Most Rev. Alfred Martins, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos says Nigerians are yet to feel the effect of the nation’s economy coming out of recession.
Martins spoke at a news conference to mark his 58th birthday at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, on Thursday.
The archbishop said that Nigerians continued to face hard times, despite government’s assurance that the economy was gradually moving out of recession. He said: “While this is gladsome to hear, the reality is that the impacts are yet to be felt at the grassroots. The cost of living is very high; workers are being retrenched daily.
“Even some of those still working are not being paid, both in the public and private sector; the power sector is in a comatose. The effects of all these on the poor masses of this country can better be imagined. “We know efforts are being done to address all these, but Nigerians are tired of promises; they want to see results.
“In the past we have been given promises of palliatives being put in place to bring immediate relief to the masses, but we are yet to feel the impact, or is this another case of policy somersault?’’
Martins said the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in his Democracy Day address, however, gave account of the federal government’s efforts to move the nation forward.
“He pinpointed security as one key area that the present administration has performed credibly well. Let me use this opportunity to commend the government for the victories recorded against the insurgent and for securing the release of about 125 of the kidnapped Chibok girls. “We urge them not to rest on their oars until the remaining girls are brought home safely,’’ he said.
The cleric, however, said the incessant armed herdsmen attacks across the country which had led to loss of lives and properties worth millions needed urgent attention.
“All efforts must be made to stem the tide of their activities and bring them to book; every Nigerian deserves to live in peace and wherever they choose to live in the country,’’ Martins said.
On his 58th birthday, the archbishop said he could not but thank God for granting him the grace and privilege to serve in His vineyard.
“Indeed, every of our lives is important and should be lived to the glory of God by impacting positively on as many lives as possible. “Though times are hard and some days may be frustrating, we must always learn to live with faith, placing all our burdens and hope on God. “ Counting our blessings, naming them one by one, these, I have committed myself doing, such that whatever may come my way each day, I know my life is secured in His,’’ he said