6 December 2017

Nigeria: It's Time to Focus On Governance and Stop Blaming Jonathan - Amaechi

Photo: The Guardian Nigeria
Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria's Minister of Transport

The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, has admonished his colleagues in the Muhammadu Buhari administration to stop blaming former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr. Amaechi said it is time for administration officials to concentrate on delivering good policies to the citizens rather than dragging the former president for Nigeria's woes.

"I agree with those who said we should stop criticising the last government and that we should do our own," The Nation newspaper quoted Mr. Amaechi as saying during a meeting at his office Tuesday.

The minister decried Nigeria's infrastructure deficit, drawing a comparison with other relatively new countries like Singapore.

"We need to leverage on what we know. People are shouting intermodal transport; I went to the new airport in Singapore and I didn't find one person at the airport.

"As you walk in, technology takes over," Mr. Amaechi said.

He called for an urgent renaissance in Nigeria's infrastructure, especially in the area of information and communications technology.

"They also said in the next few years, they would introduce driverless cars. We should also think outside the box about how to improve our transport sector and think less about how sun and moon affect the sector or building more bus stops.

"We should see how much investment we can put in the area of ICT. Intelligence transportation should not be ignored," he added.

If heeded, Mr. Amaechi's call would mark a shift in Buhari administration's approach to public engagement.

Since assuming office in 2015, President Buhari has led his appointees and party members to blame Mr. Jonathan for failing to properly direct the country's affairs during his tenure.

Allegations such as senseless looting of public funds, nepotism, economic mismanagement and gross abuse of power are regularly directed at Mr. Jonathan.

In June, Mr. Amaechi slammed Mr. Jonathan for allegedly failing the Igbo during his years, saying the former president left the region in a state of disrepair.

"President Jonathan went to Onitsha and danced and promised to construct Onitsha bridge. Right? After that nothing happened," Mr. Amaechi said at a social media forum in Lagos on June 13.

Bolaji Abdullahi, spokesperson for the APC, told PREMIUM TIMES the call was appropriate.

"Enough of blaming the previous administration, Nigerians want us to focus," the spokesperson said.

Mr. Abdullahi said the wrongdoings of Mr. Jonathan's government would remain in the memories of Nigerians, but that the current administration was not voted to amplify them.

"Yes, there were problems created by the previous administration, but Nigerians didn't vote for us because they want us to be telling them who's responsible. They want us to be solving problems," he said.

Nigeria

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