The Christian Association of Nigeria, on Sunday, condemned the economic policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, including the ban on foreign goods and devaluation of the currency, saying the policies lacked human face.
The ban on foreign goods by the Federal Government, CAN said, would lead to smuggling and huge revenue losses, adding that the devaluation of the currency “led to galloping inflation to the extent that the cost of living has risen and makes life unbearable for people.”
The President of CAN, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Adebayo Oladeji, said this in Abuja while delivering a sermon entitled, ‘It is not beyond God’s control’, at the ongoing International General Workers Conference and Ordination Interview of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
He said, “Fowls used to be a common gift to friends during Christmas celebration. During the just-ended celebration, it hardly featured as Christmas gift item. Humanly speaking, things are tough for many. Businesses that are foreign-currency dependent are closing down and people are losing their jobs.
“This economic policy appears to lack human face. What is the essence of banning foreign goods when the government has not been able to make such goods locally available in abundance? Such ban would just encourage smuggling and a lot of revenue would be lost by the government.
“The inability of the government to pay salaries not only in the states, but at federal level as well is a big dent on the government. My Bible says that the worker deserves prompt payment of his or her wages. Of course, the Bible says that the wages must not be delayed till the next day.
“This delay in the payment of salaries has, in turn, affected the operations of many private organisations, including the church. Our economy is public-sector driven. So, to a large extent, whatever is the economic policy of government has excruciating challenge on all other sectors.”
Ayokunle also condemned the inability of the government to give jobs to the youth, warning that the earlier the government did something about it, the better for everybody.
The CAN president stated, “University graduates are roaming the streets without anything to do. Those who are working have too many mouths of the unemployed adults to feed. This has increased the level of poverty in our nation and job creation remains a big challenge the government must pay serious attention to.
“The increasing wave of kidnapping may not be unconnected with the lack of tangible employment for many of our able bodied youths.
“Kidnapping used to be rampant in the East but has almost become a lucrative business now in the (South) West and the North. It is a very bad experience that Nigerians do not deserve to be passing through.
“A special squad, if possible, should be trained with necessary surveillance equipment to fish out these criminals who are in the business of kidnapping for ransom. If the government claims that they are doing something, they must do more.”
He condemned the failure of the Federal Government to stop “the killings and destruction of farms by the Fulani herdsmen” and the “Southern Kaduna massacre of Christians.”
Ayokunle described the response from law enforcement agencies as “so lethargic that CAN had to call for national day of mourning and prayer to seek God’s face so that the destruction might stop.”
He added, “No one who died untimely in that unchecked mayhem deserved to die. The killings of the Agatus and other citizens in Benue State under the watch of both the state and the Federal Government were unfortunate and (such) should be stopped immediately.””