NIGERIA: Diversify Economy to Prevent Youth Migration to Europe, Bishops tell Government

ABUJA SEPTEMBER 29, 2015 (CISA) – The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has called on the government to improve the country’s economy to prevent the migration of young people to Europe.

“Unemployment is growing beyond control, leaving many of our citizens, especially the younger ones, to migrate, both locally and to other countries,” said the bishops in a statement at the end of their second Plenary Assembly on September 25, Fides has reported.

“More and more Nigerians are now struggling or are unable to provide the basic needs for their families. This exposes them to inhuman conditions, including different forms of immorality and criminality. In many cases, young promising lives are wasted on our streets, in the deserts of some African countries and on the shores of Europe,” the bishops added.

The bishops appreciated the desire by the government to re-invest in the agricultural sector and to seek other alternatives to oil and gas.

The Nigerian economy has been depending on oil exports for decades, while other national economic sectors, starting with agriculture, have long been neglected, with negative consequences on employment in a country of over 100 million inhabitants.

Revenues from the oil sector are also plundered by corruption. A subject on which the Bishops have repeatedly intervened.

“Since it came into existence, this Conference of Bishops has constantly condemned corruption, violence, injustice and has consistently urged all Nigerians to embrace a life of transparency and service,” said the bishops, praising the war against corruption launched by President Muhammadu Buhari .

“All Nigerians should be part of this struggle, which ought to be carried out at all levels, in order to recover our wasted opportunities,” they said.

The bishops expressed appreciation for the successes achieved in the fight against Boko Haram, allowing the gradual return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes.

The bishops further said that the Catholic Church will do its part and they invite the faithful to pray for Nigeria, in this very delicate moment for the nation.

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