…urges prayers for nation's unity, progress
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has commended the resilience and indefatigable spirit of Nigerians, who in the face of the current economic realities of the country, have continued to keep alive as they struggle to earn a living daily.
The governor, in a statement in celebration of Nigeria's 63rd Independence anniversary, urged Nigerians to continue to pray and work in unity to overcome the country’s present economic challenges.
He said, “My dear good people of Edo State, I am delighted to celebrate the 63rd Independence anniversary of our dear country, Nigeria, with you. Today is a day of reflection; a moment to pause and ponder on our collective journey as a people and nation, celebrate our achievements, acknowledge our challenges, and reaffirm our commitment towards ensuring a more united, progressive and prosperous Nigeria.
“Ours is a story of courage, resilience, sacrifice, and the indomitable spirit of a people. Our founding fathers, driven by a vision of unity and shared prosperity, fought tirelessly to lay the foundation of our dear nation, liberating us from the shackles of colonialism and instituting our long march to nationhood and greatness.”
Obaseki further noted, “Despite the successes so far recorded in these past 63 years, we yet grapple with multiple challenges occasioned by economic, security, political and ethnic pressures. However, our enduring faith and belief in the unity and progress of our country have endured, keeping us together as one nation.
“I must commend the dogged and indefatigable spirit of our people, who in the face of many daunting difficulties continue to slug it out daily to earn a living, especially amid the current economic realities.
"As a government, we are not unaware of the dire economic difficulties that our people currently face, which has inflicted hardship and suffering on the people, especially the poor and vulnerable.”
According to Obaseki, his administration is implementing measures to caution the impact of the removal of subsidy, noting, “We are taking critical steps as a subnational, initiating and implementing nuanced policies and programmes to respond to the recent fuel subsidy removal policy by the Federal Government and as much as possible, cushion its impact on our people in Edo State.
“We have introduced free transport service for passengers on all routes operated by the state-owned Edo City Transport Service Limited (ECTS), among many support programmes that the Edo State Government have put in place to reduce the challenge, sufferings and exorbitant cost of living faced by Edo people as a result of the subsidy removal and economic headwinds.
“We are glad with the impact of this initiative which covers 13 intra-city routes and several intercity city routes daily, covering towns and villages within the State’s three senatorial districts. Over 307, 908 residents have benefited from the scheme in the first two weeks of the palliative programme, while over 1, 527, 000 residents are projected to benefit in the initial two months of the free transport initiative.”
He added, “We have launched 24-hour free Wi-Fi service in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other public places in the State to provide unlimited internet access to workers and other residents to enable them work effectively and efficiently from selected public spaces.
“This is in addition to other far-reaching reforms and initiatives to engender economic growth and improve the quality of life of our people, ensuring they are empowered to confront the challenges that lie ahead.”
He then charged, “As we celebrate our 63rd Independence today, I call on all Edo people and Nigerians to stand united, regardless of our political, tribal, ideological, and religious differences and work together towards building a more prosperous and progressive Edo State and Nigeria.
“We must also continue to pray for the unity, peace and progress of our dear nation. Together, we can overcome our present socio-economic challenges and place our country on the path of sustainable economic growth and development, ensuring that the labour of our heroes' past is truly not in vain.”