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I welcome us all to 2022.
In high spirits, I congratulate us all for making it thus far as, clearly, we have risen against all the odds that defined 2021 to defeat the travails the past year brought.
Without doubts, we are some of the biggest beneficiaries of God’s kindness to humankind and we must place our unflinching trust and belief in God Almighty as He dictates the affairs of men.
We all are survivors of 2021 and its challenges like sub-regional insecurity, a global cash crunch, severe food insecurity, biting climate change, shrinking forest resources in the Sahel region and lately the emergence of the omicron variant of the COVID-19. The impact of COVID-19 on businesses and individuals has been huge but to God alone we owe the thanks because by strength shall no man prevail.
Notwithstanding how tough 2021 was, many gained traction. The beauty of all the challenges we faced is in the fact that those challenges prepare us for whatever comes next. Now that a new year has begun, we must show courage and determination to face it and the future it brings with fresh hope, renewed vigor, tact and faith in God.
To make impact as individuals, we must apply the learnings of 2021 towards self improvement. This means that we must show readiness to further roll up our sleeves and put our hands and heart to the ploughs.
Now that we live in a post COVID-19 economy, things may never be the same again. It is imperative for us all to brace up because there will be so many loose pieces dangling before us at the various stages of 2022. Some of these loose pieces are opportunities we must harness to grow. Others are entrapments we must avoid.
Given the Nigerian political, social, and economic contexts, I urge us all to quickly decide on what we intend to use the year 2022 for, and then interrogate the validity of our personal desires after which deliberate efforts must be made to pursue each cause.
Government on its part must show more willingness to cushion the harsh economic realities Nigerians presently face. National debates on issues like complete removal of fuel and education subsidy as well as increasing income taxes and tariffs on electricity and fairly used family cars should be approached with utmost caution.
The federal government should channel more investments towards ICT by providing grants to start ups majoring in areas like cryptography, software development, programming, web designing, cyber security, encryption, ethical hacking, forensic investigation and penetrative testing.
Functionaries of government must be proactive and lead with the fear of God while putting Nigerians first at all times by deliberately refusing to make bad decisions. They must also refuse to betray public trust by obscenely enriching themselves.
Law enforcement agencies must be equipped with contemporary knowledge on crime fighting to enable them adopt modern and friendly approaches to resolving heinous crimes via winning the trust and friendship of Nigerians in whose hands real security lie.
Presently, there are elements of fragility in the political and social atmosphere of Nigeria. Hence, I appeal to my fellow Nigerians from the North, East, South, and West, irrespective of their faiths and political inclinations, to come together and pursue peace and truth in the spirit of national reconciliation, integration, and peaceful coexistence.
To my dearest people of Kogi State, I call for calm and more patience in the face of various social, economic and political discomforts presently being faced because whereas they persist at the moment, they will not last forever.
Nigeria is a great nation and Nigerians are a great people who must be respected globally on account of our youthful population, global spread, entrepreneurial capabilities, and educational prowess.
We have all that is required to prosper and flourish – we must therefore be deliberate about coming together as a people and government in the interest of one another so our dear nation will be great again.
On this note, I welcome us all to 2022 – a brand new year of possibilities and exploits.
Mohammed Adah Shaibu; Ph.D.
President / CEO.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK