The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, has criticised Nigeria’s social security system.
The raised the concern in his Homily during the Lenten Campaign of Abuja Archdiocese with the theme: “Nigeria, insecurity and COVID-19 pandemic: The way Forward.”
The cleric called on Nigerians to pray that governments takes more concrete and immediate measures to ensure a holistic national security.
Kaigama said like coronavirus, poverty is threatening rights, values and entire existence.
“Coronavirus pandemic aside, I too receive requests from many qualified but unemployed youths; requests to pay house rent; school fees, dowries, and even for funerals, as well as requests to buy cars!”
The bishop observed that citizens across the country lack basic infrastructure and worry so much about the safety of their lives and property.
He lamented the condition of millions of Nigerian security personnel, youths, retirees, disabled persons, and families of retired or deceased workers.
“Youths are turned into beggars and some embrace violence or criminal activities. Pensioners sometimes regret their faithful service to their fatherland as they languish in poverty, especially during tough times like these.
“I understand that in Germany, those who cannot work during this COVID-19 period are given 60 per cent of their salary and those, whose small private businesses are crippled, get economic help to cushion their hardship.
“Humanitarian activities of Church-based organizations such as the Catholic Relief Services (USA), Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (Britain), MISSIO and MISEREOR, ACN in Germany have supported many poor people in Nigeria.
“Despite all the Catholic Church has done and continues to do through social services, schools and hospitals, government’s collaborative support of the Catholic Church needs radical improvement.”
Kaigama reminded people to always help the poor and called for prayers for the safe release of all captives, including hundreds of schoolgirls abducted in Jangebe, Zamfara State.