President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has extended his heart felt good wishes to all Nigerians in the new year, with a clarion call on them to pray for a full recovery of the economy in 2018.
Saraki in a New Year message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said a strong economy would enable government to achieve physical development and improved standard of living of the people.
He added that God has blessed Nigeria with all the potentials necessary for her to have a strong economy that would take care of its growing population but that it was unfortunate that there is still so much underdevelopment in the country.
He noted that most of the problems now threatening the unity, progress and peace of the country were rooted in the poor state of the economy and that there was need for the government and Nigerians to work together in Year 2018 to ensure the success of policies initiated to rebuild the economy, create employment, attract investment opportunities and make the nation self-sufficient.
He said that government alone cannot make the economy to work but that it requires the co-operation, prayers and change of attitude on the part of the people to develop the country and make 2018 a more fruitful and beneficial year for the citizenry.
“I wish all Nigerians overflowing happiness on this joyful occasion,” Saraki said. “The end of one year and the beginning of another is always a time that is full of hope. While 2017 was challenging for many Nigerians, we must look back on the year with the knowledge that better days are ahead.
“Although we still have so much to do to achieve our desired individual and national objectives, let us rise up with courage and determination to make the situation better”, he stated.
While lauding the resilience of Nigerians in the face of national challenges and their avowed love for the unity and greater progress for the country, he noted that every Nigerian deserve a better deal.
“All of us deserve a chance to live a better life. This is why the Senate and indeed the 8th National Assembly will continue to collaborate with the executive to ensure that all the policies and programmes of the present administration targeted at making life more meaningful for the people are realized.
“The National Assembly will not spare efforts in passing more laws that will serve as catalyst for our economic stability and growth. Laws that will help make our businesses thrive. Laws that will enhance the creation of jobs and put more money in the pockets of our people”, he stated.
He wished Nigerians a happy and blessed 2018.
Meanwhile, former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) has said the future looks bright for Nigeria in the New Year.
In a statement he said, “Again we have entered another English calendar year with the renewed hope of achieving more than we have achieved in the past years, I therefore use the auspicious occasion to congratulate all Nigerians for making it to the New Year.
“We should use the New Year to renew our commitment to our collective prosperity, growth and development by contributing more to nation building and shun all forms of negative tendencies.
“I have the hope that the nation we so sacrifice to keep going and to this age can only be better notwithstanding various security and economic challenges that has become a world order ; confronting every country of the world in different magnitude and in different way.
“As Nigerians our unique strengths and characters to overcome our challenges collectively have never been in doubt, what we need now more than ever is to galvanize these unique qualities for the good of all as permissible under a democratic set up.
“We must at this point imbibe the core values of democracy by respecting each other’s rights and pursue individual goals in tandem with our national objectives for a better Nigeria, not better individuals that will not reflect on us all.
“A season like new year often offer us a new inspiration to give each other support , we should at this point truly believe that we are great in our diversity , in it lies our strength and uniqueness.
“Rather than allowing our diversity to divide us , we should gain courage by looking at the opportunities offer by our diversity and the good aspects of it that make us special people as Nigerians.
“Believe me when I say from my experience as a military officer who fought to keep Nigeria one; that we have had difficult times to be where we are today and we will not wish our children , grandchildren and great grandchildren to witness war again we have made the sacrifice for them.
“This does not however mean that we will not be confronted with challenges, challenges are part of life, but if we are to be prepared for it, we must first shed our fear of it.
“I say to you compatriots today and truthfully that I am unafraid to be optimistic that the future of Nigeria is bright.
“We are without doubt people with a great past but not without challenges and for the future we will be greater yet with challenges but we have paid our dues for Nigeria, to the extent that we are hopeful that the challenges of the future will not be greater than what we faced in the past
“I urge all of us to take the inspiration offer us by this new year to build Nigeria of our dream, devoid of divisive tendencies and offer government at all levels our support, bearing in mind that as humans we are fallible, perfection is a Godly attribute, no matter how we try we can never be perfect
“So as we enter the new year we must learn to understand and forgive our honest mistakes, because there is no person who has not made mistakes and has the guarantee not to make any in his or her life, with that divine purposes of being capable of making mistakes we should be able to reason with our leaders, decipher the complexity of our diversity and move on as one great nation we all desire”.
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida GCFR
Former Military President
1 Uphill Drive, Minna, Niger State