High Cost Of Foodstuffs: N12.3bn agric subsidy meant for 2.2 million farmers must not be diverted – Kaigama warns




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The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama

….. don’t distance yourselves from grandparents, elderly cos of COVID – 19

…..condemns lavish funerals by Nigerians.

By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama has lamented the skyrocketed cost foodstuffs in the country, warning that the N12.3 billion agricultural subsidy from the Federal Government meant for 2.2 million farmers not be diverted like interventions or palliative measures.

He also called on Nigerians not to distance themselves from grandparents and the elderly due to social distancing over COVID – 19 because they are a source of wisdom.

The cleric also bemoaned the lavishing funerals ceremony organised for departed ones after they were allowed to live a life of loneliness, misery and neglect.”

Kaigama stated these in his Homily delivered at St. Luke’s Parish, Kubwa in honour of grandparents and the elderly with readings taken from the Old Testament including 2 Kings 4:42-44 and John 6:1-15.

According to him, the N12.3 billion agricultural subsidy from the Federal Government meant for 2.2 million farmers not be diverted like interventions or palliative measures.

He said, “The escalation in the prices of foodstuff today has made it difficult for the among us to feed. My cook, Sunday Emola, showed me some current food prices from Garki market in Abuja: one measure each of garri costs N500, beans – N1,000, rice – N1,000, 1 bag (10kg) of semovita – N5,500, one bottle of groundnut oil – N1,600, one bottle of palm oil – N1,300, one tuber of yam – N1,300, a medium basket of tomatoes – N3,500, 1 gallon of kerosene – N2,000, Alebo – N500, etc.

“The problem in Nigeria is not whether we have resources to share, but the willingness to share them fairly, honestly and charitably. Both first reading and the gospel emphasised the fact that the power to end the hunger and suffering of people lies in our ability to share the little we have.

“We often forget how far-reaching the little we each possess shared generously can satisfy the needs of people. Often, we assume that it is the task for the government or the United Nations or NGOs.

“But a lot can be done with our little if we focus on the person in need and the intention rather than the quantity of what is available. I understand that 2.2 million farmers will soon receive N12.3 billion as agricultural subsidy from the Federal Government.

“We hope that the money of this laudable initiative will get directly into the hands of the farmers and not to be diverted like interventions or palliative measures.

“The elderly are assured of the abiding presence of God who continues to accompany them on the journey of life, despite the difficulties and challenges associated with old age. They are reminded to tenaciously hold on to the faith and to pass it on to the young.

“Grandparents and the elderly are a source of wisdom. By passing on their knowledge, morals and values, they play a great role in the formation of a decent society. They are a strong link between the past, the present and the future.

“We must respect them and pray always for those of them who are sick and weak or suffering conditions associated with aging. Our practice of social distancing due to COVID – 19 should not distance us from them. It is sad today to see lavish funerals organized for departed ones after they were allowed to live a life of loneliness, misery and neglect.

“In these times of moral and social decay, grandparents and the elderly can teach us how to heal our wounded humanity; the spirit of sharing, in a nation where selfishness, corruption and the spate of crime and insecurity deprive many of the basic necessities of life; a nation that continues to take mind boggling financial loans without any corresponding impact on our quality of life; only to leave a fragile and perilous for generations of our youths.

“As grandparents and the elderly continue their earthly pilgrimage, we expect the government to provide good social security for them even as we entrust them to the intercession of Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and grandparents of Jesus.”