The Senate has said in addition to prayers, hard work is required to tackle Nigeria’s myriad of challenges.
In a veiled reference to President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration of a year-long season of national prayers, the Senate said there was the need to combine prayers with the political will to work.
President of the Senate David Mark summed up the feelings of of his colleagues after a debate on a motion congratulating Nigeria on her 52nd independence anniversary in Abuja on Tuesday.
He declared that Nigeria had made some progress since independence for which the citizens should be grateful to God.
Mark, said, “We have made some considerable achievements. For that alone, we need to show gratitude to God, pray and work.
“Not just pray alone. Praying alone will not solve the problem and we need to combine both of them.
“I think more than anything else, we just need political will to take our policies to logical conclusions whether it is at the executive level or the legislative level. Whether it is at the state or the local government level and I believe that unless we are determined to politically pursue the decisions that we’ve taken that will be of benefit to this country, we will still be where we are in another 10 to 20 years because the political will is lacking in so many areas.
He challenged northern leaders to take up the challenge of educating their people so as to drastically reduce or eliminate the almajiri challenge.
Mark also enjoined states and local governments to take a cue from Lagos State, which according to him, has succeeded in setting the pace for less dependence on federal allocations.
He said, “Lagos State is generating so much revenue internally today and it’s just one of the few states.
“Other states are just folding their hands and waiting for allocation from the Federation Account. Obviously, you know that can’t take them far.”
Earlier, the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba said, “At independence, Nigerians were hopeful that their independence will not only bring security, but it will bring prosperity. Today, we have challenges of poverty, we have challenges of insecurity.”
According to him, it is not yet a hopeless situation as democracy has provided us with another opportunity to address the contradictions that have defined the country.
Also speaking, Senator Uche Chukwumerije said Nigeria was “a failed or a failing state.”