Abuja - Residents of Abuja, FCT, have
called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts in improving the economic
fortunes of the country as the nation marks its 55th anniversary.
They made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
in Abuja on Thursday while speaking on the sideline of the country’s
Mr Victor Emmanuel, a civil servant, said the 55th independence was worth
celebrating, but that the economic environment of the country left very much to
"Although the expectations of Nigerians were high, the government cannot
satisfy all the needs of its citizens.
"Though the economy may not be all that good, we are, however, celebrating the
independence in our own way believing that it will pick up very soon.’’
Dr Chukwudi Otogbolu, a medical practitioner, said that the present mood of the
economy of the nation notwithstanding, independence celebration was an
opportunity for Nigerians to relax with friends and relations.
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Otogbolu, however, said that as the country celebrated its sovereignty,
Nigerians expected the government to improve efforts in fashioning out policies
and programmes that would fast-track the economy.
According to him, such efforts as it affects the security, health and
education, among others, would better the standard of living of the people.
"We want bombing to stop in some parts of the country and we also desire the
government to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
"The percentage of NYSC graduates are more than the employment opportunities
available, in this instance the nation cannot but continue to witness crimes.’’
At the Jabi motor park, Abuja, the Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Association of
Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Mr Emmanuel Samuel, said that transport business
was slow as few people travelled.
The Vice-Chairman, Kano taxis unit NURTW in Jabi, Mr Kassim Rafiu, complained
of lull in business but observed that the occasion was peaceful.
"We want government to repair the park for us because the raining season has
affected the park more, passengers complain of deplorable condition of the
park,’’ he said.
Mrs Oluwakemi Balogun, a trader at the Chescon Gardens at Maitama, Abuja, said
that although business was low in the morning, there was hope for improved
business in the evening.
"People are coming in few numbers but patronage is still fair, hopefully when
the sun comes down, they will start coming to relax with their loved ones.
"The issues of bomb blast in the FCT before had made some people to be afraid
of coming to parks but we thank the Almighty for better security now,’’ she
Mr Simon Dolly, General Secretary, Initiative for Interreligious Peace and
Harmony Nigeria, an NGO, said that Nigerians should promote peace and
"We must forget our diversity and regional, tribal and religious agenda;
rather we should focus on one agenda of peace and unity.
"As Nigerians celebrate the independence anniversary, we pray that peace;
justice and law would prevail across the country.
"The rule of law should prevail for all,’’ he said.
Dolly called on the people to be hopeful for better days in spite the fact that
the country is passing some socio-economic and security challenges at 55.