Produce Relevant Workforce, Jonathan Tasks Universities

A file photo of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

 

Former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has urged Nigerian universities to aspire to produce the kind of workforce that would advance the nation’s economy on a sustainable basis.

He also emphasised that the universities should serve as hubs for technological innovation, adding that for the country to remain competitive, it must make reasonable contributions to the global body of knowledge, as it pertains to science and technology.

Dr. Jonathan stated this on Wednesday in his speech at a special convocation ceremony of the Gregory University Uturu, Abia State where an honorary doctorate degree in public administration was conferred on him.

The former President noted that he made education one of the cardinal points of his administration, in line with his philosophy of development which is rooted in education. According to him, some of the initiatives of his administration geared towards revamping the nation’s education included establishing twelve new conventional universities and three specialized as well as implementing the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovations and Development (PRESSID) established.

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He said that PRESSID was of special interest to him because of its potential to train and produce young Nigerians that would advance Nigeria’s technological drive.

For a country like ours which is in dire need of a technological base for its growth, especially in this age of fast-paced knowledge economy, we were convinced that a programme like PRESSID was the way to go”, the former president said:

Dr Jonathan noted that a beneficiary of the PRESSID programme, Dr Joel Eleojo Adams had gone on to become the first non-British to be commissioned as an Aero-Systems Specialist engineer and first Nigerian to get to the rank of a Flying Officer in the British Royal Airforce.

Speaking further, the former President said: “We must strive to make our universities, solution camps, and ideation grounds. Grounds for the formation of creative minds. Places that produce people pondering on solving the next mankind’s greatest challenges.

“Our universities must function as citadels for purpose-driven human development and hubs for technological innovation.

“For us to make sustainable progress, they must serve as institutions for research, discovery and development of transformative solutions that will reduce hunger, poverty, and unemployment.

“Nations that stand out today as very peaceful, prosperous, and stable are those with well-established educational systems.

“For this reason, every progress-minded society must make conscious and pragmatic efforts to build a proper education system that develops the capacities of its people because education serves as not just the gateway to prosperity but a peacebuilding mechanism.”

The former President further charged the students of the university and all others across the country to work hard to make their years on campus count.

“You must justify the investments made by your parents and guardians by making yourself relevant in the search for solutions to society’s challenges.”

 

Jonathan Promises More Support To Delta State In Campaign Speech

campaignAs political campaigns continue with few days to Nigeria’s general elections, the People Democratic Party (PDP) has taken its campaign to Delta state in the south south region of the oil rich nation.

At the campaign venue on Wednesday, the presidential candidate of the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan, promised that the state would encounter more support from his government in all areas of the economy if voted in.

The Delta State Government has asked schools to close down on Wednesday as President Goodluck Jonathan visits Asaba, the state capital, for the presidential campaign rally of the PDP.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Chike Ogeah, confirmed that Wednesday had been declared a public holiday to enable citizens of the state to welcome President Jonathan.

The declaration of the public holiday came as the Goodluck Support Group said it would shut down the entire state to welcome the Peoples Democratic Party presidential campaign team to the state.

The national chairman of the party is confident that Deltans are in support of the Jonathan and Sambo bid. This is corroborated by the PDP governorship flag bearer in delta state.

The president, who spoke in an official language in the Niger delta, promised to improve the maritime sector in the state.

His wife, Patience Jonathan, wooed the women and youth to cast their votes for the PDP.

Music artistes and members of the Nollywood were also at the venue to throw their weight behind President Jonathan and his Vice for another term in office.

They say the entertainment sector had had 100 per cent improvement since the Jonathan administration kicked off.

Jonathan Promises Peaceful 2015 Election

2015_election_goodluck_jonathanThe 2015 elections will come and go and Nigeria will remain the same. These were the words of President Goodluck Jonathan while addressing the opening session of the Interfaith Summit in Abuja.

The President, who observed that the strength of Nigeria lies in its diversity, promised that the 2015 elections would be transparent and only one man, one vote would count.

His experience, he said, has shown that Nigerian youths want the country to remain as one while the elderly politicians are the ones fanning the embers of disunity.

He called on religious leaders to use their platforms to educate Nigerians on the need to be their brothers’ keepers.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Mohhamadu Saad Abubakar, who was one of the distinguished Nigerians from all walks of life, who gathered at the Interfaith Conference, reiterated the unity of Christians and Muslims in one country.

According to him, steps must be taken to fight the common enemy which he said was poverty.

While the Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onayikan, pointed at politics as being responsible for the vices that exist in the country, he stated that Nigerians need a turnaround of the negative image and practice responsible politics.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, also described Nigeria as a complex society and that the conference, which came at a time Nigeria is said to be in dare need of peace more than ever before, was urgent to iron out the differences.

The initiative has been in existence and it is believed that discussions in fora like this have been without concrete results, but participants pledged a total commitment on this occasion, giving assurance that the report from the meeting would be forwarded to the Presidency and National Assembly for implementation.

Government To Boost Domestic Gas And Power Generation Nationwide

vlcsnap-2014-07-17-16h19m41s203Government would enhance the exploration and production of the oil and gas in order to boost the development of domestic gas and power generation nationwide. 

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Maduekwe, said this on Thursday, at the ‘1st Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum’, held in Yenagoa the capital of Bayelsa State.

She said that the Forum was a right platform to harness Nigeria’s resources by transforming the economy from being primarily an exporter of goods to one that thrives on industrial development for the growth of the economy.

She linked Bayelsa as having a direct cardinal programme with the Federal Government on the ongoing reform in the petroleum industry and the restructuring of the economy at a competing cost.

Mrs Alison-Maduekwe stated that the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, in April 2010, signed an historical “Nigerian Content Act” into law in order to ensure indigenous participation and integration of oil production into the main-stream industry, therefore creating the capacity of promoting educational, industrial training and employment in the establishment of a special fund for capacity building.

She emphasised the impact of the Act on citizens in the last four years as having produced over 50 thousand jobs at a strategic locations, thus informing its management headquarter being placed in Bayelsa “to contribute value to local economy” there.

“The expansion of the Nigerian Content Management building which is headquartered in Yenegoa and the construction of a new 200,000 million dollar purpose built 17-storey building permanent headquarter is taking place and over 1000 workers will be employed”, she noted.

During the forum, she urged citizens to take responsibility to ensure that the mission is being actualised by expanding the value chain through diversification of the economy.

 

Business Incorporated: Etomi Speaks On Progress Made In 15 Democratic Years

Business incorporatedNigeria’s economic development after 15 years of democracy has been described with mixed feelings. While some think the economy has done well, others think there are still a lot to be done.

However, the general consensus is that it’s better than going back to the days of the military.

A business lawyer and the former chairman, Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr George Etomi who was our guest on Business Incorporated, said a lot has been achieved in terms of the reforms in the various sectors of the economy, particularly the telecom sector.

He also believes that Nigeria still has a long way to go particularly in the area of infrastructure development.

He maintained that Nigeria’s economy will be better if both the leaders and the led play their role selflessly.

President Jonathan Assures Participants In World Economic Forum Of Safety In Abuja

Goodluck Jonathan - WEFPresident Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on Thursday reassured the global community of the safety of all participants in next month’s World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja.

Speaking at an audience with China’s new Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Gu Xiaojie, who presented his letters of credence to him at the Presidential Villa, President Jonathan said that the security challenges being experienced in parts of the country would have no adverse effect on the safety of participants in the forum.

The President welcomed the confirmation by China that its delegation to the Forum, which will bring together regional and global leaders to discuss innovative structural reforms and investments that can sustain the continent’s current growth trajectory and create jobs.

“I am quite pleased that the Premier of the People’s Republic of China has confirmed that he is coming. We will be addressing the World Economic Forum on Africa together. We will also sit down together to discuss shared national interests.

“We will give all participants a good reception in Abuja. We have faced challenges in the area of security, but we will overcome the situation so that our economy can move forward faster. Participants will not have a problem with security during the summit,” President Jonathan told the Chinese Ambassador.

The Ambassador assured the President of China’s confidence in Nigeria’s security measures and the country’s ability to host the World Economic Forum on Africa successfully.

“From our assessment, we are confident that all is under control and we have relayed that to our people,” Mr. Gu Xiaojie said.

He applauded Nigeria’s re-basing of its GDP and the country’s emergence as the number one economy in Africa, noting that it would certainly stimulate the inflow of more foreign investors.

Also on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, President Jonathan received the letters of credence of the new Malaysian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lim Juay and the new Ambassador of Thailand, Mr. Chailert Limsoboom.

The President urged all three new Ambassadors to do their best to further expand areas of bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and their respective countries.

He wished them successful and rewarding tenures in Nigeria.

President Jonathan Approves Appointment Of New NNPC Company Secretary

Goodluck JonathanPresident Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the appointment of Mr. Ikechukwu Oguine as the Coordinator, Legal Services and Company Secretary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

This is contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.

Mr. Oguine who has over 29 years of legal experience, hails from Anambra State.

He was previously the General Counsel of Chevron Nigeria Limited  and has been a partner in Advisory Legal Consultants, a Law Firm specializing in oil, gas, power and mining.

Mr. Oguine replaces Mr. Anthony Chukwuma Madichie, also from Anambra State, who has served as the NNPC Legal Adviser and Secretary to the Corporation since February 2011.