Give Nigerians Reasons To Smile In 2024, Archbishop Tells Govt

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The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most. Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, yesterday appealed to the federal government and all political leaders across the country to give Nigerians good reasons to smile in 2024.
He made the appeal in his New Year message in Lagos.
The archbishop’s message is contained in a statement signed by the church’s director of social communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godono.
Adewale-Martins said 2023, an election year with all its controversies was characterised by untold hardship for millions of Nigerians due to the high cost of essential commodities.
He enjoined government to make concerted effort to use all resources available to fashion out policies that would help alleviate the hardship that Nigerians were going through.
“The increase in the pump price of petroleum products and the drastic loss in the value of the naira, among other factors, have grossly affected the purchasing power of Nigerians.
“They are finding it difficult to keep their heads above water. This along with the insecurity in the country has led many of the best brains in the country to being sucked out of the country as they yield to the Japa syndrome. Those of us who remain are struggling to breathe, as they say. This is unacceptable.
“As we enter into the year 2024, we call on government, at all levels, to lock its focus on economic policies that will help to rejig the economy and bring solace to the impoverished masses. Government must listen to the cries of poor Nigerians,” he said.
The cleric said oftentimes, political expediency and patronage militate against even good policies.
“So, we expect that if President Bola Tinubu wishes to write his name in gold, he must begin from now to use all resources available, human and material, and not allow politics and political expediency to stand in the way of common good and the welfare of the people.
All Nigerians ask for, is working out policies that will bring down the high cost of foodstuff, reduce transportation costs, and provide gainful employment for the jobless, especially the youths,” he said.
The archbishop challenged President Tinubu, the state governors and members of the National and State Houses of Assembly to take the lead in making the sacrifices they expect of the people.
He urged them to do so by reducing the cost of governance and the many travels that do not bring much good to the day to day life of the people.
The cleric pointed out that the number of vehicles being purchased for government officials by the National Assembly and executive arms of government was insensitive to the plight of the people.
Adewale-Martins appealed to government to urgently address lingering wage-related issues that concern Nigerian workers.
He said resident doctors and university lecturers among several others, should be accorded their entitlements.
The archbishop congratulated all Nigerians for witnessing another new year and asked people to be hopeful.
He urged Nigerians to cooperate with the leaders to ensure peace and economic stability, and to keep their minds positive about the year 2024. He prayed that it would be a prosperous and fruitful year for all Nigerians. (NAN)



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