Thursday, 16 January 2014
Jonathan’s administration creating jobs, building infrastructure, Okonjo Iweala replies Reps
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has
responded to the 50 questions posed by the House of Representatives
Committee on Finance during the 2014 budget presentation.
In a 102-page document obtained by Vanguard, the Minister said, in
spite of the many challenges facing the government, the Nigerian
economy has shown real and measurable progress in many areas,
including increase in job creation, improvement in roads, rail and
She added that the country is also saving for the future and planning
better for the present.
On job creation, the minister said a total of 1.6 million jobs were
created in 2013, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
of which 250,000 were seasonal jobs created in dry season farming in
10 northern states.
The document reads:
" In manufacturing, the Onne Oil and Gas Free zone created an
estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs. The government special
intervention programme YouWin supported young entrepreneurs, creating
over 18,000 jobs. The SURE-P Community Services prgramme has also
created 120,000 job opportunities.
"The improvement in federal highways has been confirmed by many Nigerians
who travelled over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Key highways
which have witnessed significant progress include Kano-Maiduguri road,
the Abuja-Lokoja road, the Apapa-Oshodi road, the
Onitsha-Enugu-Port-Harcourt road and the Benin-Ore-Shagamu road.
Preliminary work has commenced on Lagos-Ibadan road and the Second
"The Railway Modernization Programme involving the construction of
standard gauge lines is underway. The 1,124 km Western line linking
Lagos and Kano is now functional while work on the Eastern line
linking Port Harcourt to Maiduguri is about 36% complete. The
Abuja-Kaduna Standard Gauge line has attained 68% completion, and the
Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Line which is presently 77% completed, will be
completed next year. The annual passenger traffic on our railways has
increased steadily: rising from 1 million in 2011 to 5 million in