From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Most Rev Luicius Ugorji, has decried Nigeria’s endless borrowing of humongous sums of money to fund personal lifestyles of public office holders, describing it as anachronistic, unconscionable, wasteful and anti-people.
Ugorji, Archbishop of Owerri Metropolitan stated this yesterday, while delivering a homily during his pastoral visit to St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish, Okwu Uratta, Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State.
He noted that the country was yet to know what the savings from the removal of the fuel subsidy had been used for.
His words: “The seemingly endless practice of borrowing humongous sums of money to fund the personal interests of the country’s public office holders is becoming worrisome.
“How come we are still borrowing to fund the wasteful activities of our leaders? Why must we borrow to fund the purchase of vehicles for public office holders? This is anachronistic, unconscionable, wasteful and anti-people.
“At the inception of the present federal administration, we were given reasons for the removal of fuel subsidy. We were told, among other things, that oil subsidy was stopped with a view to making life and living better.
“We have been trying to endure the accompanying pain and excruciating hardship for nearly seven months, but where are we today?
“Has anyone been bold enough to tell Nigerians how much has so far been saved and the use it was put into, for overall public good?
“Our roads, public schools, and healthcare centers, are anything but good. We are still grappling with hyper-inflation, hopeless public power supply, a sick economic environment, corruption, insecurity and a lot more.
“Nigerians are crying over the nation’s economic realities. It appears that the future is dark and bleak. Our young ones now want to leave this country in search of greener pastures.
“We are not safe on our highways, and we are equally not safe at home. What type of life is this?”
The prelate also noted that corruption has remained high, and that even the electoral process has not been immune from the debilitating corrupt practices that has held the country hostage.
“The moment money gets into certain hands, wrong things are done. The police look the other way, while electoral figures are altered and fake results announced.
“There is also the issue of tribalism, nepotism and ethnocentrism. We all saw what the immediate past president did. We endured and prayed for better times after him. The question is: Are we better today?
“We must change our attitude. Nigeria still needs people that will save us from our current rot. We must change our favourable disposition for corruption, indiscipline, armed robbery, kidnapping, wasteful expenditures, and irresponsible waste of precious human lives in our country,” he stated.