Okogie: Nigeria Dying on the Cross of Governmental Inefficiency

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As Nigeria celebrated 59 Independence anniversary yesterday, a former Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese in Lagos, Cardinal Anthony Okogie, has said the country is dying on the cross of governmental inefficiency and falsehood at 59.

The cardinal said this in an article entitled “At 59, what will save Nigeria?”.

The archbishop according to TheCable, said the country’s addiction to falsehood and allergy to truth is its greatest undoing.

“The truth is, at 59, our country is wounded, bleeding and dying having being nailed to the cross of governmental inefficiency and falsehood,” he said.

“We and our leaders must quit the path of deceit. Our president and governors, ministers and commissioners, members of national and state assemblies, our judges and legal practitioners, we religious leaders, and we citizens — we all must take responsibility for healing this country.”

Okogie said the country has not gotten better since independence.

“When we begin to admit the truth that, 59 years after independence, instead of getting better, things are getting worse. We and our leaders have a duty to our benevolent God and to our children’s children to work for a better Nigeria,” he said.

“The best present we can offer to Nigeria at 59 is to repent from sins against God and against Nigeria. We must, individually and collectively, resolve to work for a better Nigeria

According to him, Nigerians are unhappy because truth has been abandoned and justice banished.

“Honesty has become a crime, dishonesty is rewarded. Competence no longer matters. But Nigeria needs leaders who are intellectually, ethically and technically competent to manage her affairs,” he said.

Okogie said the country’s democracy is sick unto death, “perhaps dead already.”

At 59, the spate of kidnapping in the country tells a parable about Nigerians, he said.

“Oil-rich Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world. Her wealth is in the hands of a few while the majority live in destitution,” the cardinal said.

Praying that they would not wait in vain, the 83-year-old cleric said Nigerians have been waiting for 59 years for the executive to do something right, for the legislature to make good laws, and for the judiciary to do justice.

Sylva Commends Nigerians for Deep Patriotism

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,Chief Timipre Sylva has commended Nigerian for their deep sense of patriotism as the country marks its 59th independence anniversary.

Sylva made the commendation in a statement signed by his Technical Assistant on Media, Mr Julius Bokoru, in Abuja yesterday.

He also applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his administration’s drive towards the unity and development of the country.

Slyva while felicitating with all Nigerians said that “the anniversary was an opportunity to evaluate our patriotism as well as a moment of deep national pride.

“We fought for a sovereign nation and on that spectacular night in 1960 we took the Union Jack off our poles for the national flag.

“We survived socio-political anxieties, we survived a war that almost undid our foundations and yet here we are: a united, proud nation with numerous highlights of glowing successes we can all be proud of.”

He urged Nigerians, young and old, of every religion and creed, to keep the flame of patriotism burning as it had been,and keep the key fulcrum of the nation’s greatness.

NOA Urges Nigerians to Support Gov’t, Be More Patriotic

The National Orientation Agency of Nigeria (NOA) on Tuesday called on Nigerians to show patriotism and support for government policies as they celebrate Independence Day.

Zubair Galadima-Soba, Kaduna State Director NOA, made the call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.

Galadima-Soba stated that Nigeria had been on the path of growth and development since its independence in 1960.

“Nigeria has developed in every sector, economic, social and other sectors; in educational sector, we have institutions of learning from the university down to the grassroots.

“In most states of the federation, you will agree that the administration of the state has made education a priority and the schools are being improved tremendously with free and compulsory education in some states.

“Nigeria has also developed tremendously in human capital; the government has been creating jobs through the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).”

Association Calls for Land Use Act Amendment to Grow Agriculture

President, National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Mr Anibe Achimugu, has called for amendment of the Land Use Act to enable Nigerians key properly into agribusiness.

Achimugu told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Abuja yesterday that with efforts to revamp the sector to contribute meaningfully to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) it was important to review the act.

He noted that the act as presently couched, would not allow the country key properly into new global trend in agriculture, where revenue generation was key.

The association president further said some concerns in the country over the years was lack of focus, inadequate investment and poor medium to long term commitments as well as inadequate research, poor infrastructure and lack of farmlands.

He said, “more recently there are concerns of insecurity, insufficient agro processing or value chain developmental approach and poor access to right fitting finance, now being addressed by the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

“Equally inadequate mechanisation to take advantage of economies of scale and to encourage new breed farmers to fill in the gap of ageing farmers among others makes one somewhat worried, but I am glad to say that the current administration is tackling a lot of these areas,” he said.

Okei-Odumakin Tasks Political Leaders on Patriotism, People’s Welfare

The Centre for Change Initiative, a civil society organisation, yesterday called on political leaders to imbibe patriotism and abandon all selfish tendencies in the desire for the good and development of the country.

The president of the group, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, made the call while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on the way forward as the country celebrates her 59th independence anniversary.

Okei-Odumakin said that patriotic leadership could take the country closer to the ‘Eldorado’ of the comity of developed nations.

“Nigeria at 59 is a long walk but the reality gazing boldly at us in the eye points that we are still far from the Eldorado of the comity of developed nations. “We got our independence on a very solid foundation of development vision, plan and strategy.

“But that foundation was struck into an abyss by the adoption of a unitary system of government with the concentration of power at the Federal seats without devolving of power to the federating units.

“Experience they say is the best teacher! It is evident that we can’t sustain the subsisting presidential system of government, ” she said.

Return to Periodic Economic Development Plan, Expert Urges FG

Dr Aminu Usman, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kaduna State University, has advised the government to return to periodic economic development plan for the country to grow.

Usman said this yesterday in Abuja, while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on the nation’s attainment of 59 years of independence.

According to him, government should discard the idea of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which was not geared towards effective planning.

He noted that it was merely focusing on spending plans, which were not tied to long term benefits to the economy.

He lamented that the nation’s economy was still wobbling at 59 years, a situation he ascribed to poor management.

“At independence we inherited an agrarian economy but we suddenly found oil in commercial quantity and it came with near free money as we did not need to do much to generate revenue but only to spend.

“Due to lack of focus over the years, we did not use the new found money to create an enduring structure that supports agriculture in all its value chain.

“We must focus on education especially technical and provide critical infrastructure.

“When we got independence we began by managing the economy on the basis of five-year development plans.”

Catholic Bishop Charges Nigerians to Work Together for Country of Their Dream

Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo has said that Nigerians will have the country of their dream when they work together in unity and as an indivisible entity.

The cleric gave the advice yesterday to Nigerians as they celebrate the country’s 59th independence anniversary.

He said that they would achieve the desired goals of unity in diversity if they did so not minding their religious or ethnic affiliations.

Badejo also implored Nigerians to make accountability and the fear of God their watchwords in all their endeavours.

Badejo, in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that self-discipline and respect for the rule of law would also usher in true freedom and independence for them.

According to him, true development will be achieved when selfishness, greed, corruption and hypocrisy are gotten rid of.

Gas Remains Key to Unlocking Our Economic Potential, Says NGA President

The President, Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Mrs Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, has said production of gas remains the key to unlocking Nigeria’s economic potential.

Joe-Ezigbo made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos while appraising the performance of the oil and gas industry as Nigeria marks her 59th Independence anniversary.

The president said using gas to unlock potentials would make the country overcome many economic challenges.

Joe-Ezigbo, said the oil and gas industry had helped to raise living standards and support sustainable economic growth and diversification.

“The gas industry in Nigeria has come into its own. There was a time when gas was not recognised for its own merit as a critical resource for industrial development.

“It was rather seen as a nuisance bye-product of crude oil.

“Today, under the ambit of a dedicated National Gas Policy as was passed in June 2017, Gas is recognised fully as an independent fiscal resource and industry in its own right,” she said.

Embrace Quantitative Easing to Grow Economy, Ndanusa Urges FG

Former Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr Suleyman Ndanusa, has said the nation’s capital market would not witness the expected growth unless the federal government embraced quantitative easing.

Ndanusa told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, while reviewing the performance of the capital market as the country marked its 59th Independence anniversary.

NAN reports that ‘quantitative easing’ is a monetary policy adopted occasionally by the government to increase money supply in the economy to further increase lending by commercial banks and spending by consumers.

Ndanusa said the capital market would continue to drag as long as the issue of insecurity persisted and the economy continued to slow down unless government embraced quantitative easing.

“If you see what Ghana is trying to do about its economy, beyond creating an enabling environment like providing power and enhancing security, the government’s fiscal policies must be able to incentivise and make our market very competitive.

“The news that the Value Added Tax (VAT) and other taxes are either being increased or being reintroduced is not good at this point in time.

“These are times that there will be quantitative easing, the government must also come up with policies that will make our own environment competitive,” Ndanusa said.