July 22, 2024
News Nigeria

Palliatives yet to mitigate effect of subsidy removal — Catholic Bishop

Most Reverend Anselm Pendo Lawani has raised concerns, stating that the government’s palliative measures to mitigate the impact of oil subsidy removal have not significantly alleviated the situation.

Speaking in Ilorin on Tuesday to mark Democracy Day, themed “The Church and State Collaboration for Harmonious Living and for the Common Good,” he appealed to the government to increase efforts to bring relief to impoverished citizens.

He noted, “The incessant increase in the pump price of petrol, caused by the subsidy removal last year, continues to adversely impact various sectors. Prices of goods and services, including agricultural commodities, are soaring.

The situation is indeed gruesome and painful, even as the government at different levels struggles with recovery initiatives for the nation’s economy. It is unfortunate that the current palliative measures have not significantly mitigated the effects of the subsidy removal policy.”

Lawani highlighted the hardships faced by many Nigerians due to high inflation and the rising cost of living. “Many Nigerians are groaning and lamenting due to high inflation and high costs of living everywhere.

A greater percentage of the populace is living below the poverty line despite our nation’s abundant human and natural resources. Many are living in squalor and slums, unable to afford three-square meals a day,” he said.

He also addressed the ongoing road expansion work in Ilorin, urging the Kwara state government to execute the project with consideration for those affected.

“Many people have been displaced from their means of livelihood. How would such people feed themselves and their families? Such projects need to be executed with human considerations by providing alternative places for those directly affected,” he said.

Commending the Kwara state government on infrastructure provision, Lawani noted the positive impact but pointed out the uneven distribution of these facilities.

“Infrastructural facilities such as motorable roads, electricity, and potable water undoubtedly enhance rapid socioeconomic development. The present administration’s efforts need to be highly commended.

However, it has been observed that these facilities, especially the constructed roads, are unevenly spread. We appeal to the Kwara State government to ensure that all areas of the state enjoy fair distribution of social amenities.

Good roads in rural areas, for instance, will motivate and facilitate the transport of farm produce to urban centers,” he said.

Lawani emphasized the importance of resource management and good governance for the well-being of citizens. “When a nation’s resources are well managed and the people are skillfully governed, the citizens benefit in terms of their social well-being.

This is a major reason why this Democracy Day press conference is considered imperative. We hope that all of us, as good citizens, will collaborate with the government to realize the dream of a better Nigeria as we celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of uninterrupted democratic governance.

The government has the role of protecting life and property. As good citizens, we are to pay our taxes and be law-abiding. While Nigeria has made some progress, significant challenges remain in areas such as security, healthcare, food provision, and education.

Political leaders must rise to the occasion and deliver on the collective vision of the citizens.”

He concluded by expressing the Church’s readiness to collaborate with the State to foster better understanding, unity, and cooperation among people of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds.

“Everything is geared towards harmonious living and rapid socioeconomic development for the common good of all,” he said.

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