ABUJA, SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 (CISA)-Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja has denounced the recent directive by the government hiking electricity tariffs and petrol prices terming it as a frustrating experience for Nigerians.
“The latest increases in energy cost when joined to the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, and the activities of insurgents and bandits, had aggravated the problems of Nigerians,” he said in his homily on Sunday September 20 at St. Donald’s Parish in Karu, Abuja.
The archbishop expressed concerns over the continuous increase of cost of living in Nigeria which he linked to the unfavorable policies of government.
“The sad reality is that many of our young people are qualified and ready to work, but have no work. Educated youths, willing to contribute their quota to our collective growth and development, remain unemployed. It is an understatement to say idleness breeds social vices and makes youths susceptible to socio-political manipulation and crimes,” said Archbishop Kaigama.
While expressing concerns on high levels of corruption in the country, the prelate noted that many people serving in public offices have weakened the political will to address the economic empowerment of young people in the country.
“Those lucky to have secured government jobs, complain that they lack incentives and proper motivations, and are sometimes indifferent to their work, because they hardly get job satisfaction or fulfilment,” he said.
“Regrettably, after 35 years of faithful service to the nation, pensioners suffer long periods of waiting for their entitlements, and sometimes die in the process of pursuit. Even where they succeed in getting the little that is due to them, it is alleged that they are extorted in offices in the process,” he bemoaned.
Archbishop Kaigama further pondered why university lecturers and resident doctors have to strike while agitating for their unpaid allowances and salaries.
“No wonder, our great brains in various professions migrate to other parts of the world where socio-economic conditions are better,” he said, urging the government pay priority to the provision of job opportunities and payment of respectable and just wages to workers.
Kaigama also suggested that, rather than undue focus and emphasis on revenue from oil, government should explore agricultural, mineral and other economic possibilities to provide more jobs and also create an enabling environment for the private sector which is a major employer of labour to thrive.