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, in their bid to eke out a living, following widespread poverty. He attributed the situation to the inability of the system to generate jobs as well as the vexatious power and energy problem.
Addressing the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director for Africa, Mr. Gilbert Houngbo, Yar’Adua said that while the domestic economy was doing well at the macro-level, with big businesses booming, "our people are still struggling to eke out a living."
The president said, "the main problem is power and energy. The capacity of the system to generate jobs is also limited," adding that his administration was determined to create an economy that is targeted at job creation and eradication of poverty at the micro-level.
On financial and economic matters, he said his administration would soon present an executive bill to the National Assembly for a law that would provide a proper legal basis for the management of the country’s "excess crude" funds.
The president also assured the international community that his administration would leave no stone unturned in its determination to reform and restructure Nigeria’s electoral laws, processes and institutions as soon as the election tribunals conclude their work on cases which arose from the last general elections.
He told the UNDP boss that his administration had already begun talks on the issue with all political parties represented in the National Assembly. He hinted that at the conclusion of the talks, a committee would be set up to examine all the issues that impinge on the conduct of credible and transparent elections in the country.
Said he: "We have a lot of work to do to re-examine the electoral process so as to make future elections peaceful, credible and acceptable to the vast majority of our people. I consider this as a major legacy I want to leave to Nigeria at the end of my Presidency: that we can conduct credible and transparent elections.
"As soon as we finish discussions with the parties, we will set up the committee to begin putting up the administrative structures. They will begin to work out the modalities, look at examples from different countries, examine our process and institutions and look into the electoral laws and the constitution.
"We want to look at everything and we know UNDP can help us to realize our objective of institutionalizing a process for credible elections."
Yar’Adua also restated his government’s determination to resolve the Niger Delta problem by providing solutions that would be acceptable to all stakeholders in the region.
"We want to build trust with all stakeholders. Last week, the vice president went into the creeks to discuss with some of the militant leaders in their camps. The dialogue was fruitful. We will build on that.
They will be part of the solution so that together we can also deal with the criminal element of the Niger Delta issue," he said.
The president also held separate meetings with the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr. Kato and the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili.