‘Why Jonathan transformation agenda failed’ – Christopher Kolade

Christopher Kolade, former Nigerian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, says the transformation agenda of former President Goodluck Jonathan failed because it was not people-oriented.

Kolade stated this at a capacity-building workshop organised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria in collaboration with the office of the head of the civil service of the federation in Abuja, on Monday.

Speaking on the topic, ‘The role of professional-led bureaucracy in nation building’, Kolade said since the independence in 1960, Nigerian governments have been presenting national development plans written by civil servants and adopted by parliament towards building a better nation.

He said to achieve development in the country, the government must be an inclusive one that carries people along in its plans

“Before the rhetoric of the change agenda, there was a transformation agenda of 2011 to 2015. The rhetoric at the time was that we were pursuing the transformation agenda of Mr president,” he said.

“I think we all know better, it was clear that the transformation agenda only belonged to Mr president and that was why it could not succeed. It has to be a transformation agenda of the people of the nation.

“I believe the prospects of Nigeria achieving that vision would have been strong only if the citizens of Nigeria saw themselves as owners of the vision. If we need to achieve that vision, we must know that we must involve the people.”

The former high commissioner said the Jonathan administration agenda document pointed out that stakeholders of the economy lacked consistency and commitment that “resulted in rising unemployment, inequality and poverty” .

He said leaders need to keep upgrading themselves in all areas by learning new things.

“We cannot continue to pretend that standards do not matter; they do. The only way to ensure the continuous upgrading of our standards is to learn new things every day along the journey of our career,” he said.

“Nation builders need to refresh their education in respect of their understanding of such concepts as responsibility, results, authority, values, discipline, and accountability.”


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