes and those who have better programmes for this country.
I keep saying that there is nothing that can come out of the Peoples Democratic Party. Again Jonathan has a deceptive posture and that is why a lot of people decided to vote for him and they stressed that they were voting for Jonathan and not the PDP.
But you can now see that there is nothing meaningful he has been able to achieve within this period. It is unfortunate that we found ourselves in this kind situation and there is nothing we can do other than to continue to engage in constructive criticisms and keep him on his toes to do what is right for this country.
The statement by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that there is no visible sign of the implementation of the 2011 budget confirms what I am saying. If somebody in his cabinet, a Minister of Finance for that matter, could come out and be sincere to the nation, then we must give it to her.
We need people who could be frank and sincere to the people of Nigeria. If she could come and say to the whole world that she has not seen meaningful implementation of the budget of 2011 in September, that means we are in a very serious situation in the country.
But it is the way we lay our beds that we are sleeping on it now. I tell you that the PDP is not a party for those who mean well for the country. You can imagine a member of the party saying they are going to rule us for ever.
It is very, very funny. We will continue to educate our people and ensure that they understand what is on ground in future when searching for our leaders. This would make them serve us the way we want them to serve us.
For me, the President has not even started crawling, let alone running. He has not done anything and unfortunately, we are witnessing things that hitherto were strange to us. He has lost security and almost every other thing.
The security situation now is very terrible. Book Haram and suicide bombing are alien to Nigeria and we need to understand that fact. I challenge him to tell us what he has achieved within this 100 days: nothing.
A hundred days may be too few to assess someone in a country like Nigeria where you need to do so many things, but even at that, the 100 days have been days of failure for me. He has not even hit the ground crawling.
On the statement by Okonjo-Iweala, if you are talking about the 2011 budget, it is gone because the year is almost ending; unfortunately, that is a PDP-led government for you. The budget, as was passed by the House, was not really passed because those to implement it are not really fit to do so.
Are the people right to be where they are now? You see, we are asking questions from the top; we need to come to the middle. There is a problem that needs to be solved but we need to know what the problem is before we can solve it.
If I tell you I am hungry, then you can provide food for me, but if you donâ€™t know whether I am hungry, how do you provide food for me? We need to get to the root of the whole thing. The budget was not implemented, why? Money was released, to whom?
Thank God she is the Minister of Finance, let her start doing something. We must stop going round in circles because we are tired of it. We want to see Nigerians catered for. We donâ€™t have good roads, no standard education and there are no health facilities in a country that should be talking of being one of the richest in the world.
If you go to other countries, even Ghana here, you would begin to wonder if we should continue to lack even with the level of wealth in this country. We need to put pressure on the President who is leaving the most important things and focusing on the least like the issue of Justice Ayo Salami of the Appeal Court and the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Some four people somewhere decided to do what is illegal and the President signed it. It shows the kind of President we have. When the terrorist attack happened in America, former President George Bush came out to say America would fight it to the end and they did.
When it happened in Nigeria recently, my own President said: â€œit is happening everywhere. This is the Nigerian time.â€ Is that a President?
From what we have seen and read, there is nothing to praise the President for within this first 100 days in office. Just take a look at all the sectors and you will understand it.
Even the banking sector that was given a bail-out to survive the financial problems recently has not been able to sustain itself, talk less of returning the amount to the government.
In the United States of America, when the bail-out was given to the banks, few months later, we started hearing good results of how the banks were sending returns back to the government coffers from where the money was taken. But in Nigeria, it is not working, even though one would have thought that it would be the saving grace of this administration.
Now the Minister of Finance has come out to say that up till this moment, the budget has not performed at all. That factor alone, the financial situation of the nation, suggests the performance of the administration because if the financial situation is nothing to write home about, then nothing would work; if the budget is not performing, nothing would work.
We are almost at the end of the year and nothing is working. Is it not from the budget you can execute most of the things you promised during the campaign period? So, for me, there is nothing to talk about his 100 days in office.
He should go back with members of his cabinet and start thinking seriously on what to do for this dear nation. When he started, we thought he would be different could be compared to previous administrations and where we were coming from.
You know that during that period, we had a sick President and those working with him did not allow him to go home quietly and heal himself.
We were coming from a very bad situation and thought that a saviour had come to lead us aright. Unfortunately, there is no difference between then and now.
Our image outside is nothing to write home about; the economy is not improving. The power sector is nothing to write home about, even after the government had expended huge funds on it.
Even in the oil sector, the refineries are not working as expected. I donâ€™t want to be pessimistic at this point, but I know nothing good may come out of the administration
For me, I will advise that the President should face just three things in this dispensation: infrastructure, security and energy. We currently have a lot of roads that have not been fixed by the President and now you cannot travel comfortably. There are issues of bomb blasts and terrorism.
It is only when people are safe that you can talk about development. It is only when the people are safe that the President would have people to preside over. It is only when the country is secure that investors would be willing to invest in the country.
If he can face these issues squarely and forget about the proposal for a six-year single term, then the country would begin to find itself back.
Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla
The President is proving to us that he is a total failure. I have said it before and will continue to say it. On the floor of the House the other day, I remember saying the President came to Lagos soliciting for votes, but after the election, he forgot the people.
So far, the President has not done anything; he is not doing anything and will not do anything because basically, he is bereft of ideas. There is a difference between someone who contested for an election with a plan of what he hopes to do for his people and another who got there by providence.
If you are contesting for a particular position, you must be seen to have done a lot to actually know the position and understand why you are going there.
The President has the privilege that, so far, nobody in the history of Nigeria has. He was a former Deputy Governor, then a governor, a Vice President and now President.
Beyond these, he has a wide range of experience beginning from his growing up days and he has known what the country needs at this point in time, but he has given negative programmes so far.
This is a man that should be giving us better programmes in terms of infrastructure, education, health and so on. Nigeria has one of the worst road network in the entire continent and it has always been promises all through.
Instead of facing the above challenges, he has faced issues that are not of his concern. Look at the Ayo Salami issue. There is the issue of security that has to be tackled by Mr. President, but Nigerians now sleep with one eye open even among the poor.
This is the fault of the President because he is the Chief Security Officer of the country. For me, there is no hope that he would do anything before his tenure expires.
You know he did not have plans before going for the election. Now he is waiting for the technocrats to put plans together before actions begin, but he has forgotten that the technocrats take their time and while they take their time to plan well, the President is wasting the time, because he has no idea which to begin with before the technocrats come in.
If he has â€˜something upstairsâ€™ by now he should have been working so that when the technocrats are through with their thinking, they would begin from where he stops and that would have been a plus for him.
Iâ€™m very happy for Okonjo-Iweala. She is a professional and a woman of integrity. Because of this, she decided to let the public know how far the budget has performed.
As I know, when there is a purpose, there is a budget, but in this situation, there is a budget, but the purpose is not there. So how can the federal government then implement it? In all these, it is the people that would suffer.
The only saving grace is that we are the best in the world when it comes to praying to God and this is what is working for us.
In some other countries, you donâ€™t even attempt a quarter of what you do to people here before the country is wiped off from the world map completely, but we are lucky.
I am begging those in Aso Rock, not just for today, but for the generation yet unborn and the poor who cannot eat three times a day, who cannot buy common Paracetamol or access basic healthcare.
The federal government should always remember that there are people like this in the country.
My opinion is more of an advice. The primary responsibility of any government is to ensure that the sovereignty of the nation is intact and that lives and properties are protected and equally to ensure that the country is able to improve on its economic fortunes.
When you look at the myriad of problems that we currently have, the most dehumanising or irritating one is the issue of bomb blasts and Boko Haram because security of lives is the sole responsibility of the government.
That is the more reason we have a government in place. The President, for the very first time since the incidents have been happening, has finally changed one of the security chiefs.
This is a good step even though belated. Now that he has a new Security Adviser, I want to see a situation where most foreigners in this country, who do not have business doing here be made to leave. If you go to the northern part of the country, you would see people from Niger, Mali and other war-torn zones in the country from our unattended borders. Remember they are coming from war zones and are used to violence. By the time they stay and donâ€™t get anything to do, they resort to violence to earn a living.
And this has increased the spate of bombings in that region. The Immigration Service should be alive to their responsibility and help to filter the true Nigerians from such people.
We should also see security as a collective responsibility and pass information that can save lives on to the appropriate quarters.
You do not have to say it is not your business because you do not know who the victims would be. When we first had a bomb blast, I advised that the President, like every other president in the world, should come out and condemn the incident, but he didnâ€™t. This may be why those who do it feel.