Asses the nature of politics engage by the Jonathan administration both at national and international levels

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    On 1 January 2012, the Jonathan administration announced the start of a controversial plan to end fuel subsidies.[19] Many prominent Nigerians have spoken out against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Jonathan administration. Former Petroleum Minister Professor Tam David-West has spoken out and expressed concern that the planned removal of fuel subsidy will squeeze the economy, increase inflation, and hurt both businesses and the public.[20]

    A former military Head of State and a former Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources, General Buhari, urged President Jonathan not to remove fuel subsidy and to tackle corruption.[21]

    General Yakubu Gowon, another former military Head of State, has warned the government that the country's infrastructure should be revived before fuel subsidy removal steps are taken.[22]

    Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, joined millions of Nigerians protesting against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Jonathan administration, saying that the action is ill-timed.[23]

    Following the The Nigeria Labour Congress' warning that the country faces many strikes, the country unions followed up with strikes that were matched with civil protests from 9-13 January, 2012. Protesters and groups called for President Jonathan to resign over the removal of fuel subsidies.[24][25] After five days of national protests and strikes, on 16 January, Jonathan announced that the pump price of petroleum would be 97 naira per liter.[26]



    President Goodluck Jonathan launched his transformation agenda, expectedly to develop the
    country and improve the welfare of its people in all ramifications by 2015.
    A year after the launch of the programme, the citizens' expectations are quite high with regard to the provision of potable water, as water is
    considered to be a dependent variable in all issues pertaining to human existence and development.

    Expectedly, the water sector witnessed a resurgence of activities, as some dam projects, which were hitherto abandoned, were slated for rehabilitation to generate hydro electricity and provide water for irrigation farming and fisheries to boost food security.

    Significant efforts have also been geared toward the provision of potable water and good sanitation, as part of efforts to enhance the citizens'
    living conditions.

    ``All the water projects abandoned between 2007 and 2012 have been reactivated with the injection of about N1 billion by the present
    administration,'' the Minister of Water resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, said at a recent ministerial briefing in Abuja.

    `` So far, a total of 545 hand-pumped wells and 836 motorised boreholes across the nation have been completed, thus increasing access to water in rural communities to about two million people.''

    Besides, Ochekpe said that the ministry was engaged in the construction and rehabilitation of 33 major dams and 28 small earth dams across the country.

    ``Remedial works at Gurara, Owiwi, Sabke, Owena, Shagari dams and rehabilitation of Goronyo and Alau dams with a combined storage capacity of
    2,269 million cubic metres have all been completed.

    ``Other dam-rehabilitation projects that have been completed include Oyan Dam that was fixed at a cost of N650 million. Oyan Dam is now ready for inauguration.

    ``Also, feasibility studies have been completed on hydropower installations at Oyan, Ikere-Gorge, Bakolori, Dadin Kowa, Tiga, Kiri, Jibiya, Challawa
    Gorge, Owena, Doma, Waya, Mgowo, Zobe, Kampe, Kashimbilla, Ogwashiku, Zungeru and Mambilla dams,'' she said.

    Studies reveal that these dams have the hydropower generation potential of 3,557 megawatts.

    As part of plans to boost food security in the country, the minister said that 57 irrigation projects, covering 316,000 hectares in all the states and
    the Federal Capital Territory, had been approved for execution.

    She added that the ministry would also implement additional irrigation projects in the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) to boost food

    In respect of the Small Towns and Rural Water Supply Sector Reform, Ochekpe disclosed that 1,000 communities and 54 urban centres had so far benefited from the programme since 2011.

    Funding contributions for the project are from the federal, state and local governments, as well as the European Union (EU).

    Ochekpe said that the programme was targeting 500,000 people in 28 small towns, with a cost-sharing formula that entailed 50 per cent contribution from the EU and 25 per cent from the Federal Government, while the local governments and communities were expected to provide the remaining 25 per cent.

    The minister also listed various water supply projects and water treatment plants which had been completed and ready for inauguration.

    Also, the Federal Government, in collaboration with the Benue State Government, has completed and inaugurated the Greater Makurdi Water Supply Scheme, which has a 50-million-litre-per-day capacity.

    Ochekpe, however, said that the Federal Government was planning to privatise water supply, as part of strategies to ensure adequate supply of water to homes, offices and business centres across the country.

    According to her, the move has become imperative in efforts to attain efficient water management since the current water supply by water boards is
    insufficient for the citizens and not generating revenue for the government.

    She stressed that the various water reforms were particularly aimed at providing more water for the people, while curbing wastages.

    Ochekpe said that an inventory of urban sewage technologies had been undertaken to ascertain the different sewage systems that were available and their functionality in urban areas.

    Besides, water quality surveillance, safe storage and household treatment projects are ongoing in Ebonyi, Oyo, Cross River, Taraba, Zamfara, and

    Moreover, surveillance and treatment projects have been scaled up in 12 other states, while seven hydrometric monitoring stations have been
    completed in six hydrological areas.

    The minister noted that a capacity building programme for the Flood Control and Early Warning System (FEWS), used for early detection of flood-prone areas so as to devise pragmatic means of tackling floods, had been developed.

    In the area of trans-boundary waters and regional cooperation, Nigeria has provided 5 million U.S. dollars (about N750 million) to support studies on water transfer from Oubangi River in Central Africa to Lake Chad for sustainable development.

    In spite of these achievements, Ochekpe identified poor funding, untimely release of funds, budget implementation cycles, releases, closure and return of unutilised funds to the treasury, as some of the major challenges facing the water sector.

    ``The ministry has set up a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) unit to meet the financial challenges of the sector and carry out sector reforms,'' she

    Ochekpe, nonetheless, said that the ministry needed funds to establish the Office of the Regional Controller of Water in each of the country's six
    geopolitical zones to inspect, monitor and ensure compliance with laid-down procedures in all water development activities.

    Stakeholders agree that adequate funding is critical to the achievement of the water sector's development targets of the Jonathan-administration's
    transformation agenda.

    They note that the targets aim at increasing the citizens' access to national water supply from 58 per cent to 75 per cent and national sanitation access from 32 per cent to 65 per cent by 2015.

    In his comments, Mr Shem Adah, the Programme Manager of NEWSAN (National Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation in Nigeria), commended the Federal Government for its efforts to improve water supply and food security in the country.

    He, nonetheless, underscored the need to do more in that regard, adding that tangible efforts should also be made to provide more funds to execute projects in the water sector to enable the government to attain the 75 per cent water supply target.

    Adah said that NEWSAN intended to boost the people's access to water and sanitation by campaigning for increased budgetary allocations to the water sector, adding that more emphasis ought to be placed on water and sanitation projects.

    ``This year, we plan to work for an increase in access to water and sanitation by soliciting more funds for the water sector in the budget, while monitoring the water projects of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources,'' he said.

    Sharing similar sentiments, Dr Michael Ojo, WaterAid's Country Representative in Nigeria, stressed the need for improved funding of the
    country's water and sanitation sectors, saying that more than 500 children died daily due to poor water and sanitation.

    ``Five hundred children, under the age of five, die every day in Nigeria. Nowadays, diarrhoea and other illnesses that crop up due to lack of access
    to clean water are killing more children in Nigeria than AIDS, malaria and measles combined,'' her said.

    Also speaking, Mrs Ebele Okeke, the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador, called on the Federal Government to privatise sanitation
    projects because they were vital to the country's development.

    Okeke bemoaned a situation in which the government placed more emphasis on water supply sector, while neglecting the sanitation sector, reiterating that sanitation was key to healthy living.

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