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President Jonathan Has Strategic Plans To Make North Great Again, Namadi Sambo Claims

Nigeria Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo has given assurance that the government of President Goodluck Jonathan has designed strategic programme of actions to revive the fortunes of the Northern region and make it great again.
Namadi Sambo who spoke today in Kaduan in a lecture delivered on his behalf by Kaduna state Governor, Mukhtar Yero said that agriculture has been restored to its pride of place in the region through the administration’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) where agriculture is now treated as a business and not a programme.
At the lecture organized by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Arewa House’ Centre for Historical Research and Documentation, at Arewa House, Kaduna, said that the Jonathan government has also articulated a long term strategic development blueprint, tagged “Nigeria Vision 20:2020,” saying: “this is our homegrown strategic development agenda for stimulating economic growth, diversifying the economy away from Oil and launching the country onto the path of sustainable and rapid economic development.  One key element of the vision is the specific recognition of Regional development.  This is being complemented by the Transformation Agenda, 2011-2015, which is the medium term strategic plan of the Federal Government.”
The Vice President reiterated the administration’s commitment to a sustained improvement in the economic management of the country, which he said had impacted positively on the performance of the north and the country at large with a robust growth averaging 7 percent.
Apart from agriculture, the Vice President said, the administration has made deep inroads into the development and improvement of other sectors of the economy which included Education, Healthcare, Transport and Healthcare as well as anti-corruption, employment and wealth generation in the country.
On Education, the Vice President said, Federal Government has approved the sum of N1.5billion, in addition to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund to further support the improvement and development of all federal and state-owned universities across the country, while the sum N297billion has been expended under the Universal Basic Education Programme (UBE) to the development of infrastructure, learning and teaching materials as well as capacity building in basic education institutions.
On power and irrigation, Namadi Sambo added, work has commenced on the construction of the 700mw Zungeru Hydro-power project awarded at the cost of N200billion while  contract has been awarded for the 3050mw Mambila Hydropower at the cost of USD6billion
He said that in tackling corruption in the country, the administration has made laudable progress using what he called: “preventive approach.”
“Our approach to corruption is Preventive rather than Curative. We are aware that we have to deal with impunity and we are taking a systematic approach. With seeming lack of institutions, systems and processes to block corrupt action, we are using technology and biometrics to prevent its occurrence.”
He said that corruption convictions under the Jonathan administration has increased by 88 percent while the nation has recorded about 91 percent drop in illegal currency outflow which he said is an all-time low record in the country.
On leadership, Namadi Sambo insisted that the North has never lacked Visionary leaders who have instilled the culture of peace order and good governance in the region.
The Vice President recalled the years 1959-1966, as golden era of the North and extolled the visionary leadership of the late Sardauna of Sir Ahmadu Bello and the Premier of Northern region whom he said, ensured the Unity and Prosperity of the region.
“With his maxim of One North one Destiny and his Northernisation policy, the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and the first and only Premier of Northern Nigeria, ensured the unity, uniformity and prosperity of the region to the admiration of all.”
In a keynote address, the Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie said that at the time the North attained self-government, it was led by selfless, hard working and committed individuals who channeled all their energies to build the region without recourse to ethnicity, religion or any other primordial ties.
He called on the present generation to wake up from their deep slumber, reminding them that each individual has a duty to the country.
“Each of us has a duty to our community and our country; we can either fulfill or betray it. And when we are tested, as all will be, the judgement of history cannot be evaded. And so, I say to you too that we cannot deny the evidence of our own eyes.”
The lecture with the theme: “The North and the Nigerian Federation: Past, Present and the Future” was organized to commemorate the 56th anniversary of self-government in Northern Nigeria. [myad]

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