As Nigeria celebrates her 63rd independence anniversary, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has emphasized the need for the citizens to embrace peace, and unity in order to achieve the prosperity that the country’s founding fathers dreamt of.
Obaseki hailed Nigerians for their resilience, saying that despite the current harsh economic realities in the country, they have remained steadfast as they struggle to earn a living daily.
Prime Business Africa reports that the governor, who made the call in his 63rd independence anniversary message, 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.”
He further noted that despite the successes recorded so far in the past 63 years, people are grappling with challenges caused 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 about 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 to 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 Edo people to remain united and work together regardless of their political, religious, tribal, and ideological differences together for the prosperity of the state and the country in general.
He urged the people to continue to pray for the peace, unity, and progress of the country adding that together, all can overcome the present socioeconomic challenges bedeviling the country.