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ASSESS ME AFTER ONE YEAR, SAYS JONATHAN

By NBF News
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He threw the challenge when members of the Yoruba Council of Elders, led by its President, Maj. Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (retd) paid him a courtesy visit at the State House, Abuja.

The group had raised concern about the bad roads within the region and called on the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, do something about it. They also raised the issue if insecurity among others.

They also decried what they termed apparent disregard for the principle of Federal Character and its negative effect on the South-west and complained about the dilapidated state of the Lagos Ibadan expressway

The President said, three months was too short a period to be assessed as the administration only took off with the recent constitution of the cabinet; the resumption of the Coordinating Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the forming of the Economic Team. He promised that by mid next year, the bad roads would have been fixed, power problem addressed, and other critical sectors of the economy would have made commendable progress.

The President in his reaction said the administration would work on the priority areas and how to source alternative funding. 'We must take our priority projects, see how we can fund them and that is through alternative source of funding. We have set up and economic team and economic management team. I don't want to tell them so that they will say o this is what the president wants and what the president said and probably by May next year we will beginning to see whether by 2015 we will be able to address some of these problems but maybe by the end of 2012, 2013 these issues would be solved.

'What I request for is that by middle of next year we will meet again but this time around to compare notes whether we are on the right track.' He also said his main 'concern is how do we do things differently, that is why we are working and we have constituted the economic team and we are coming out with different things even in the ministries because we must do things differently.'

Jonathan who also spoke on corruption said his administration was serious in the fight against corruption, stressing that 'some corrupt practices we must stop. There must be drastic changes. We must stop these.'

He however, said 'three months is a long period but considering that our Ministers and the new people coming in, and it will take us more than a month to even get the ministers on ground. But now, I think we have them in place and we are now going to look at the ministries and see that those things that drag us back, those things that give this country bad name are addressed.'

He also assured that punishment would be meted out to government officials who failed to do things the right way. 'There must be punishments for those not doing things properly, and there will be reward to appreciate those who are doing things well,' he said.