NIGERIA – President Muhammadu Buhari has saluted Nigerians for their steadfastness in spite of the difficult economic times confronting the country.
He also told Nigerians that the current economic recession was caused by cumulative effects of worldwide economic downturn and failure in the past to plan and save for difficult times.
Buhari, in his Eid-el-Kabir message to Nigerians released in Abuja on Sunday, gave the assurance that his administration would get the economy right back on track.
According to him, the Federal Government is “working round the clock” to address the current hardship the country is going through.
The President said, “It is impossible to separate the present from the past to appreciate the extent to which mistakes of the past are affecting everyday life today.
“I assure you that this administration is working round the clock to remove the hardships the country is going through.”
Buhari said developmental programmes had been designed to reinvigorate the economy and to enhance the living standards of the ordinary people.
These, according to the President, include rail and road constructions, housing projects, support for small and medium scale farmers, youth and women empowerment programmes and support for revival of industries.
He added,“We are getting security right. We are stopping corruption in its tracks and we will get the economy right by the grace of God.’’
Buhari enjoined Muslims to live by the dictates of Islam by maintaining good relationships with their Christian brothers and sisters.
He further charged them to maintain the spirit of the Nigerian nation as patriots.
“The lessons of the Eid are piety and sacrifice and, my dear brothers and sisters, you have exhibited these in equal measure. I wish everyone happy holidays,” he said.
Also, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Sunday said in spite of the current economic challenges, Nigeria would return to the path of growth and fiscal stability.
This was contained in Tambuwal’s Eid-el-Kabir message to the people of the state, issued in Sokoto by his media aide, Mr. Imam Imam.
He said that there was hope that measures being put in place by the Federal Government would yield positive results, adding that “there is a silver linen in the horizon.”
Tambuwal said that the reforms instituted by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government were necessary in order to halt the drift and commence the journey to development and self-reliance.
“We may be facing tough challenges now, but I believe they are just for the short term.
“Measures put in place by government will have positive impact in the medium and long term.
“This administration has shown strong will to diversify the economy and reduce reliance on oil. That measure has started yielding result,” he said.
The governor said that in the state, various initiatives aimed at mitigating the effect of the economic downturn had been implemented, with many people already responding to government’s call to return to the farm.
He said, “Our citizens accepted our calls and incentives to return to the farm, we expect to have bumper harvests this year, especially in crops like rice, wheat, onion and millet.
“This will go a long way in enhancing their income and at the same time, tackling other socio-economic challenges confronting them.”
However, the immediate past Chairman of the Osun State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Elisha Ogundiya, has called on the Federal Government and governors of the 36 states of the federation to demonstrate sincerity in their efforts to stir the nation’s economy out of the current recession.
Ogundiya, who said this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Osogbo on Sunday, stressed that the present economic situation was brought upon the nation by insincerity and greed of a few leaders.
The ex-CAN chairman said corruption was a major problem which drove Nigeria into the bad situation and called on leaders and followers to shun the ungodly act in order for the resources of the country to go round.
The former CAN chairman stated that with sincerity of purpose and selfless service, Nigeria would come out of the economic challenges stronger.
Ogundiya said, “If there is no integrity, we will still go back to square one. No matter what they want to do to get out of this economic situation, there must be sincerity on their part and Nigerians should also support the government in the interest of all of us.
“Whether they want to invest in tourism, agriculture or any other sector, the Federal Government and the state governments must be honest in all their dealings. Their aides should also be honest. If we are sincere, this problem won’t last beyond the necessary time,but with insincerity, we will continue to sink deeper in it.
“It is good to buy locally made goods but it is wrong to ban importation when such products are not produced locally. What is happening to rice now will not be if we produce enough rice in Nigeria. Nigerians will buy locally produced goods if they are available and importation of such is banned or there is heavy tariff on them.”
According to him, worsening economic situation is one of the signs of the end time, but he said with genuine repentance from wickedness, God would rescue the ship of the nation from the brink.