The current administration’s reform agenda, according to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, has made things worse for the populace.

During the opening remarks of the 2024 First Plenary Assembly of the CBCN, which was held at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria Resource Centre in Durumi, Abuja, on Sunday, Lucius Ugorji, the organization’s president, made this statement.

The bishop said that the average Nigerian now finds it difficult to pay for basic necessities like food and medicine due to inflation.

“The reform agenda of the present government has added to the plight of Nigerians.

With the withdrawal of fuel subsidies and the unification of the foreign exchange market, there has been a sharp increase in the pump price of petroleum products and a steep decline in the value of the naira. Indeed, there is a free fall of the national currency.

“As a result of the government’s reform agenda, millions of Nigerians have been reduced to a life of grinding poverty, wanton suffering, and untold hardship as never before in our national history.“In a bid to survive, an increasing number of the poor have resorted to begging. With more than 80 million Nigerians living under the poverty line of less than two dollars a day, our country, according to the recent disclosure of the World Bank, is the world’s second-largest poor population after India.

“While many impoverished Nigerians continue to suffer and die as a result of the hardship caused by the government’s economic reforms, the president has continued to urge the populace to make even more and more sacrifices with the assurance that brighter days lay ahead,” he said.

He asserted that considering the government’s demands for additional sacrifices from the nation’s impoverished citizens, Nigerians expected a dramatic decrease in the cost of sustaining government at all levels.Concerning insecurity, the bishop stated that communities were still plagued by it even with the monthly funds appropriated for security votes.According to him, kidnappings for ransom and violent crimes have become more common across the country in recent times.

The high degree of insecurity, uncontrollably rising prices, and hunger are further major concerns, according to Archbishop Daniel Okoh, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria.

I am optimistic that, as usual, the plenary will feature an in-depth discussion of the state of our country conducted with humility and sincerity.

Speaking to the Bishops, Senator George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, stated that the nation depends on them to uplift the Nigerian people.

“Through strategic policies, well thought out initiatives and investments, the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration aims to drive economic transformation, ensure security, enhance food production, harness natural resources, develop critical infrastructure, improve social services, foster economic diversification, and enhance governance efficiency.

“These efforts are geared towards building a prosperous, secure and inclusive Nigeria for all”, Senator Akume added.

Also speaking, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Olayemi Cardoso blamed the high inflation rate in the country on so much liquidity in the market.

Cardoso noted that as a result of some of the recent reforms of the CBN, over the course of the last week, about $1.8 billion dollars came into the markets adding that as long as the country can sustain a positive trajectory, Nigeria will get out of its economic woes and the foreign exchange market will begin to moderate itself.

The CBN governor observed that in another week, the CBN will have the Monetary Policy Committee meeting where very critical decisions will be made to continue making economy more investor-friendly.

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